Back in 2016, the year Green Haven Living was founded, I traveled out west to attend home goods and gift trade shows. Imagine a week of walking corridors with thousands of potential vendors to vet out. To prepare, I spent weeks researching and marking on a map which ones I wanted to spend time with. This was no easy task. As recently as 2016, most home goods and gift companies had not yet begun making the shift to more sustainable ways of designing and creating goods. But, I knew in my gut there HAD to be some who aligned with those values. The majority of the vendors were too large, impersonal, not sustainable, or just plain not a good fit. Time was running out. I decided I was going to sit down with my boxed lunch in one of the showroom corridors to narrow down which of the remaining vendors to prioritize. And then, fate intervened.
Out of the blue, this guy comes over and asks if he can share my table to eat his sandwich, and I said “sure” knowing seating during lunchtime was getting hard to find. He introduced himself as Cliff and asked my name and what company I came from. I told him and explained that I owned a new retail business that focused exclusively on eco-friendly home goods and gifts. His eyebrows went up as he casually said, “Oh, well, my company happens to create eco-friendly products.” Okay, Cliff, you have my attention.
Cliff explained where I could find his company’s showroom. For the next hour, I chatted with Cliff and his wife, Jan. How could such a great company have found me completely by chance?! Theirs was small, close-knit and had a strong community and sustainable focus. I was impressed with Cliff’s design background and how Jan’s executive background compliments his in the operation of their company, Recherche Furnishings. I was convinced this was a genuine partner for Green Haven Living. So, let me share with you why I chose to work with this award-winning company based in Texas.
By the way, you’ll want to pronounce that REE-SHARE-SHAY. Recherche Furnishings began as a custom wood furniture manufacturing company in 2010, but it evolved into its present line of home decor when a friend of Cliff’s asked to borrow his nail gun in 2014. When his friend returned his nail gun, he brought his old fence pickets with him and gave them to Cliff. Using the old fence pickets, Cliff created a rustic wood picture frame that became the prototype for their popular “Naturals Reclaimed Frame” line. Each frame is still created with reclaimed materials. Drink tabs are cleverly repurposed as the wall hanger on the back of each frame. To date, through the creation of this wall decor, thousands of pounds of wood, cardboard, and drink tabs have been kept out of landfills.
Since those early days, people across the US have sent in drink tabs, saved old cardboard, and called in when fences have blown down in storms. For their efforts, Recherche Furnishings was awarded the 2015 Keep Texas Beautiful Business of the Year and was a finalist for Keep America Beautiful for their environmentally sound practices and products. For me, one of the most awe-inspiring aspects of this company was learning their efforts to give back don’t stop there. Through the “Turning Wood To Water” campaign, a full 10% of reclaimed wood product sales are donated to a local charitable organization that drills clean water wells in Africa. So purchasing these reclaimed wood frames lessens the waste headed to landfills and enables remote African villages to benefit from an infrastructure for clean water.
Businesses should exist as forces for good, and this is yet another example of one of our partners who does just that. Our Spring collection includes fresh new designs, and you will find the frames displayed all throughout the store. Recherche means elegant, extravagant, or one-of-a-kind in French. True to their name, Recherche Furnishings has created beautifully unique products that result in real environmental and social impact. And, nearly 5 years later, I am so grateful to have accidently met Cliff and Jan that day!
Check out our article: Which Candles are Better for Indoor Air Quality.
Founder of Green Haven Living, a Veteran of the United States Air Force, former Human Resources professional, and Environmentalist.