New BCCFA Director is the Friendly Giant

Brown family’s home business makes one-of-a-kind furniture

One of the frustrating things about Logan Lake is the fact there are many interesting and exciting home-based businesses that never receive the publicity they deserve. Hopefully, the new kiosk in the centre of downtown will provide some welcome advertising for home-based businesses who are also members of the Logan Lake Business Association.

On a recent tour of sites in the community Fire Interface area I had the opportunity to speak with Don Brown who heads up the Logan Lake Community Forest Corporation and that soon will be the subject of another story. TNew BCCFA Director is the Friendly Gianthe conversation lead to Don talking about his home-based business which has expanded in 2010. Don, as a Registered Professional Forester, enjoyed a 30-year career with Ainsworth Lumber – 15 years in 100 Mile House and 15 years based out of Savona. Ten years ago, with both available time and an interest in creating wood projects, he began Friendly Giant Rustic Furniture. Local groups were the fortunate recipients of many of Don’s products which he donated to assist a variety of fundraising initiatives. However, having seen his creations and appreciating the hard work which had gone into each piece, customers lined up to place orders for their own unique piece of furniture.

December, 2009, brought a career change and Don, with his wife Ella as a partner, formed a limited company, now known as Copper Ridge Consulting Limited which, in turn, operates Friendly Giant. What makes this business extra special is that sons, Martin and Richard, are now hands-on participants.

With a lifetime interest in forestry, Don has developed a distinctive business using varieties of timber including: bent willow and mountain pine beetle damaged wood from our area as well as cedar slabs from the Sunshine Coast and diamond willow from northern BC. Once the lumber is in the shop, the creative process begins by taking a unique piece of wood to design and manufacture a one-of-a-kind piece of furniture.

It was with a big smile that Don remarked, “Even if we tried, we can’t make 2 identical pieces of furniture and that’s both the challenge and the joy.”

For those wanting to see the products the company is manufacturing, why not take a trip to Logan Lake to their home-based shop at 348 Daladon Drive, or to Merritt to visit the Creative Company Cooperative which features their work? CCC highlights the work of both artists and manufacturers and, as part of the coop initiative; Ella runs the store four days a month clearly demonstrating Friendly Giant truly is a family business.

During the upcoming “50’s” celebration in Merritt on Sept. 25, Don and Ella will be hosts at Creative Company for the day and will be offering specials on their products.

Interested in a unique coffee table or side tables, a new bedroom suite, a special bureau or buffet? Contact Don or Ella at 250-523-9815 or go online to www.friendlygiantrusticfurniture.ca.

Merritt Herald Published: September 17, 2010

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