WRITER | CANDIE CONAT
PHOTOS | 28 FURNITURE COMPANY
28 Furniture Company started as a happy accident. When Rob and Jen Tomlinson were searching for special furniture elements for their own home, they began discussing what they were looking for and agreed they did not want mass-produced pieces. They also agreed it would be amazing to have furniture with its place in history. When they didn’t find what they were looking for, they put their combined talents to work and made their own furnishings with reclaimed wood.
Little did they know, this would be the beginning of a life-changing journey. Both Rob and Jen had full-time, well-established careers in the finance world but soon found they had a shared love for breathing new life into old wood. It wasn’t long before both were able to leave their careers and take a leap of faith with a new business, officially launching 28 Furniture Company in 2014.
The dynamic duo works together to create their furniture pieces using only reclaimed wood. Over the years, they have created special relationships with contacts around the country. When they feel they can fill a trailer, they hit the road and return with a load of amazing historical pieces they will transform into useful, elegant, and much sought-after items for their customers. They agree that this creates extra work, but the furniture they craft will always be one of a kind and so much cooler than anything you can find in a “regular” furniture store – exactly what their customers are searching for. These are items that add style to homes and become treasured pieces, standing the test of time for generations to come.
Sometimes a project starts with a whole piece, perhaps a buffet that needs a little work and some revitalization. Sometimes it starts with old beams or a slab of Siberian Elm that begs to become a table. And sometimes the project starts with reclaimed bowling alley lanes.
The couple’s current big project is transforming the lanes from a 1950s-era bowling alley into the most amazing line of tables you’ll find anywhere – 14 tables so far. Rob’s talents extend beyond woodworking, allowing him to do all of his own metal work. These unique tables each require between 40 and 60 hours of labor and love, and it shows in the finished product.
28 Furniture Company has a very select line of home furnishings, with Jen being very picky in what she curates for their 1,500-square-foot gallery storefront. She prefers to focus on fellow local artisans who put all of their love into their work. Jen chooses to order one or two of a particular item to be sure it meets her high standards. If it does, she orders more to share with their clients, who have come to expect only the best.
To keep things fun and creative, 28 Furniture Company changes up their store every 2-3 weeks, giving customers a new experience each time they visit. Returning guests enjoy peeking around every corner to find what’s new. The Tomlinsons and their staff spend a lot of time making this happen, which Jen says is fun and maddening all at the same time.
28 Furniture Company
627 South Main Street
Plymouth MI 48170