The company is located in the "hometown of China's chair industry", a comfortable office environment, a positive and courageous team.
Touchet man creates furniture from used wine barrels
Crawford, 29, is the owner of Vinoture, a business that makes handcrafted furniture from used Washington wine barrels.
"The building medium is a waste product from one of the largest industries in Washington state," said the Kalispell, Mont., native, who has followed his dreams and business plans to the Walla Walla Valley.
He is opening a showroom this Friday and Saturday in Touchet, just in time for the thousands of wine lovers driving east to Walla Walla for Spring Release Weekend. Vinoture is in a big, red barn on the north side of the highway.
Inside, Crawford will be showing off many of his products, from bar stools to high-back chairs to sconces to coat racks and robe hooks. Prices range from $15 for a robe hook to $5,000 and up for a full bar.
Crawford started the business six years ago. At the time, he didn't have much more than a dream and a vision, as he knew little about woodworking.
"I didn't own a single tool," he said with a laugh.
But he began to build and sell his creations at a farmers market in Kalispell. The owner of a Napa Valley winery happened to be in town, fell in love with his products and offered to trade him a few bar stools for 100 used barrels.
"That's when I first began to realize just how many barrels were out there," he said.
Since then, he has taken apart about 2,000 barrels -- and he really is just getting started. In late March, he had a booth at Taste Washington, a huge wine event in Seattle.
Charlie Hoppes, owner and winemaker at Fidelitas Wines on Red Mountain, stopped by and was impressed with his chairs. But Hoppes wanted something a little different, a taller high-back chair that Crawford hadn't yet designed. Within two days, Crawford had a prototype built and ready to show Hoppes, who ordered 20 on the spot and even provided some of the barrels for the project.