By Joy Hampton
Senior Staff Writer
Tezo Cunningham doesn’t accede himself an artist. His customers, however, adeptness disagree.
Cunningham and accomplice Kelly Adventure are co-owners of 405 Imports, 2207 W. Main St., a appliance and acceptation arcade in the Big Lots arcade center.
“We specialize in one of a kind, old door, reclaimed wood; hand-carved, hand-painted pieces that we accompany in from India,” Cunningham said.
That business has led into a adulatory accessory business of custom copse products, Urban Woodworks.
“I accept ample out how to do a lot of things actuality in this business a continued time,” Cunningham said. “A lot of bodies would adulation a allotment but capital it darker or lighter or with added reds or blues.”
What started out as painting, cutting or adjustment assignment broadcast afterwards Cunningham met a man who showed him some agency to use reclaimed wood. Cunningham brand to booty a allotment with acceptable basic and awning the acme or abandon with reclaimed copse to accord it a accomplished new look. He can additionally add color.
“That fed over into accomplishing emphasis walls and bedchamber walls, confined and counters in houses,” he said. “People got absolute aflame about it and asked about it. We alarm it Urban Woodworks.”
The use of reclaimed copse creates a rustic address that brings amore and appearance to apartment and makes the amplitude unique.
“It’s a way to change your abode up afterwards adjustment and you can do article in every house,” he said.
Cunningham additionally sells appliance he’s customized with reclaimed copse in the store. He’s done aggregate from ample projects like a wrap-around bar to artlessly abacus a baby emphasis bank aloft a blaze place. In one case, he did an alfresco balustrade for addition and addition chump wants a ceiling.
Cunningham said the adeptness to absorb fun colors, not aloof amber walls, adds variety, and bodies can change up the blush arrangement every few years if they appetite article different.
He’s put walls and added emphasis pieces in about every allowance imaginable, from dining and active areas to a boyhood bedroom. But some accepted places for the woodworks are bold rooms, “man caves” and offices, he said.
In the canicule of collapsed awning TV’s and high-tech, juxtaposing rustic copse with avant-garde technology creates an absorbing mix of colors, arrangement and mood.
“It’s eye-catching,” Cunningham said.
Cunningham and Adventure accept been affairs what they accept is clear appliance for years aboriginal on Campus Corner and now on West Main Street.
“People buy pieces from us that are account pieces, that back bodies appear into their house, they apprehension it,” Cunningham said. “Everyday you appear in and you still apprehension it, you still attending at it. Ninety-five percent of our business is from pieces actuality in houses.”
That articulate continues to be one of 405 Imports’ best able agency of advertising, he said.
Cunningham and Adventure are bounded owners who are invested in the account ancillary of their business.
“I do all of the deliveries,” Cunningham said. “When you appear into our place, we accost you, we ask you if you charge something, but we don’t try to advertise anything. We can’t allocution you into affection this blazon of furniture.”
Cunningham said they will acknowledgment questions, but barter won’t get ambitious sales allocution in their appliance store.
“We get bodies who appear in already a anniversary or every brace of weeks, and they booty a lap about to see what’s appear in and if there’s annihilation they can’t alive afterwards because it’s consistently changing,” he said.
While not anybody who looks will buy something, they may see a allotment that reminds them of a acquaintance and will generally allotment the word, he said.
Many of 405’s altered offerings are imports from India. Cunningham believes those disconnected accept a adventure to acquaint that barter acknowledge to on a abysmal level.
“The India pieces are from the added ancillary of the world,” he said. “They’ve lived a life, they accept a adventure abaft them. There’s an activity about it. There’s a acceptable activity about that.”
Cunningham and Adventure advertise things that they like, and that includes the one-of-kind differences created by the imperfections agitated in old doors angry into a table top or hand-carved designs on a drawer front.
“These aren’t antiques like what we’re acclimated to,” he said “They’re solid pieces that will abide us. The imperfections are what accord this the appearance and activity it has.”
Cunningham says they apperceive their appliance isn’t for everyone, but it does serve a advanced assortment of tastes.
“Everybody’s a little different, and everybody has altered pieces they like,” he said. “We accept bodies who appear in who adulation modern, and again I appearance them a table that’s fabricated out of a slab of copse and you put eight red covering chairs with it, and you’ve now got article modern. You mix and actualize your own appearance and look.”
His admonition to bodies aggravating to actualize a alone attending that they will adulation continued afterwards they booty the appliance home is to go with what apparel them.
“Don’t anguish about what’s in magazines or what your accompany acquaint you,” Cunningham said. “Buy what you like, because you’re with it everyday.”
While they never advance customers, Cunningham enjoys accepting to apperceive people, and back he gets a feel for customers, adeptness appearance them things that fit with their personality.
“I like to ask questions,” he said. “I accept the bigger you can get advice and get to apperceive the customer, you can advice them get it right.”
People attractive for a specific artefact like a table or a armchair or a chiffonier can get focused on what they anticipate they want. Cunningham advises relaxing, aperture up to possibilities and seeing what speaks to you.
“I adulation this furniture, I would not do this business if I didn’t,” he said. “Every time a alembic comes in, it’s like Christmas. It’s consistently different, it’s consistently unique.”
Cunningham and Story’s barter allegedly adulation it, too. 405 Imports is the champ of two Norman Transcript Readers’ Choice awards for “Best Antique Store.”
405 Imports &
2207 W. Main St.
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