It all started with a dare. When the founder’s wife set her sights on a table from a retail chain, the founder took one look and said he could build it bigger and build it better. Doubting her husband’s ability, she challenged him to make it happen.
A few days and some elbow grease later, the founder surprised his wife with an upgraded, customized version of the table. When friends and family caught sight of the finished product, they all knew the couple had stumbled upon something special. With encouragement from everyone around them to build and sell more tables, the duo knew they could turn this happy accident into a new career.
For the couple, discovering a new trade couldn’t have come at a better time.
For 20 years, the founder's company helmed some of Southern California’s largest commercial real estate from the ground up, building senior apartments, restaurants and shopping complexes. But in 2010, after the economy had soured, he was forced to shut down the company when clients were unable to pay and the banks started shutting down jobs.
Forced to find a new career overnight, the pair got creative. The founder’s wife saw value in the raw, excess material from the company, salvaging the metal racks employees used to paint on. The founder’s eco-friendly nature drove him repurpose the surplus Louisiana Pine Wood into something both functional and sustainable. Unleashing his artistic nature, he combined the steelwork with reclaimed Pine and transformed it into something more than just the run-of-the-mill dining room table.
Pumping out a few more items, the pair packed up their truck and hit the local flea market to sell their designs. After the first show, the couple knew they’d found a void in the furniture market and so the company was born.
Ditching the whole cookie cutter approach offered by mainstream competitors, the pair pushed their creativity to new limits. While the founder manned the booth at flea markets, his wife strolled the aisles for hidden treasures. Going off instinct, she’d find an eclectic piece to bring back to the shop. They’d see an unusual piece and ask themselves what they could do with it.
Favoring obscure and industrial artifacts, the 100-pound metal chains and antique Singer sewing machines she recovered soon became the centerpieces of their designs. Rusty jacks made TV stands and side tables multipurpose, cranking up and down, side-to-side, for versatility. The body of old cars grounded entertainment stands and bars, uniquely crafted for the ultimate collector.
The couple soon took their show on the road, selling their creations up and down the coast of California. The business grew organically when customers gravitated toward the green, one-of-a-kind pieces and helped spread the word to friends and family.
Rebooting the company under the name Planks USA, the business now offers a greater depth of resources while still maintaining the heart and soul of the family-owned business.
As the buzz around the company grew, the founder leveraged his extensive experience in the construction business to create and execute his creative visions. He now brings his artistry to large-scale projects, contracting and designing retail stores, restaurants and more. The company uses its signature industrial aesthetic to create warm environments for guests to enjoy.
With their innovative designs and artistic natures, the founder and his wife have carved out a niche for themselves, building furniture and lifestyles, designed to inspire.