Small Business Saturday 
Rustic Furniture with Don
in Fairview, PA

Rustic Furniture by Don

Small Business Saturday 

In anticipation for Small Business Saturday. I would like to feature my brother, who has been working hard to turn his working man’s hobby into a business.

Learning about Wood 

Don has been working with wood all his life alongside his father, Don Bovaird, The Tree Man.  My brother grew up in the tree felling business and worked his way up from a ground stick picker to a wood cutter. When Dad passed away in 2006, he took over the business. However, it’s seasonal and once the snow falls, jobs slow down –  though there is a trickle of business from those who want to purchase firewood.

Making Ends Meet

Winters were difficult for Don. To make it through, he picked up jobs like delivering pizza and snowplowing, the latter,  which he still does. Then he hit on a way that led to his creativity and challenged his woodcraft.

Where my father refurbished old vehicles in the slow season, my brother took on a hobby of making furniture from the lumber that came from the trees he cut down.

Typical of the Bovaird men, he threw himself into the hobby from the start. He sold his woodcraft at flea markets and wood shows in the surrounding area. He started with lamps and end tables. Now he designs all sorts of furniture in his Franklin Avenue workshop.

Rustic Furniture

His furniture is “rustic” because of the rugged, outdoorsy look. The beauty comes from the grains of wood itself. He brings it out with a clear polyethylene stain, which makes the grains shine. He leaves the bark on some pieces to show a contrast from the smooth wood grains.

What kind of market does he have for it?  It is a niche market. It probably appeals most to hunters who have cabins in the woods. But anyone who likes wood would enjoy his tables and lamps. They’re each unique to the type of wood each individual piece has. Some are made from slab wood and others are from finished lumber. He has a trained eye to see how best to bring out the natural design in the wood he has.

A Wagon at the Entrance 

The first tell-tale sign of his side business is a park bench on a what looks like a rustic farm cart that welcomes the driver to the property. What a unique calling card!

cart at front of propertyn

Recently my older brother and I drove into ‘the land’–as we have called the property for years –and stopped. At the entrance to his new showroom, we found  he had redone the building in light and dark wood planks. 


Inside the Showroom

Inside his showroom, I paused as my eyes adjusted to the dimmer light. He had the wood stove going and the room was toasty warm. I couldn’t immediately place the room in my head. Had it been my father’s old office? It was quite large and welcoming.

His showroom certainly had a rustic feel to it. He had mounted a buck’s head with a full rack of antlers on the wall. Did I mention my brother is an avid hunter?  It also had a Native touch to it with wooden sculptures, dream catchers and paintings done by native Americans.

My brother enjoys attending pow-wows in nearby New York state. He has developed friendships over the years with various native American groups in their reservations. Both my brothers share that interest, in fact. Coon pelts, antlers and other related paraphernalia grace his creations along with photographs of key workers over the years in the family wood-cutting business.


The Craftsman, Don Bovaird

My brother, Don, looked relaxed as he greeted the visitors to his shop. I usually see him in the truck and on-the-go with little time to chat. I really enjoyed seeing this side to him. Two other people, a man and a woman, were checking out his furniture. They seemed to be longtime friends with a family history behind them.

Don Bovaird, creator of Rustic Furniture by Don
Don Bovaird, creator of Rustic Furniture by Don

Choosing a Lamp

Now, I had one little task to do: pick out my own lamp. I had come to find light. With my vision loss, light is always a priority for me. Lately, it has seemed so dark in my bedroom. The overhead light placed in my bedroom when I was growing up doesn’t throw off much light. Even with a natural-light floor-length lamp behind my bed, I still didn’t have enough light to read. This seemed like a perfect opportunity to support Small Business Saturday and solve that problem.

“I need a small lamp,” I explained.

He picked up an interesting lamp with a burl–a growth–protruding from one side. It was so unique and the perfect size.

“How much do you want for it?” I asked, thinking there might be a family discount in store for me.

“You can have it, ” he said, waving away my money. “Look at it as an early Christmas present.”

I was all for that!  I’ll be taking my friends there and / or buying his one-of-a-kind lamps for them in the future.

My lamp at home on the stand next to my bed.
My lamp with the burl at home on the stand next to my bed.

In His Element

It was so good to see my brother in his element. He says, “What a joy it is to work with your hands and create things that bring you peace. ” He adds, “By the way, I’ve been told they look cool.”

That’s my brother, finally bridging the world of tree cutting to his passion of making rustic furniture. He even has his own planing machine to cut lumber. It’s easy to see his love for wood coming full circle.

Wood in his Blood

It’s a tough job  making a living as a tree cutter but as a second generation in the business, he says, “I have wood in my blood.” Making furniture has taught him to appreciate the various types of wood even more.

Dad would be proud of him and he sure would like the pieces my mother has at the house!

Whether you are looking for someone to trim your trees or a unique piece of furniture custom made, Don’s your man.

Contact Information

You can connect with him at the following phone numbers and on the following links:

Business Phone: (814) 474-1100 or (814) 397-4176
Facebook Business Page – Rustic Furniture by Don
Facebook Business Page – Bovaird Tree Service

You have just read “Small Business Saturday: Rustic Furniture” by Amy L. Bovaird © November 25, 2017 Got a question? Ask in the Comments! 

Have you ever had a hobby you have tried to turn into a business? Do you have an idea you’d like to try out? Share it in the Comments below!uB   

Small Business Saturday: Rustic Furniture by Don
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4 thoughts on “Small Business Saturday: Rustic Furniture by Don

  • November 30, 2017 at 2:15 am

    Just a quick question. Came to this site a few months ago and you had some things about low vision. Is there a way to sift through the topics on this site and go directly to only the ones that deal with low vision? I kept checking back for a while and you had lots of other kinds of posts from other people or your activities and whatever. I just wanna zap directly to anything you might have dealing with low vision in case it’s interesting. Can a person do that here? Thank you ma’am.

  • November 30, 2017 at 7:38 pm

    Dear Anonymous,
    Yes, certainly. After you are click on Blog, to the right hand side there is a list titled Blog Categories.
    Vision Loss

    What kind of information are you seeking? Tips, stories of coping with vision loss, technology, etc? If you let me know what exactly you’re looking for, I will do my best to provide it regularly. Hope these links help!

  • December 5, 2017 at 1:08 am

    Okay, I see how it works. THANKS YOU! Nothing in particular of interest for me personally. I guess this is mostly for family and friends of yours. You have lots of topics you write about for them I see. I’m not really looking for “exactly” something to read. You know, I just toodle around the Internet and try to find interesting tidbits here and there from websites and blogs that focus on low vision. Your more a wider or mixed focus and maybe “adventures” and whatnot. I guess I kind of stumbled onto to yours a while back and thought something might be of interest and wanted to get back to it. All the best to you and your family.


  • December 5, 2017 at 6:39 am

    Hi Trudy,
    Sorry my blog wasn’t quite what you were looking for. I do post low vision tips. Also every Friday, I try to feature a person living their best life with low or no Vision. Sometimes I write about three topics, faith, family and vision. Sometimes I w rite about travel as well. Feel free to visit again and look in my Low Vision or Vision Loss Category. You might find something helpful.
    Thanks so much for visiting my website and blog.

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