How Michigan Barnwood & Salvage LLC. is helping heritage live on
Kendra Patterson, owner of Michigan Barnwood & Salvage, LCC., sees these familiar rural structures as much more than a red facade crafted to shelter the excess equipment of farmers and their livestock. Instead, each structure represents a piece of Americana that’s fading before our very eyes. One that must be cherished. One that must live on.
“A lot of people simply don’t know what to do with old, decaying barns. Many people have burned theirs to the ground or bury them,” said Patterson. “And, over time, there are becoming fewer and fewer of them. It’s going to be at some point in our lives that we don’t see the structures standing anymore. I think it’s important for people to realize that farmers are a huge part of our history.”
Patterson operates her business out of a larger warehouse space with her husband, Trevor, in downtown Mason. The company operates as both a lumberyard for customers seeking one-of-a-kind salvaged barn materials for their custom décor projects, as well as a storefront that fosters growth for local artisans. The two concepts merge to create a unique experience that draws attention from patrons throughout Michigan and beyond.
Unsurprisingly, the Midwest is home to many barns with its deeply rooted tradition of agriculture and generational farmers. This makes it an ideal environment for the company to source regional materials. Barns in the Midwest are unique, distraught and weathered from years of exposure. And with that uniqueness comes a sense of heritage, tradition and importance. Something that Patterson believes resonates with people on a deeper level and that you can’t find anywhere else.
“People love to see a piece and instantly know that it has history. My heart goes back to my love of barns and reclaimed things,” said Patterson. “Things that are unique and weathered. When people see a piece of wood from our shop, they see something with character and love the idea of reusing it.”
Not only does Michigan Barnwood & Salvage provide materials, it also assists in educating barn owners about the salvaging process and provides salvage services in exchange for the materials. The company works with expert demolition teams to ensure that each piece of barn salvaged has a chance of being rebirthed.
Aside from helping customers acquire the perfect pieces to craft their personal projects, the company also works with a custom builder to create one-of-a-kind by design furniture pieces. From tables and bar tops to sliding doors and shiplap, the expert craftsmen have helped customers bring character, tradition and beauty into many regional homes and businesses.
“We offer custom building and will create just about anything for customers. We build dining room tables, coffee tables, vanities – essentially whatever the customer asked for, we will at least try to give them what they’re looking for,” explained Patterson. “Most project requests are for their home or office, but we also do a lot of commercial property projects and wholesale. We’ve had the chance to help build for restaurants and things like that.”
The custom products and materials for sale aren’t the only way that Patterson aims to bring a piece of Michigan into the lives of her customers. She utilizes the store’s entry point as a showcase for regional artisans – further extending a commitment to only supply and sell Michigan-made products. Here, no two artisans or products are alike – each bringing something wholly unique to the overarching experience.
“Everything they provide us must be made in Michigan. And we really pride ourselves in supporting the local economy and our fellow local businesses,” said Patterson. “Collectively, there’s about 65 businesses in total that we work with. We partner with each in order to really complete the full Michigan barn experience between the showroom, the lumberyard and the custom furniture building.”
Patterson and her vendors also collaborate often by providing educational workshops and fun outings for patrons who want to learn more about a specific trade or how to craft a specific item. These workshops, in addition to participation in regional downtown Mason celebrations, pose perfect opportunities for the company and its vendors to connect with the region.
To learn more about Michigan Barnwood & Salvage LLC., visit facebook.com/michiganbarnwood/