A former church nestled in the village of Enterprise, the setting could not be more fitting for the quirky collection of salvaged architectural objects showcased at Salvage Garden.
Giving new life to old objects and materials is the methodology of Salvage Garden business owners David Wood and Andrew Halkewycz. Working directly with collectors, designers, builders, and do it yourselfers; Salvage Garden has an eclectic inventory of factory windows, tin ceilings, industrial lighting, advertising signage, tables, seating, vintage metal cabinets and an abundance more.
“We live in a ‘throwaway society’ with an excessive production of short-lived or disposable items over durable goods that can be repaired, recycled or repurposed,” said David.
“We believe that living with fewer things, but ones you absolutely love, creates a better quality of life, not just personally, but for the planet too.”
As a previous volunteer with Habitat for Humanity Restore, David’s passion for repurposing became evident.
“I was thrilled to see building materials being re-used and repurposed rather than ending up in landfill sites”, said David. “My first design project was a custom shelving unit using vintage cast iron industrial brackets that were destined for the scrap heap. It was an intimidating project, but the finished design was sculptural, powerful and modern. I was hooked.”
Andrew is an anthropologist at heart. Intrigued and respectful of past cultures is a consistent theme that appears in his projects and collections. His style is a diverse mix of modern, antiques and sculptural artifacts, and his retail merchandising background has been a huge asset to the business.
With an initial plan to operate strictly as an online business, it soon became evident that a studio space and showroom was needed.
“We looked at many locations before settling on this former church in the village of Enterprise. We love the integrity of the structure, it fits with our ‘repurposing’ mantra and gives us a unique space to catalogue, stage and photograph inventory,” said David. “Really how could you go wrong with an Enterprise address? It is a charming village with a very cool name and great neighbours who have been very supportive.”
“The region has an abundance of talent. Local contractors, designers and tradespeople are discovering Salvage Garden not only as a resource for their projects, but also as a great place to channel salvageable materials that could otherwise be destined for landfills.”
Getting the word out about Salvage Garden has been through advertising in several print publications, but the driving force for their marketing has been through their online presence.
“Tracey Snow, Business Development Officer for Lennox and Addington County, encouraged us to take advantage of the Social Media workshops offered by the County,” said David. “She arranged a consultation with the County’s Tech Coach who helped us develop an online strategy that has driven local and international sales. Salvage Garden is in its infancy, but already, we have had buyers from Toronto, New York, California, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, as well as France. All of those sales were generated from our online presence.”
As a new business, key challenges for Salvage Garden are staying on top of the ever-changing digital marketing landscape as well as staying true to their brand proposition and managing inventory accordingly.
“Honing our online marketing skills will always be an issue, but knowing when to tap into the local knowledge base will be key to our long term success,” said David. “As far as maintaining our brand, we do have some antiques, but we are not an antique store. So we do our best to stay on brand and recommend other artists and dealers who may be better suited to some of the items that come our way.”