When Lila Richardson started shopping for kids’ furniture, she was discouraged by the particle board and toxic finishes used on most products.
So she turned to her husband for help.
“Ezra built our family a corner hutch, a picnic table, a bookshelf – they are so special to us,” Lila said.
After recognizing the quality of their creations, the two teamed up to open an Eastsound storefront. Ezra hired a crew to help build furniture designs that are made of 100 percent salvaged Orcas wood milled on the island.
Located in the old community garden space next to The Kitchen and Tres Fabu, Orcas Workshop offers cedar tables, benches, stools and picnic boards. They use primarily cedar with some Madrona accents and iron work done by Steve Gropp of Salamander Forge. The wood is mostly untreated and if they do apply a finish, it’s natural. New pieces are arriving weekly.
Ezra constructed an open-air, covered showroom on the property, and many of the items are displayed on the front lawn. Their opening day was over Memorial Day weekend and they sold two picnic tables.
“Even if someone doesn’t buy something, just having people admire the work is wonderful,” Lila said.
The store is open Thursday, Sunday and Monday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Friday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. or by appointment at 376-9700.
The couple says that at night, instead of watching a movie, they talk about ideas for their new business.
“Anything I have been proud of in my life I’ve put a lot of effort into,” Lila said. “And we want our kids to see that mommy and daddy starting a business together is a fun memory.”
Their children, six-year-old Sienna and five-year-old Hayes, are enthusiastic about the venture. They make Orcas Workshop stickers and hand out business cards to people they meet.
Ezra grew up around woodwork: his father was a master woodcarver and built custom homes. He has also owned and operated a construction and landscaping business on the island for years and will continue to do that in conjunction with the workshop.
“Creating has always been a part of his life,” Lila said. “We both have an appreciation for nice quality items – especially furniture.”