Staff Photo by Dan Henry/Chattanooga Times Free Press Ryan Faircloth uses a drill press while building an upholstered back dining chair at his furniture shop, Appalachian Rustic Furnishings, in Wildwood, Ga.
* What: Hickory furniture
* Company: Appalachian Rustic Furnishings
* Address: 33 N. Dade Park Drive, Wildwood, Ga.
* Website: www.arfurniture.com
* Telephone: 706-820-8110
* Owners: Phil and Ryan Faircloth
* What's special: All the furniture made by Appalachian Rustic Furnishings is constructed from locally harvested hickory saplings and assembled by hand, Vice President Ryan Faircloth said. "A hundred years ago, when (the pioneers) made furniture ... this is what they built," he said. "It's there to stay."
* The origin story: Owner Phil Faircloth learned the art of hickory woodcraft, particularly bending and stemming techniques, from the Amish. Appalachian Rustic began as a hobby but blossomed into a full-time business when demand increased, Ryan Faircloth said.
* How long does it take to make? Six weeks, including harvesting, drying and treating saplings from Northwest Alabama, North Georgia and Southeast Tennessee to assembling the final product. Once the wood is prepared and the pieces assembled, smaller items may take as little as 20-30 minutes to assemble while larger furnishings can requires as long as 90 minutes.
* Where it's sold: Appalachian Rustic deals primarily in wholesale to owners of lodges, mountain homes and restaurants in California, Colorado, New York and North Carolina. Local customers can purchase directly from their Wildwood location.
* How long have they been making them? The company was founded in 1987.
* Expansions planned: In the coming weeks, Appalachian Rustic will release several new products, including dining chairs, a pair of new bed styles and new bases for tables.
* Lessons of the trade: "What I like about (this job) most is that you are reconnecting with nature," Ryan Faircloth said. "You're working hands on with a lot of the products that the earth gives us. That's really enjoyable."
Casey Phillips has worked as a features reporter in the Life department since May 2007. He writes about entertainment, young adults, technology and people of interest. Casey hails from Knoxville and earned a bachelor of science degree in journalism and a bachelor of arts in German. He previously worked as the features editor for Sidelines at Middle Tennessee State University. Casey received the East Tennessee Society of Professional Journalists Award of Excellence for Reviewing/Criticism in ...