Updated: Oct 4, 2022
Standing in an old barn ready for take down with Adam Garbutt leaves very little doubt about why he finds himself running a very successful business in furniture and design based around reclaimed wood. There’s a visible gleam in his eye when he explains the choices made by farmers building these barn. He can tell you the age of the barn based on the type of wood used. As he explains why they look for the hand hewn beams, you get caught up in the story just as he is, and that is exactly what makes his design and his ethic so unique and special.
Adam was training to be a firefighter around 2004 when he started taking down barns as a way to fill extra time and make some money. Having had experience working in construction it was something that came naturally. Initially the two sold all of the wood to other sources. Five years later, Adam found himself examining a hemlock table with a pipe base in an exclusive design shop in Toronto. Having always had a good eye for design and a clear vision of his own aesthetic, ideas began to form. He was inspired.
Taking advantage of his uncles’ plumbing tools and a quick lesson in cutting and threading pipe, Adam made some bases in his garage, put some reclaimed floor boards on as a table top, and put them on Kijiji. They sold immediately. From these initial sales he started getting requests for different styles and bases. He connected with a welder and came up with new designs. The business grew rapidly. Soon his one care garage was too small to contain the volume of work he was getting. He expanded to a two car garage. Exceeding this space quickly, he rented a 2000 square ft shop which was enough space for the next two years. During this time, he began to take on people to help him. Each year he added members to the team. As quickly as he added to the crew, the demand caught up with them and he found himself looking for more. Currently the AG crew operate in a space twice the size, but are already looking at expanding.
What began as a few tables has grown to entire houses, flooring, cabinetry, furniture, and complete design profiles. What was initially a side hustle for his firefighting career has become a passion driven business that demands his full attention. The team he has built is something that Adam is very proud of. He has curated a group of individuals from management to welders, woodworkers, and finishers, who are excited by challenges and driven to create new and unique projects tailored to his clients specific vision. As style changes and demand grows, so does AG. Adam is learning and growing with the needs of his clients, he is adding to the skills under his roof all the time and he couldn't be happier about it.