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    The Beer Tote & Valentines Day 2013

    Handmade Beer Tote, Beer Caddy

    Great Lakes Reclaimed began on Valentines Day February 14, 2013.  Our beer tote was the first product we ever made.  I remember Lisa showing me a drawing of what she wanted me to build.  I went out to our shop and created our first beer tote a few days before Valentines Day.  I listed it on Etsy and distinctly remember reading their disclaimer that it could take 4-6 months before your first sale...That's like being named Noah and going around telling people it is never going to rain... We had our first sale two days later and then a wedding party from California wanted 7 with laser engraved names on each beer


    tote.   Great Lakes Reclaimed was off and running. We turned our dining room into a shipping department and had fedex pickups daily on our front porch.  We had great neighbors who never complained about the shop noise and the trucks going in and out of our driveway.... Never negate the day of small beginnings because when the holiday season arrives it can change fast....


    Christmas orders for 2013 went thru the roof.  We had over 400 beer totes in the Que.  I enlisted my son Matt and my 3 nephews to help us build.  It was a great introduction to the maker movement and how not to be ready for the holiday season...

    We moved back to Michigan in the summer of 2014 and opened our shop here in Petoskey.  We now make wine racks, furniture and home decor items.  We learned a lot these past four years and greatly appreciate all of you who have ordered from us and entrusted us with making you a high quality product.  Jim





    Wine Tasting Table for Rudbekiah Winery

    Wine Tasting Table for Rudbekiah Winery

    I have to say that this table was one fun table to build.  The property the winery is located on is an old family farm here in Petoskey, MI.  The bar was built out of the wood from the old outbuildings from the farm.  The owners asked us to match the table and legs to the color of the bar and top.  It was a little tricky to say the least but we ended up getting a pretty good match.  The owners were very happy and have had many a good party on that table... We do like to customize and never shy away from a unique project... Jim

    The Barn Wood Door

    The Barn Wood Door

    Every once in a while we come upon a design piece that really floats our boat! These sliding doors that simply slide over your door opening give an instant feel to the room as well as being super practical.  Saving space was how we backed into this one. We had a laundry room in an entry hallway that had a door that opened right into the tiny laundry space, taking up a wall where we wanted to have cabinets and storage. The slider door was the answer. Removing that hinged door was a happy day in our household and the look and artful touch the weathered barn wood added was a solid bonus!

    Small Town Restoration

    Small Town Restoration

    History has always been my thing… especially local architecture that has stood the test of time and still shows us a glimpse of days gone by. Last month we accidentally happened upon the rural community of Burgess in Charlevoix County, Michigan. Once a thriving farming community, at its center was a post office, a general store with a filling station and a church. Post war, around 1946, the new main route running thru Burgess was moved to run along the shoreline of Lake Michigan. This put the hurts on the local establishments of Burgess and as traffic ceased to pass thru, the owners were forced to close down. Enter Joe and Kathy Rivard who purchased the property that contained the old run down grocery store and filling station in 1976. They recently decided to restore the tiny building and the local neighbors were so enthused that they began dropping off momentos, pictures, even the original orange Gulf sign that used to hang out front. What a joy it is to be driving thru on old 31 and see this darling station beginning to come alive – looking much like it did in the 1900’s! I just had to stop and make my husband and friends wait for me, while I snapped a few pictures.

    Workshop Wonders

    Farmhouse Harvest Table

    "The Most Wonderful Time of the Year" also marks the "Busiest Time of the Year" for our workshop here at Great Lakes Reclaimed. We are in full swing as the Holidays kick in and the added excitement and traffic really make it a bustling little shop! Many of you who have followed us on Facebook for awhile have stopped in on your travels through town to see what we have going and its always a pleasure to meet you! 

    Our Farmhouse Harvest Tables have been the big surprise this year and we are happy to offer these with a huge array of customizable design options. You asked for it and we listened! You can now pick your stain color (match your kitchen/dining area), pick your table or bench leg design (square, tapered or turned) as well as your overall exact dimensions. Need it downsized for an apartment? Want a mammoth size to fit a large family? We can do it all. After all these are selected you can even give us the level of distressing you would like; little to heavy and everything in between...

    Here's to a great Holiday Season and to many gatherings around your table!