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Rustic Point takes growing business to new digs

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By Vicky Gits

A visit to Rustic Point Home Furnishings in Evergreen makes a person feel like running out and buying a second home in the mountains and filling it with roughhewn log furniture of the Old West. Formerly located on Meadow Drive, Rustic Point moved Nov. 8 to the second level of the Honka Homes building, a palatial log-style office complex off Hotel Way in the El Rancho Town Center. Honka Homes is an ideal location for Rustic Point, which specializes in cedar log furniture, lodge-style furniture and log-lodge home accessories. “It was fun to make this the perfect place for us. People hug me, they are so excited,” said owner Sara MacBean, 33, whose business has grown from a home office in Conifer to 4,000 square feet in one of the higher-profile buildings in the Evergreen area. Artistically arrayed in a homelike setting are housewares, accessories, antler lamps, wall art, gifts, leather couches, a stone fireplace and every conceivable type of log-built object from bunk beds to vanity tables. The store originally opened on Meadow Drive in May 2006 but was so successful it needed more room and a better presence grow, especially after MacBean started adding home accessories and gifts. She patterned her buying after what customers said they wanted and missed when Evergreen Drug store closed. “My first impression is, it looked like someone’s home. From my point of view, this store has spirit,” said Xenia Johns of Genesee. “It’s eclectic, unique and fun.” The Honka now comprises a sort of trifecta of the log-home industry, with Karpov design center on the lower level, Rustic Point on the second and Atrium Log Homes on the top. “I was scared to look at it at first because I knew I would love it,” said MacBean, owner of Rustic Point, a mom of two and a former accountant who said she didn’t fit the accountant model and switched to sales and marketing. “It’s a better layout because it’s all one level. It has great visibility to I-70 and is convenient to Wal-Mart, Home Depot and Evergreen Country Day School,” she said. The space has been vacant for a long time on purpose. “The owners (Randy Nelson, Mark Jermano and Tom Warren) knew what they were doing,” MacBean said. “They didn’t want just any business, but something that would fit in.” “My goal was to reach the Summit County market in the long term,” MacBean said. Rustic Point occcupied the old “bunkhouse” space at 27945 Meadow Drive formerly taken by Mountain Home before it moved to The Hardware building. The bunkhouse is still available. The new, well-lighted floor is arranged like a home with living room, bedroom, dining room, children’s and even bathroom areas all decked out with some various forms of log furniture, like an upscale mountain resort. If you need advice putting together a log-home look, designer Luanne Asbury works from an office on site. When MacBean opened her first store on Meadow Drive, it was conceived largely as an outlet for furniture made by her brother-in-law Brandon Anderson’s furniture company, Fireside Lodge Furnishings, in Pequot Lakes, Minn. The company makes furniture from northern white cedar, which has a lighter, more golden color and more refined shape than pine or aspen, MacBean said. (MacBean met Anderson when she was an accounting student, and he was her college-appointed mentor. She introduced him to her sister, who eventually married him.) All of the drawers are dovetailed, rather than glued, and the hinges are European style. Wardrobes and dressers have aromatic cedar bottoms.The prices are within the reasonable range because the company produces in quantity. A traditional queen-size log bed is about $899, a bunk bed (double and single) about $2,000. A kiddie table and two chairs is about $329, and a sofa table is about a $400. There are also futons, nightstands, fireplace mantels, dressers, mirrors and dining tables. On the high end is a cedar pool table for $8,000. Since starting up in 1998, the Fireside Lodge has added a hickory style, which is darker and more streamlined. “It’s extremely popular (and) can go in a traditional home as well as a cabin, MacBean said. After MacBean opened the furniture store in Evergreen, she started adding gift items and housewares, which made the furniture sell better. Customers would wander in looking for picture frames, napkins or candles, and she would add them to her invventory. Eventually the gifts became a bigger part of the inventory, but furniture continues to be the main moneymaker, MacBean said, and represents about 75 percent of sales. One wonders what America’s recent fascination with log styles and log homes is all about. “After 9/11, everybody wanted to stay with the family and invest in their home,” MacBean said. She defines the Rustic Point style as casual but elegant, a motif that appeals to a wide group of people who live in Evergeen and have second homes in the mountains. For more information, visit www.rusticpoint.com.