PUTTING THE ART BACK IN ARCHITECTURE THE STORY OF POOLE CABINETS IN WELSH

Kerri Cooke Thursday, April 16, 2015 0
PUTTING THE ART BACK IN ARCHITECTURE THE STORY OF POOLE CABINETS IN WELSH

In the small town of Welsh there lives a carpenter, along with his wife and three sons — Brandt, Hagen and Teyton. The carpenter’s name is Roddy Poole, and he builds exquisite customized cabinets.

Twenty years ago, he established Roddy Poole Cabinets, and began a successful career. The company further expanded 10 years ago, when Roddy’s son, Brandt, joined the business, and then the name changed to Poole Cabinets. This father-and-son team provides a great amount of personal experience and creative talent to turn houses into homes.

poole2Roddy comes from a long line of family contractors, so the transition from observing to building was relatively effortless. He believes he has a God-given talent for building first-rate and unique cabinets. Anyone can nail a few pieces of wood together, but he has a passion for it. It is a special talent, gift and dream that he was lucky to be able to pursue. He strives to remain humble and grateful for the opportunity to find something he was exceptionally good at, as well as for the success that has followed.

After 10 years of Roddy working by himself, Brandt, his oldest son, joined the company. Roddy never wanted his son to feel like he needed to go somewhere else to feel accomplished in life. There was a place for him right there in the family business, if he wanted it. Brandt accepted the offer, and now they are happily in the business together as equal partners in Poole Cabinets.

The goal of Poole Cabinets is to personalize each set of cabinets, so that the owner of the house can get the fullest amount of enjoyment out of the cupboards hanging on their walls.

poole 6High-quality cabinets have the potential to adorn a house like fine jewelry. They are not just pieces of wood with no importance. We interact with cabinets every day in our homes. They hold our dishes, our food, our toiletries, and many other items used on a regular basis.

Poole Cabinets’ most common jobs are cabinets for the kitchen, bathrooms, master bedroom and living room. There is a high demand for their work, especially when the contractors they work with are busy with lots of new houses.

Roddy and Brandt believe that their job is to bring the “wow” out in a home. People can get plain cabinets anywhere, but Poole Cabinets strives to create something that compliments the design of the home and fulfills the desires of the homeowners. They take into account the size of the room, the color of the walls, and the desired decor of the home when making their outline.

Their job is to create a design, whether it be adorned with fleur des lis or crosses; something the customer would adore. They try to use the walls to the fullest advantage, with plenty of space and the fullest degree of efficiency. They don’t computerize any of the plans, but instead draw them by hand and submit them to the customer for approval.

poole1Sometimes the customer doesn’t know exactly what they want, so they turn it over to Roddy and Brandt to work their magic; but the homeowner still has to approve their plan before it is created.

Poole Cabinets strives to make something unique for each customer. There are some popular designs that have worked in other homes that are used repeatedly, but even if they are using a similar design, they still try to improve on that design and make it different and better.

The creativity of the job comes in when Roddy and Brandt refuse to settle with building the same thing over and over. Roddy says that “when doing about 45 houses a year, you better have God on your side” in order to get up every day and do something new.

Woods that are used for building include beech, maple, birch and poplar, but one particular style that has skyrocketed in popularity is the use of reclaimed wood. Reclaimed wood, such as cypress, is usually an old, high-quality wood that is taken from churches or homes built 100 or more years ago. The lumber grows slower and denser, and doesn’t have as much exposure to sun and rain. This means that the rings in the wood grow closer together, and that creates a more compact wood with high quality.

Re-using this old wood gives a much-desired antique look to new pieces. The old and new looks merge to create a unique personality in a piece. Roddy describes it as the “prettiest wood God ever designed,” and believes it is also a popular choice because the wood has a background story. The wood could have once formed the walls of a schoolhouse that witnessed all the antics of naughty children, or it could’ve heard the secret confessions of churchgoers. Regardless of what the wood was used to build in the past, it has a special story, and is now part of a new one.

poole7Poole Cabinets doesn’t really have to do any advertising. Generally, customers or contractors approach them because of the quality and uniqueness of their work, as well as their good attitude and helpfulness.

One particular instance in which their work advertised for itself stands out in Roddy’s mind. He and Brandt were once in Elizabeth, La., a small town with only one traffic light, to do a job on only one house. They never gave out business cards, never put out any signs in front of the house they were working on, or even mentioned to people what they were doing in town as they ate lunch every day at the same cafe. After a while, they began getting calls from people in the area. Many residents saw the wonderful work they were doing, and heard about the homeowner’s satisfaction with the job. This is the kind of legacy that Poole Cabinets prides itself in having.

There is one other thing Roddy creates, apart from his cabinet business, which is close to his heart. It is something he calls the George Collection, a furniture assortment established to put his son, Hagen George, through college.

The George Collection consists of different types of furniture made from reclaimed wood. This is something that Hagen works with his dad on in their free time, or on weekends. Hagen preps and strips the wood for its use in becoming part of a dining table, a bench, a bar, or anything the pair feels inspired to make.

Furniture making is more of a hobby to Roddy than the cabinet building. Cabinet building is his career, but the George Collection is something that mainly relies on inspiration alone. He is not building for a customer, so he does not have to deviate from his ideas and create something according to any particular standard.

poole4It is very similar to Michelangelo’s idea that there is a figure in each piece of stone, and it is up to the artist to find it. The old pieces of wood contain a story. Each hunk of wood has the potential to become part of a very specific piece of furniture that Roddy envisions. Innovative and original ideas are given free rein, and whatever comes from that particular energy is sold.

Once a good number of pieces are made, they are usually taken to Texas for people to buy, but there is a good market for pieces locally, as well. These special pieces in the George Collection usually sell almost as fast as they are made. There is little accumulation. All it takes is for someone to see a picture of a piece furniture. An appointment to come view it soon follows, and admirers typically buy it on the spot.

Roddy and Brandt are in the business of making people happy by creating original pieces that are visually stimulating. Cabinets, furniture and service like theirs cannot be found in stores. They aim to treat each customer like they are the only customer, make every job their best job, and take pride in their work.

 

Poole Cabinets is a special locally-owned company that has earned a sparkling reputation. They can be contacted by phone at 912-4809, or by e-mail at poolecabinets@yahoo.com.