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In between the bed and the desk, Tim, who was born in Florida and grew up in Virginia, relocated to Jerome. He originally came to Arizona to help his sister set up a sandwich shop and fell in love with the Verde Valley. In 1994, he moved his company, called Whittleman Furniture at the time, to the old 8,000-sq.-ft. Mingus Union H.S. gym in Jerome, and rechristened it Western Heritage Furniture in 1996. For the first five years, he worked with high-end clients in Scottsdale and Sedona. It was during this time he designed the Ghostwood Collection, which is Western Heritage’s most popular collection. “In Seattle,” he recalls, “I would look at the piles of wood [lumber companies] would burn each year and I’d see piles of gold. When I came here I saw all the buildings crumbling and falling to the ground and I had the same reaction – I saw value.”
The Ghostwood Collection consists of tables, desks, chairs, benches, and mirrors made from wood of old homes, barns, and lofts. Tim teamed with Tim McCune in 2000 to expand Western Heritage, which now includes the Heritage, Signature, and Tim McClellan collections. Each piece comes with background about the building from which it was made – the wood, usually Douglas fir and pine, mostly comes from the midwest.
Though anyone can visit Western Heritage’s showroom and workshop on Hwy 89A (the company now has 30 employees – Tim still does all the design and engineering but he has a staff of builders), Tim doesn’t sell directly to the public; his pieces are carried in 140 stores in the U.S. and Canada and through interior designers. While Tim says he hates the business aspect of his career, he’s proud to be “reclaiming old Americana.”
“To design and create with my hands is what I want to do most in this world,” he says. “I just want to create.”
Tim McClellan and Western Heritage Furniture
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