By: Marisa Gottesman Associate Editor
Ryan O’Leary says he got into the wood business on accident.
He had bought a condo in Delray Beach and couldn’t find an entertainment center he liked. So, he decided he would make one himself. And he wanted to make it out of reclaimed wood.
The problem he ran into he said was finding the reclaimed wood.
“You can’t buy a small quantity,” he said.
After three weeks of searching, he said he found a guy online selling some reclaimed wood.
“He had about $4,000 worth of wood and I needed about $400 worth,” he said.
Willing to make the investment, he found out the wood had been sold. Eventually, he found the wood he was looking for and created the furniture he needed and posted the end result on Facebook.That’s when friends started commenting that they wanted to furniture made out of reclaimed wood in their homes.
O’Leary said he knew he didn’t want to make furniture. But he said he would look into supplying the public with wood so they could create the project or piece they were looking for and his company DRVA was created nearly two years ago.
In a warehouse in Delray, DRVA manufactures wood for home and commercial projects. To do so, the company actually uses new lumbar that doesn’t make the cut for building.
They then distress, treat and finish it to look just like reclaimed wood without any of the lead paint, pesticides or other chemicals commonly found in vintage lumber. The wood comes in a variety of stains and finishes.
The wood is milled in Boca Raton and finished in the Delray warehouse.
O’Leary said the company aims to be as green and environmentally friendly as possible. Because the wood used was already cut, they aren’t eliminating more trees. They also use safe products that aren’t dangerous in homes or offices.
He also said DRVA wood is less expensive than reclaimed wood, which ranges in price from $15 to $40 per square foot because there is a limited amount available.
In the last year, he said he has doubled the amount of wood that DRVA is manufacturing. He predicts the company will quadruple its output in the next six months.
He is also looking to expand into retail stores so people can look at the wood and purchase it in a store instead of at his warehouse.
Even though his team doesn’t come out and install or build the furniture, he said he works with several local businesses and has even coached contractors over the phone.
“It’s an easy material to work with,” he said.
He said people are looking to add reclaimed wood looks to their homes and businesses. He said his clients are a mix of homeowners and business owners.
He said projects are as small as shelves in bathrooms to entire walls in a commercial space. In homes, he said the wall of the TV room is popular as are bathroom water closets.
Creating the reclaimed wood look is about crafting a product that is perfectly imperfect, he said.
To do so, he looks to hire young employees with an artistic eye. He said some carpentry experience helps, but it isn’t a requirement. He said his team is a mixture of high school and college students.
You can visit the warehouse to check out the wood with an appointment. Visit https://www.drvawood.com for more information.