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If you’ve been considering an order of Huston & Company furniture for your home, now’s the time. Place your order by May 30th and for every $1,000 you spend, we’ll send a $100 gift certificate to the library of your choice.

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At Huston & Company, we love libraries. We believe libraries are essential to the wellness of our communities. We believe time spent in libraries is fortifying and restorative. By building fine custom furniture for libraries throughout the country, we hope to enhance the environments where people learn, contemplate, teach and explore.

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Our First Footing...

...building the workshop in Poland Spring.

 

In the summer of 1987, Bill Huston began work on his own furniture-making workshop in Poland Spring, Maine. The shop was to sit next to his home, on his 11-acres of woods and field. “Huston & Company” was still just notes in a journal, but beginning to take shape. 

The Huston property and home in Poland Spring 1987

The Huston home and property in Poland Spring, 1987

 The Huston & Company workshop site is prepared for building

The Huston & Company workshop site is prepared for building

“I was 36 and ready to start my own business. My journal from that time was full of hopes, expectations, lots of planning, doubts, fears, and excitement. A single parent with two young children - a lot of pressure to get it right and make it a success. ” 

Bill Huston, age 36, begins construction of his new furniture workshop, 1987

Bill Huston, age 36, begins construction of his new furniture workshop, 1987 

The building crew consisted of friends, neighbors and family. Ben Jacks, an architect and friend was aboard. Ben later designed the Huston workshop and showroom in Kennebunkport, and enjoys one of our dining tables in his summer home in Deer Isle. It was hard work, of course, but building the shop with friends was an enjoyable way to do it and many fond memories were created in those summer days.

Friends, neighbors and family pitch in to build the new workshop

Friends, neighbors and family pitch in to build the new workshop

 Gatherings of crew families are common in the summer of 1987

Family and friends gather for a meal after a long day of building

When asked about the difference between building a building vs. building furniture, Bill explains, “In building construction, the tolerances are different and building materials are more “forgiving,” but that organization in your head of how you get from drawing to final result – with all of the steps in between – is very similar.”

Bill Huston works on the trusses of his new workshop

Bill Huston works on the trusses of his new workshop

“Poland Spring is beautiful, rural countryside. We lived on a gravel road and it was 6 miles to the elementary school. Great neighbors. {The property had a physical connection – property line – with the Shaker Village at Sabbathday Lake.} We lived on the edge of the 50 acre Shaker Bog, which had great canoeing and in the spring time the peepers were deafening.”

The view from the office

Another day in the office, not so bad 

The workshop was finished in the spring of 1988 and Huston & Company opened in April. Bill worked solo for about a year, then hired part-time help, and soon full-time.

The workshop is 200 feet from Bill's home

The workshop is 200 feet from Bill's home, and almost complete, winter 1988

“The shop was built 200 ft from the house and I walked to work every day! With 2 young kids I was able to go back and forth as needed, be there when they got off the bus, close the door at 3pm to go off to a soccer game. Even though with starting and owning your own business you have it on your mind 24 hours a day, I was very consistent in turning off the lights and closing the door about 5pm every day.”

The completed Huston & Company workshop, Poland Spring, Maine, 1988

The completed Huston & Company workshop, Poland Spring, Maine, 1988

By 1994, there were three full time furniture-makers, including Bill. Huston & Company had completed their first full order of public library furniture, and the workshop, at about 1,000 square feet, was beginning to feel small. 

“We debated adding on, but the proximity to the house was beginning to feel too close and adding on would have been a commitment to stay and have it all that much bigger. As a family, we were also looking for a town with a greater sense of community, a downtown and good schools. Our search led us to the Kennebunks…”

And the rest is a story for another day.