It’s official; carpentry is making a come-back. Enter Howie & Co. based in Salt Rock; a husband and wife team who are making beautiful wooden furniture with a curated retail décor shopfront at the Litchi Orchard.
Robbie Howie first started escaping into the garage to work with wood when his father, Chris, was sadly diagnosed with cancer. At first, it was a refuge where he took comfort and was able to channel his energy into his father’s table saw and a selection of sanders. Tragically, Robbie’s father passed away four years ago, but his love for working with wood has continued, almost as an ode to his dad’s legacy, since he too was involved in the furniture retail business for many years as the owner of Stop Discount Furnishers.
“It was therapeutic at first,” explains Robbie, who is a born-and-bred local. “We started by making melamine cupboards and selling our wares into the old Transkei part of the Eastern Cape.”
Robbie’s father owned many stores in and around the same region, where Robbie lived for eight years.
His wife Carmen, who hails from the South Coast, trained as a beauty therapist before her and Robbie decided to open their own business, and they make a good team. Robbie makes the custom wooden furniture, using mostly oak, while Carmen oversees the retail store, which recently doubled in size to 100 square metres of gorgeous mirrors, lamps, unique scatters and ornaments, handmade serving boards, tables, chairs, carpets and plant holders.
“Robbie makes the custom wooden furniture, using mostly oak, while Carmen oversees the retail store, which recently doubled in size to 100 square metres…”
“We do a lot of custom work,” adds Carmen, who definitely does her homework when it comes to forecasting trends and hunting down specific décor items.
Their suppliers are deemed sustainable and responsible sources, and although they specialise in oak, Howie & Co. will work with pretty much any wood. They credit a large part of their craftmanship to their cabinetmaker, Cyril Naidoo, who has 25 years of experience creating quality products.
Find Howie & Co. at the Litchi Orchard in Salt Rock. Follow them on Instagram @HowieandCo or call 079 880 2883