Olympia’s Furniture Works green business of year

Staff writerApril 9, 2014 

Downtown Olympia’s Furniture Works, a retailer of new and used furniture — with an emphasis on vintage furnishings — won a green business award Wednesday.

Furniture Works was among about 60 businesses, up from 42 last year, that were part of the Thurston County Chamber of Commerce’s green business awards program, an annual event in which the chamber solicits nominations and reviews environmentally friendly business practices.

Wednesday’s event was hosted by the Red Lion Hotel Olympia.

In addition to the 50-plus awards, several businesses also were singled out in four categories: small business, medium business, large business and a government category, which was added this year.

Here are the winners: Furniture Works, Sound Native Plants, Red Wind Casino — the second consecutive year that the casino won in the large category — and Intercity Transit, the public transportation service in Thurston County.

Furniture Works was opened 12 years ago by Ken and Kim Adney at 402 Washington St. NE.

The Adneys opened the business after determining there was a need for good, used furniture in the Olympia area, said Ken Adney, who accepted the award Wednesday.

He didn’t have a background in retail when he opened the store, but he used to make furniture, giving him a good idea of what is and isn’t quality, he said.

The store offers an eclectic mix of about 600 items, including vintage furnishings made from traditional hardwoods, such as oak, mahogany, cherry and maple; or perhaps it’s upholstery made with eight-way, hand-tied springs instead of nylon webbing.

“It’s the kind of furniture that is made to last,” he said.

Adney added that he’s fond of midcentury modern design, such as the furniture once created by American designers Charles and Ray Eames.

The business also is selling hardwood furniture made from reclaimed timber in Indonesia.

As for green business practices — and these were highlighted during Wednesday’s program — Furniture Works recycles its shipping materials, has installed low-flow plumbing fixtures, upgraded to energy-efficient lighting and uses ductless heat pumps.

Other steps include closing off a part of Furniture Works’ 6,000-square-foot space so they don’t have to spend money to heat it, he said.

This was the seventh year of the event.

Last year’s small, medium and large business winners were: Morton Safford James III AIA Architects and Energy Efficient First, which tied; Earth Friendly Products; and Red Wind Casino.

Rolf Boone: 360-754-5403
rboone@theolympian.com

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