It’s definitely not Ikea. Walk into Revive on Puyallup Avenue, and before you even get through the twig-shaped wrought iron gates you know you’re not in a typical home furnishings store. Housed in a remodeled 1930s building and given a head-start by Tacoma arts program Spaceworks, Revive walks a stylish line between gallery and furniture shop — a haven of local makers who craft sustainable, sculptural beauty from wood, concrete and fabric. And in its first two months, Revive is starting to prove that Tacoma wants that beauty.
“It’s a beautiful space,” says Chris Barone, one half of Alchemy Concrete Works, which is one of the five Revive partners. “I like that it’s so open and light, and the wood everywhere is so suitable for what we do.”
Revive is a classic Spaceworks Tacoma project. Five independent artisan teams, some just begun, others already selling custom furniture to clients on the East Coast, all introduced hastily to each other when the building on the corner of East D Street and Puyallup Avenue became available. Owners Rick Semple and Jori Adkins had spent the last year renovating its former glory, complete with salmon-and-aqua paint trim, tile relief flanking the wide front door and those iron gates, like a winter hedge with birds. Inside, the space is equally perfect for a showroom: hardwood floors, tall storefront windows in balanced groups of three, wide wooden display stages and elegant moldings.
It works because Revive isn’t your average furniture store. The five partners focus on sustainable, unique items: Alchemy does creative custom concrete, RePly makes beautifully-grained tables, curvy stools and tiny boxes from salvaged plywood. Wane and Flitch turn live-edge wood slabs into stunning tables and benches. Birdloft makes funky mid-century pieces from salvaged wood and steel. And Spring Fever Upholstery reimagines vintage chairs and pillows with eclectic new fabrics.
The initial rent-free Spaceworks lease is for four months, but things are selling well enough that the Revive folks want to renew. Here’s a snapshot profile of each Revive partner and why they love what they do.
RePly Furniture: Steve Lawler
BirdLoft: Jeff Libby and (wife) Adrienne Wicks
Spring Fever Upholstery: Cynthia Totten
Alchemy Concrete Works: Christine Barone and (husband) Mike Carpenter
Wane and Flitch: Jon Sayre, Brett Johnson, Jeff Wolff