Furniture maker carves his own niche with business in Knauers

Address: 1365 Alleghenyville Road, Knauers
Phone: 610-401-0920
Owner: John Chambers
Hours: Wednesdays through Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sundays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Closed Mondays and Tuesdays

When John Chambers, 49, of Robeson Township started building furniture more than 30 years ago, he did so out of need.

Last month, when Chambers opened his own store, Just A Nutter Wood Shop, he wanted everyone to be able to afford his furniture.

He previously sold his handmade wooden furniture wholesale, but when Chambers saw his pieces for sale at a local store, he was shocked at the retail prices.

“The markup was incredible, and yet people were buying it,” Chambers said. “But it made me feel bad because I wanted to make my furniture affordable for everyone to buy.”

Chambers decided to stop wholesaling and open his own store.

The store is in 1,000 square feet of a building in Knauers. Chambers said he was told the building was constructed in the early 1800s as a stagecoach rest stop.

“This store with hardwood floors became fitting for this style of furniture,” he said. “This is primarily traditional furniture that is very utilitarian and functional.”

The handmade quality furniture includes tables and chairs, cabinets, wine racks, kitchen islands, corner hutches and children’s furniture.

But the inventory is not limited to what is in the store.

Chambers will take orders for any piece of furniture or built-in bookshelves and cabinets.

His preference is to work with pine, but he will work with any type of wood, according to a customer’s specifications.

As an example of Chambers’ pricing, a large corner hutch which could retail elsewhere from $1,200 to $1,800, sells for $580 at Just A Nutter Wood Shop.

“People are very surprised by the prices,” Chambers said. “Many customers who come in for the first time end up buying something or placing a custom order.”

Even if the demand increases significantly, Chambers said, he will not increase prices.

“I will only raise prices if the cost of wood and supplies goes up,” he said.

In addition to the furniture, Chambers also sells country gifts. He features hand-poured candles and homemade soaps his daughter-in-law, Janelle Bordlemay, Mount Penn, creates.

Bordlemay has a home-based Internet business known as Hay Creek Candle.

The name of the shop came from Chambers’ 3-year-old grandson, Brodie, who kept saying “just a nutter” instead of “just another.”

Chambers said he has no plans on getting rich making furniture.

“I just want people to be able to buy all-wood furniture that is not held together with screws and will last forever,” he said. “I really enjoy what I do; it’s kind of neat because a part of me goes into everybody’s homes.”

Contact David A. Kostival: [email protected]