Throughout his nearly 30 years in the wood flooring trade, Javier Cardenas of Exotic Flooring and Designs LLC has made a habit of crafting leftover wood flooring scraps into custom furniture pieces. This year, he took his woodworking to the next level by launching ForestArte, a live-edge furniture, mural and mantel company.
“Our goal is to use some of the unique features of wood flooring and integrate them with live-edge woodworking,” Cardenas says.
A boom in the popularity of live-edge inspired him to start the new business in partnership with Kevin Hanson, one of his longtime employees at Royal Oak, Mich.-based Exotic. “It feels great to give him ownership after so many years,” Cardenas says. “He's really talented, and he's going to help take this company to another level that separates us from the rest.”
Cardenas says he plans to continue incorporating scraps from his flooring projects for the furniture crafted for ForestArte: “It's fun looking at a pile of extra wood from different species and making some really cool furniture that virtually cost me $0.”