In an era of impermanence Unruh Furniture builds a product that endures
I drove to Grandview on a damp and dreary morning to meet with owner and founder of Unruh Furniture, Sam Unruh. From inside the homey showroom, artfully appointed with their warm and inviting farmhouse-style furniture, it was easy to forget how gray it was outside.
Kansas City Spaces: When did you begin making furniture?
Sam Unruh: It started as a hobby in 2008. I made furniture for my wife and friends, and as wedding gifts—just for fun, not for money—and I really enjoyed it. I was working a job I didn’t like very much so I started to slowly sell pieces to make a little side money and it worked! So I quit my job and decided to go for it full time. I was on my own for about a year before hiring my first employee in 2011, and now there are 10 of us, 11 if you count [my dog] Pete.
KCS: Have you been in this downtown Grandview location from the beginning?
SU: I originally moved into a little house on Main Street in Grandview. It was an old, abandoned house so we completely remodeled it into a workshop, then grew into a bigger space nearby, and then we moved to this location and have been here about a year. Every space that we’ve moved into has been abandoned and kind of torn down so we completely remodeled each time. It’s improved the area property value. We try to help out the community as we go.
Nearly every six weeks, Unruh Furniture grows by an additional employee, and each seems to be as dedicated and passionate about woodworking as the next. The love that goes into each item of furniture extends well beyond aesthetics. “There’s nothing fake in our furniture,” says Unruh, who builds each piece from solid wood. “It’s heavy and it’s built to last.” Unruh Furniture is not only locally owned and operated, but Kansas Citians are the only people fortunate enough to get Unruh products delivered to their door. “We’re not going to put our furniture in a cardboard box and ship it a million miles, so for us, weight doesn’t matter. We pack the furniture directly in our truck and deliver it to the customer’s home, so each piece can be really heavy. And when you’re buying furniture, that’s a good thing. Heavy means it’s solid. Heavy means it’s real,” says Unruh.
Starting from Scratch
From harvest tables to platform beds, every item of furniture that Unruh builds is made-to-order. Whether a customer is inspired by an item they spotted on Unruh Furniture’s online gallery or by something from Pinterest, they’re encouraged to book an appointment in the Unruh showroom. From there, the Unruh Furniture team makes the process incredibly easy. After a short discussion and a small deposit, your custom-built furniture can be delivered to your home in six to seven weeks. And with eight species of hardwoods, plus Douglas fir and pine, and a wide variety of finishes to choose from, you’ll get exactly what you want. To start the conversation on your own piece of custom furniture, visit unruhfurniture.com.
12820 7th Street, Grandview, MO 64030 | 816-813-1066 | Photos by Allison Corrin Photography