It’s official…I’m starting a business!

My first recycled champagne cork board. © Ben Wurst

Well, after several years of making frames and framing my own photography, I’ve decided to start an official business! Some people might think I’m crazy since it will add more work for me, collecting and paying sales tax, year end tax filing, etc… I think it can only be positive. I went to college for Environmental Science, not for business management. One of the clear positives for having the business is so I can write-off all my purchases that I make for the business, like glass, wood glue, matboard, you get the point.

Most of my work has been as gifts for friends/family and as fundraisers for small non-profits, like the organization I work for: Conserve Wildlife Foundation of NJ (CWF). I really started making the frames that I currently sell in 2007 at the Women & Wildlife Awards by CWF. I make my frames from salvaged wood that I’ve found while on the job, from roadsides, and a few demolition jobs.

A recently made cork board using 100% salvaged materials. © Ben Wurst

Since 2009, I’ve listed stuff for sale on Etsy. More recently I have been listing more and more hand made items for sale there. For the most part I’ve focused on custom framing photo prints including my own photography in salvaged wood. Another thing I really enjoy making are recycled/upcycled cork boards from recycled wine corks. The first one I made was for my wife as an anniversary gift using recycled champagne corks, one of which was the cork from a bottle of presecco we drank on the night I proposed to her on October 13th, 2007.

My new business’s name is reclaimed. I’ve used this name since I started my store on Etsy in January 23, 2009. My place of business is my home in New Gretna, NJ. We bought our home in 2007 and since then I’ve worked hard to build a nice wood shop where I can successfully turn out quality products. I strive to keep my environmental footprint to a minimum and one way I do this is help reclaim old wood that would have otherwise been tossed into landfills. I hope that from seeing and buying my work people will think twice before tossing something in the trash. In the future I hope to expand my business to offer deconstruction services during construction and renovation projects in the southern and coastal areas of New Jersey.