Step into Urban Market, and one of the first things you might notice is the well-crafted furniture, end tables and lighting fixtures that meld seamlessly with the presentation-oriented décor of the store: Each of these pieces serves a display purpose, but they’re also for sale. The eclectic diversity and craftsmanship found here are courtesy of Marge Schumacher, owner of Yesterday’s Charm, one of the primary stores in the space off Highway 55 in Medina.
“We deliver everything straight to your home or office—the options are truly limitless,” she says.
One of these vendors that sells wares on a consignment basis at Urban Market is Tesoro Home Goods, locally owned and manufactured by husband-wife team Carlos and Erin Gonzalez. The couple met in the restaurant industry 11 years ago—Erin still works on the distributor side for U.S. Foods in Plymouth—but the artistry found in crafting food has transformed Carlos in an incredible way: primarily self-taught woodworking.
Like so many independent crafters, the Gonzalezes’ business started as a personal hobby and pastime that was soon being done for family, then friends, then friends of family and friends. “It’s based on taking what would have been someone’s trash and putting new life into it as a new piece. ‘One man’s trash is another man’s treasure’—that English saying is the inspiration for the Spanish name of the business, tesoro, meaning ‘treasure,’” Erin says. “Carlos is jumping in with both feet. He’s the craftsman and the carpenter … He is the real creative mind.”
While not every inch of their products is reclaimed, at least some part of each piece is, whether it be a metal industrial piece with a new top on it to create a table or an old piece of furniture that needs new life, or what Erin calls their “Restoration Hardware style”-ized lighting fixtures. “A lot of the pieces could be called industrial modern,” Erin says, “but Carlos has a great eye to not let some one component overpower the others, so the finished pieces have a real finesse in the beautiful details that aren’t too bulky or hardcore industrial.”
Every piece of furniture is a custom product, and therefore many of their favorite pieces have come from people’s “junk” that they bring in or revolve around a specific request that a potential client might have. Carlos has done many light fixtures and tables, mostly, Erin speculates, because that’s what he enjoys, but bar carts, stools, buffets and custom vanities top the list of requests, and nothing is out of the question.
While pieces at Urban Market are for sale as-seen, for their contracted custom work the Gonzalezes like to meet with clients in person, to understand the space in which they’re looking to place a piece, but they also can work off photos and ideas, Erin says. The first step is an interview to find out what space and material parameters are in play, ensuring that the client’s goals match their own understanding of the project.
“Carlos is all about functionality—you have to be when you have a small home with a family of five living in it—so function is the base of everything we do,” Erin says.
Costs are moderate, depending on size and scope of materials; tables range from $200 to $500, but the couple has smaller home décor pieces that start right around $20, many of which are on display at Urban Market. And the custom work can be focused to meet a budget: “Sometimes people just give us free license,” Erin says, “and sometimes we’ll ask if they have a price in mind and try to work toward that as well.”