Texas Country Furniture - heritage pieces for beautiful homes
By Carolyn B. Edwards BCC Staff Writer
When Scott Gambell came to the Texas Hill Country 23 years ago he knew something about construction and he had a sense of humor. Today, he puts both of those skills to work at his Texas Country Furniture shop overlooking Privilege Creek on State Highway 16.
Gambell's clever messages on the sign out front have brightened many a day and drawn customers through his front door. "Mom's off her rocker... buy her a new one!" said the sign around Mother's Day.
"I wake up at 2 o'clock in the morning with an idea for the sign," Gambell said. "It keeps people talking about us."
Gambell got into wood construction when a friend had some plantation shutters and needed someone to paint them. That segued into helping another friend build cabinets. About 15 years ago, he began crafting wood furniture and opened his shop on Privilege Creek in January 2002.
Today, Gambell fills his showroom with beautifully finished pieces made of mesquite and aromatic cedar. He makes almost all of the pieces in the shop out back. Not only does he sell locally, but on-line sales have sent his sturdy furniture all over the country.
In addition to those rockers for mom, which are by far his biggest sellers, he fashions beds, stools, an assortment of chair styles, dining room sets and bar sets. He also has a selection of smaller pieces like clocks, picture frames and mantles.
Lamps, candleholders and chests of various sizes stand throughout the spacious showroom.
"You have to have a wide variety on display," said Gambell. "I want the customers to see what we can do."
Gambell takes pride in using American-made hinges and drawer pulls and other American products and tools.
All of his wood comes from Texas. In addition to mesquite, he uses Western red cedar and aromatic cedar, not Hill Country juniper.
He does a lot of custom work and he does almost all of his own designs. Customers can send him their measurements or drawings and he'll be happy to provide a quote. Customer satisfaction is a priority for Gambell. "We stand by everything we make."
He is careful to take the time to dry his wood completely. Then he designs and creates the pieces working with the natural shape and color of the wood, bringing out its true beauty. "No two pieces are exactly alike, so every piece of furniture is unique in its own way," he said.
All of his pieces, interior and exterior, are sanded to a fine smooth surface. The interior pieces are finished with a satin conversion varnish that won't have water rings and can shrug off a hot pot with no damage. A top-quality exterior grade glue assures the long-term stability of each piece. All the patio pieces are finished with an exterior translucent oil based stain.
Gambell said that the first few years "I was open seven days a week."
Today, his hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 9 am to 11:30 am and from 12:30 to 5 pm.
If he has a secret to his small business success, it centers around hard work. "A lot of people don't want to work their business," he said. He didn't let limited resources stop him from getting started either. "I just had a little money and some tools, so I made a few pieces, and just started building from there." He began to add to his inventory a little at a time.
He also maintains a good relationship with other Hill Country furniture makers. "We send each other customers."
He urges new business people to "be stubborn and stick with it. And you gotta be honest!"
Gambell has two employees. His website at www.ranchdressin.com says, "We do not mass produce, which allows us to give total attention to detail and quality for your satisfaction."
If you're shopping for a signature piece for your home, or even that gift rocker for mom, stop in the showroom soon, or call 830-796-3311 for more information.
Pictured: Texas Country Furniture has been offering customers carefully hand-crafted furniture made of mesquite and cedar since 2002.
The spacious showroom at Texas Country Furniture has a wide selection of hand-crafted furniture ready to become the focal point of your home. If you don't see what you want, owner Scott Gambell will be happy to design and produce a custom piece just for you.
Every piece of furniture sold at Texas Country Furniture is created in the shop out back.