MEET ALEX & LINDSAY: The couple behind Re:work
They’re passionate about world-class work, sustainability and each other. They’re wowing Columbus—and beyond—with custom pieces from stunning dining tables to retail fixtures for Homage. And they’re growing by the month, carefully building their top-notch team and prepping an upcoming move into a spacious 10,000-square-foot shop. (They’re also raising three kids younger than 7, just for good measure.) Here, meet Ohio State University alums Lindsay and Alex Remley, the refreshingly authentic, 34-year-old married masterminds behind Re:work Furnishings.
Q: How was Re:work born?
Lindsay: Years ago, we were given a pile of barn wood. Alex used it to make our dining room table. It was the birth of Re:work Furnishings.
Q: What’s your mission?
Lindsay: We are both creatively driven and like items that have purpose. Having fewer items but high-quality items is the way we live our life. We want you to have beautiful, well-made furniture and home decor that will stand the test of time—and your kids! We want people to realize you can have quality custom furniture at an accessible price point.
Alex: I want to build cool shit that people like and that is functional.
Q: So how did you learn the art of woodworking?
Alex: Self taught. Trial and error.
Q: Speaking of trial and error, you have 9-and-a-half fingers. What’s the story?
Alex: I have 9 and 2/3 fingers! That third of a finger was removed by a surgeon after a woodworking accident. Lesson: Take your time; don’t cut corners.
Lindsay: I am still traumatized by this moment—across the country and unable to be there to help or for support.
Q: You use reclaimed Ohio barn wood and locally sourced, sustainable virgin wood. What does that mean, and why is that important to you?
Lindsay: It means we pick high-quality and thoughtful materials. Reuse and redesign are integral to our lives and our interior design style. Less waste, better materials, good design.
Alex: We reuse materials and source locally to support other local small businesses. It’s an important foundation for our lives.
Q: You live green in many ways beyond work. How?
Lindsay: We try to be thoughtful about our belongings. Our home is filled with family pieces, vintage and second-hand furnishings and decor. Our kids wear lots of hand-me-
downs and used items. It’s amazing what can be found with just a little digging and effort. We also don’t believe in having lots of stuff. Quality over quantity.
Q: You specialize in custom projects. What items are most popular?
Lindsay: Barn doors and tables.
Alex: We make a lot of barn doors.
Q: Any favorite or noteworthy custom projects?
Lindsay: I love the two pergolas we’ve built. They are so beautiful and expand the outdoor living and entertaining space. I feel like they really improve the quality of our clients’ lives at home.
Alex: I really enjoyed a Murphy Bed project we did earlier this year, from the design and idea to watching it come together. I also really enjoy setting records for the largest table we’ve built. It currently stands at 13.5’, and we shipped it to London, England.
Q: You do a lot of custom work for companies, too. What’s really excited you?
Alex: Working on the new Homage store at the mall in Cincinnati. It really gave us an opportunity to show off the metal work we can do. Plus, supporting a local business is always a bonus.
Lindsay: It hasn’t opened yet, but the new Watershed Kitchen & Bar. We built many of the tabletops in the restaurant and the patrician walls, doors and countertops in the bathrooms. The space is beautiful!
Q: People love your giftables—especially at this time of year. What are your top sellers?
Lindsay: Coasters, succulent containers and picture frames. Easy gifts for almost anyone and at an accessible price point.
Alex: Cutting boards have been a big hit this year, especially since they give back.
Q: Any personal favorites?
Alex: We use our cutting board the most.
Lindsay: Those boards are gorgeous—real show-stoppers. I use ours all the time.
Q: What else in your house have you made?
Alex: My favorite pieces I’ve made for the house are the night stands in our bedroom. I like the design and function of them. They solved a problem in our bedroom, and they are unique.
Lindsay: Alex has built our front entry table, mantle, kitchen table, dining table, master bedroom night stands, standing mirror, outdoor dining table, outdoor shelving and is
working on the kids’ LEGO table, which is coming soon. Our home is like a mini showroom.
Q: Speaking of your kids, do they enjoy being in the shop?
Lindsay: Jackson is always saying he is going to be in charge at Re:work when he is older. He’s gunning for our positions. Dylan likes wearing the ear protection at the shop and turning on the dust collection system. Oliver never goes anywhere without his tape measure. Like, anywhere.
Q: Scariest part of what you do?
Alex: The danger of working with power tools.
Lindsay: Being completely self-employed and having three kids. Also, power tools.
Q: Most fun part?
Alex: Working for myself. Being creative and working with clients to create a unique piece.
Lindsay: Delivery. The excitement and completion of a space for our clients.
Q: How do the two of you work together as business partners?
Alex: We butt heads sometimes, but we make it work.
Lindsay: We operate under the “divide and conquer” mantra. So much to be done, so little time and so many kids. I mean at some point, it won’t be like that, but we are in the weeds of parenthood. Three kids under 7 is no joke. Neither is building a business! Also, we like alcohol. Kidding. Sort of. We always make time for the two of us, it’s important to remember to nurture the relationship and not just become mom and dad or business partners. He truly is my favorite human.
Q: How did you meet?
Alex: Randomly at a bar. There is a long story. I’ll tell you sometime.
Lindsay: I hate this question. Alex loves this question.
Q: Best thing about your partner?
Alex: Her unyielding love and ability to put up with me and my frustrating ways.
Lindsay: He is patient and dedicated in everything he does. His relationships are sacred to him, and he is fiercely loyal. Alex is also the hardest working person I know. He is also the most wonderful and engaged father. He makes me a better parent.
Q: Re:work opened in 2007 out of your garage. Then, in 2015, you launched a Kickstarter campaign, and more than 120 people pledged a total of $21,000+, making
yours one of Columbus’ top 10 Kickstarter campaigns that year. How did that make you feel?
Alex: It was exciting, awesome and humbling.
Lindsay: Funding is an amazing feeling. The support of friends, family and the community is a big confidence boost. I felt emotional and totally overwhelmed by all the support. I still feel that way.
Q: At the beginning of 2017, you’re moving into a 10,000 square-foot space and adding to your team, which will soon include about 10 people. How does the growth make you feel?
Lindsay: Scared and excited in all the best ways! Overflowing with ideas for the future. Grateful for our team. They are creative and fun and so dedicated. Our growth is a result of them.
Q: Are you still using that first table?
Lindsay: Yes. And it’s still my absolute favorite piece. It’s not the finest craftsmanship because it was the first, but you’ve got to start somewhere. I would never trade it. It’s perfect.
Dreaming it? Re:work can do it. Shop & get inspired at www.reworkfurnishings.com, or visit the shop in Grandview at 757 Adena Dr., Unit B, Columbus, Ohio 43215.