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Craftsman aims to raise money online to fund eco-friendly furniture

Raising $20,000 in 30 days for an innovative eco-friendly furniture project isn’t the most appealing notion to most young professionals who have recently left the business world, but a Davis man has created something that might just be worth the risk.

Joshua Rutherford, 34, of Davis left real estate after the economy crashed and decided to take the plunge to turn his longtime passion for sustainable woodworking into a full-time and pioneering small business. He breathes new life into local urban trees, otherwise destined for the mulch pile or burned for firewood, by turning them into handcrafted eco-furniture.

Rutherford’s first collection, “Honoring Fallen Trees,” just launched via Kickstarter.com and consists of a Zen-like designed bike shelf, wine rack and bookshelf handcrafted from salvaged local urban hardwoods.

The U.S. Forest Service estimates that the salvaged timber generated every year from urban tree removals could produce up to 3.8 billion board feet of lumber. The city of Sacramento and Sacramento Tree Foundation are ramping up for the city’s first Urban Wood Rescue Program.

Rutherford is on a mission to help push this concept forward. To help finance the idea, he’s running a Kickstarter campaign to raise the $20,000 necessary to continue his design work and expand milling and production to a larger scale.

Kickstarter campaigns operate under an “all-or-nothing” funding model, so if the “Honoring Fallen Trees Shelving Collection” project doesn’t reach its goal at the end of its 30-day run on Kickstarter (April 21), Rutherford will go home empty-handed.

“Consider donating as little as $1 to help his project come to life,” a news release said. “If you decide to donate more, you could be the proud owner of some local, beautiful and pioneering eco-furniture.”

Special to The Enterprise

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