Bo moved to Detroit to design cars, but as it turned out the Motor City would reveal to her a higher calling: working with wood and reclaiming materials. Now Bo and her partner Kyle run a 24,000-sq-ft shop and design studio, Woodward Throwbacks, who's goal is to not only create stunning furniture, but to build a model for modern and sustainable manufacturing.
Tell us about your background and how you got started in woodworking and salvage?
My background has always been around design. I moved to Detroit to pursue a career in the automotive industry. However, within my 5-year career as a car designer I unintentionally found my new passion: woodworking.
The journey into salvage and woodworking began quickly after we noticed an abundance of discarded material in our neighborhood and thought, "Hey, that piece would actually be a really cool table!" So we started collecting everything from discarded lumber to broken end tables and started creatively designing pieces that we thought were interesting enough to fit in our home.
But most importantly I love learning the history of the materials we salvage and that we have the ability to share their stories through our new furniture creations.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
What I enjoy most about our work is the fact we get to work with a variety of materials, and that we have the creative freedom to design anything we want with them. I also love searching for those materials, it's like a treasure hunt! But most importantly I love learning the history of the materials we salvage and that we have the ability to share their stories through our new furniture creations.
How would you describe your aesthetic and what has influenced it?
I would describe my vibe as vintage eclectic. Since we're constantly working with salvaged materials of all styles and mediums, we've developed a style that is the perfect balance of new and old while highlighting original textures and patinas. As for my inspiration, I try to take in everything that's around me — whether it's the architecture or new materials coming into the shop.
What is your dream project?
My ultimate dream project is really any space in which I'm allowed to use 100% reclaimed and salvaged materials. I'd love to redesign a dreamy boutique hotel with good bones and lots of old world charm. It feels like we are working towards that goal, so hopefully it will happen sooner than later!/p>
What’s next for you and Woodward Throwbacks!?
Next steps for Woodward Throwbacks is to continue growing our team and developing our interior design studio. And, as always, keep challenging the misconceptions of reused and salvaged materials and how we can keep transforming them into our daily lives. We are launching a ton of new furniture and decor lines this year, and going forward I think we will continue to do these limited-run launches — whether they're limited because of the materials on hand or they're one of our new artist collabs series. We have been digging the small runs and the creativity it allows us to have on a regular basis.