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 When James Broyhill makes furniture or gift items, he employs wood from used bourbon barrels.


“The charring effect gives the bourbon or whiskey its color and in, in some regards, its taste,” said Broyhill of Heritage Handcrafted.

The technique that makes bourbon special also adds something to the pieces made by James.

“The patina in itself provides character to the actual wood,” said Broyhill.

Heritage Handcrafted only uses wood from barrels in which bourbon was aged mainly from Kentucky and Tennessee.

“Kind of what we built our company around is, is using story, or using a wood that tells a story,” said Broyhill.

Many will recognize the Broyhill name as James’ great-grandfather founded Broyhill Furniture Industries in 1926.

You could say this is the family business.

“It’s unique to have that heritage, but it’s also unique to kind of go down a different path with it, what I like to think is kind of outside of the box in terms of furniture building or in the furniture industry,” said Broyhill.

The items created by Heritage Handcrafted range from furniture to celebration boxes.

A recent twist has been to work directly with distillers to make product packaging.

“That seems to be a, again, a big hit with quite a few distillers,” said Broyhill.

Timing has been good for this venture as bourbon is as popular as ever and the public has a desire for products that redirect items headed for the landfill.

“A lot of interest in reclaimed material and using barrel wood it just adds to that,” said Broyhill.

As long as bourbon is hot, there will be plenty of material with which to work.

“More than supplied with enough barrels to make this worthwhile,” said Broyhill.

Heritage Handcrafted is going strong too employing shops in High Point and Hickory to meet demand.

“I see myself as more of a designer in figuring out how to make certain products from the material,” said Broyhill.

Taking all that into account, James is content and happy with the success he has created and willing to go wherever Heritage Handcrafted takes him.

“For the time, this is what I’m doing and certainly enjoying the process along the way,” said Broyhill.