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Although reclaimed lumber makes for a durable building material, living oldgrowth wood is nearing extinction in the United States. According to the US Forest Service, there is approximately 3% of old-growth forest left in North America. However, Gary mentioned that utilizing reclaimed wood helps minimize the impact of this issue. “I'm aware that trees are not infinitely available, but by supporting sustainable forestry and reclaiming timber, the environmental footprint is small,” he said.

Krystal Reinhard in the Market Street storefront of Old Soul Decor photo Justin James Muir

When the personality of reclaimed wood is preserved, anyone working with these materials gains aesthetic charm, alongside the structural-functional advantages of the lumber, while doing something nice for Mother-Nature.

REIMAGINE Old Soul Décor

Nothing represents Old Soul Décor’s aesthetic better than the vintage teak Danish shelving unit on the wall that holds a signature eclectic mix of offerings: Locally crafted leather goods from Tesoro, a pair of midcentury milk glass carafes, Zoet Bathlatier’s hand-poured candles, an antique starburst clock, ceramics from Louise Vance, SOKO upcycled, fairtrade jewelry. Although from different periods of history, the items share a classic appeal. The look is timeless—not ahead of the curve or behind it. Because, according to Paul Mangan, “There is no curve.” Paul’s one of a few people who’ve been pulled into the orbit of Old Soul Décor owner Krystal Reinhard. After just a casual chat about the shop and Krystal’s beliefs, Paul knew the passion that was at work in Old Soul, and he joined the shop. Today he’s part of the team, alongside veteran woodworker Tristram MacDonnell. Krystal’s commitment to sustainability grew out of her upbringing. “I'm the first generation born in the United States, and my family came here with very little,” she said. “We were brought up to appreciate what we have, to reuse and repurpose items, to have a garden. We were taught to play outside and not use electronics.” In addition to sensibly sourced products, Old Soul also takes care to employ sustainable practices within their business. “Our bags and boxes are made out of recycled paper; we hand stamp our logos,” said

Krystal. “We've outfitted the store using reclaimed wood, our lighting is energy efficient, and we recycle and repurpose.” Old Soul is also committed to giving vintage and antique items a new life, by building custom pieces of furniture and accent walls in their wood shop two blocks away. The accent wall in the front of the store is comprised of wood slats salvaged from old homes in the borough. Colors range from blond, to tan, to dark gray and black, all the natural colors of the wood that was hidden behind the plaster. These accent walls are becoming a popular request. One of their upcoming projects is the lobby of Dare Automotive on Westttown

Road, which was described as a mix of industrial and local, comprising mostly cedar and steel. Examples of Old Soul’s work are already all over town, like the hostess stand at Sterling Pig Brewery next door, which is built from wood salvaged from an 1800s-era house in Gladwyne. Just as many of us find the influence of our childhood inescapable as adults, Krystal’s upbringing has been instrumental in fashioning her passions, like a deep appreciation for handmade items. “It is my goal to expose my clients and customers to vendors and artisans who practice sustainability and to give them products that are not only friendly to our environment, but also safe for them to use and wear.”

APRIL 2019 THEWCPRESS.COM

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Profile for The WC Press

The WC Press Sustainability Issue - April 2019  

Voice of the Borough

The WC Press Sustainability Issue - April 2019  

Voice of the Borough