The idea came like a thunderbolt.
It came to Matthew Basan, a third-generation furniture maker from Toronto, after a severe thunderstorm brought down several of his community's centuries-old oak trees.
Determined not to let the downed trees "meet a fruitless end as firewood," Matthew came up with a better plan, taking a tree with a past and giving it a future, as furniture. He calls the work "the final fruit of the family tree."
His father had planted the seeds for the project when he made a bureau for Matthew as a gift. If the furniture had come from a tree with sentimental value, Matthew reasons, it would have been perfect.
Although Matthew had already decided on a career in furniture design and construction and was planning to open his own shop, his family tree plan changed everything.
Jay Brown, Matthew's partner in their new Sound Design shop at 400 Queen Street East in Toronto, said that Matthew "realized this was an extraordinary opportunity, exponentially more meaningful than his previous plan, and life altering for himself, as he knew how much more gratifying his life’s work would now become."
Here's what they do, straight from their blog: "We take the one living record of your family's shared life, the family tree, and reveal the beauty beneath as we transform it into a number of beautiful, handcrafted pieces, together forming your family's collection - homegrown, thoughtfully processed, handmade furniture."
So, here they are, two young guys with a dream for the future with reverence for the past, with a new shop in the heart of Corktown, the oldest (and currently being revitalized) district in "The City of Trees."
They promise to post their thoughts on inadequate tree removal statutes, the planting and harvesting of trees, identifying trees by GPS and other environmentally and socially responsible tree-related issues
It's entrepreneurs like Matt and Jay that help connect generations in a positive way.