A Family Tradition: From the Forty
By Laurel Ciohon
Established in 2004 in Maplewood, Wisconsin, From the Forty specializes in making rustic log furniture made primarily from white cedar. The handcrafted furniture is still constructed in Maplewood, but, due to business growing considerably over the years, owners Geoff and Holly Hansen moved their showroom to the Main Street Shops (Egg Harbor) in October of 2015. Most of the wood used in their beautiful pieces comes from trees in managed forest programs or from storm damage. Almost all the wood they use is sawn by their own sawmill.
It all started when Geoff’s grandfather, Harold Voeks, began making rustic furniture during his retirement. Harold would make and sell log benches and stools similar to the ones in the current showroom. He also made cedar log flagpoles and fences and eventually passed his handcrafting skills down to Geoff and Holly. The name From the Forty is in honor of Geoff's grandfather. Ever since Geoff can remember, when his grandfather Harold would get ready to head out to the woods to go logging he would say "Bye, I'm going to get some logs From the Forty."
When Harold unfortunately developed Lou Gehrig’s disease, his ability to make his one-of-a-kind products was prematurely halted. Geoff and Holly stepped in to help him fill his orders, and continued to work with him until he was no longer able to work at all. When Harold passed away in 2000 at the age of 81, the Hansen’s started their furniture business mainly as a hobby. They would sell benches and stools in their yard and at local farm markets.
Orders would pile in to the point where they couldn’t keep up with them while still maintaining full-time jobs apart from woodworking. Geoff eventually quit his job in banking and started making furniture full-time in May 2003. They not only make most of the furniture you see in their showroom/retail store, but entire households of furniture, such as bed frames, dressers, bathroom accessories, TV stands, and tables. Holly also started making stunning custom signs, with many of her design options on display in the showroom. Most of their items can be viewed on their website: www.fromtheforty.com.
I had the pleasure of browsing through From the Forty this summer and was in awe of the quality of products in their Egg Harbor store. There were gorgeous stools, dressers, dog bowl stands, and small benches made from the finest white cedar and sanded to a velvety smooth finish. In addition to the small furniture pieces, From the Forty features many unique Door County gifts and souvenirs, such as ornaments, magnets, wine holders, pillows, and picture frames, plus much more! I’m a huge retro camper enthusiast and was excited to see some retro camper items available. I happily purchased a rustic, hand-cut metal retro camper magnet.
From the Forty is located in the Main Street Shops at 7828 Hwy 42 in downtown Egg Harbor. They are open Monday-Saturday from 10am-5pm and Sunday from 10am-4pm, or call any time to make an appointment: 920-868-5501 during store hours, or after hours at 920-856-6926. You can view their products anytime online at www.fromtheforty.com or visit them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/FromtheFortyLLC/. And, they are very happy to answer any and all questions!