Entrepreneurial spirit runs high on Delmarva, with a seemingly endless and steady string of new businesses popping up year after year. What’s more, that same entrepreneurial spirit seems to come by way of young, motivated locals who are itching to carve out a career befitting the life they’ve always dreamed of…and one that doesn’t necessarily fit the mold of the traditional nine to five. Our latest discovery on the local business circuit was Hunt & Lane; an Ocean City based furniture company with a mission to provide an exclusive yet affordable product that will functionally transform any dull space. After spying a few of their unique pieces around town, we knew we had to learn more about the story behind Hunt and Lane.
For owner Taber Bartoshesky, the idea for a top shelf furniture company was first born during his travels to Indonesia in 2011. “At that point, I just wanted to travel. Obviously for surfers Indonesia is a top destination, but I also got to learn so much about the lifestyle, the culture, and the décor,” he said, noting that he found himself admiring unique pieces that one wouldn’t find as easily back home. It wasn’t long before Bartoshesky was packing up a shipping crate with furniture and décor to bring back to Ocean City for re-sale. A few years later, fellow traveler and surfer Jon Lane came on board. The pair found themselves scouring Indonesia for unique pieces to refurbish for their customers back home, from coffee tables to chairs to bookshelves.
Most of their discoveries are found in small furniture shops and warehouses said Bartoshesky, “small mom and pop carpenter shops that have been doing this for generations.” All of the furniture is also 100 percent handcrafted from sustainable hardwoods, with the majority produced from Eco-friendly Indonesian Teak. “A lot of the time I’m finding these old, dusty gems in the back of someone’s warehouse,” he added. Once the pieces are selected, shipping containers are packed and sent back to the states where Bartoshesky gets to work refurbishing and selling from their warehouse in West Ocean City. Orders started coming in locally of course, but Bartoshesky found himself shipping pieces to interested buyers all over the country, including Texas, New York, Maine and even Hawaii. “I actually find myself getting too attached to the pieces,” he admitted. “It’s hard sometimes to sell them! Every piece is so different. We don’t even have three of the same pieces.”
So far, Bartoshesky’s favorite piece has been the re-purposed Indonesian Lumpangs. A Lumpang is a primitive tool that was once used to turn rice into flour and coffee beans into grounds. “In certain places they actually still use them for that, but you can also find them just lying around in villages, it’s sort of a relic.” After uncovering a few on his trip last year, Bartoshesky decided to give the artifact, which is shaped like a canoe, a new life as a coffee table. He hopes to bring back more this year, with plans to re-purpose the Lumpangs into tables, planters, and display cases.
Also on the horizon for Bartoshesky, whose wife will be partnering with him in this year’s endeavor, is a storefront. The pair have been looking for the perfect space to set up shop. “It’s going to be a big step – our first retail store!” Of course that means their upcoming trip to Indonesia will include lots of time spent collecting inventory to stock the store when they return in a few months. Smaller pieces will be added to the mix as well, with an emphasis on artwork, accent pieces, carvings, lamps, and tableware. Top shelf, re-purposed furniture will remain in the rotation as well, with hopes for a wide range of options for customers looking for that perfect piece to complete their home.
When we wrapped up our interview, Bartohshesky was less than two weeks from boarding a plane with his wife and baby for their latest adventure. With big plans on the horizon, we are certainly looking forward to seeing what they return with for summer 2016…and for their first storefront!
Interested in learning more about Hunt & Lane? Follow them on Facebook and Instagram or check out their website. Their pieces are also on display (for purchase) at Real Raw Organics on 35th Street in Ocean City and at the soon-to-be-open Berlin Printery/CFD Fine Jewelry Shop on Main Street in Berlin.