Welcome to Birchwood Furniture Galleries’ first blog post.
We are a Calgary-based, family-run quality upholstery and case-good furniture store.
We look forward to sharing what we’re up to through our monthly blog posts. We will give you the inside scoop on our furniture lines and help you get to know the Birchwood family!
But before we do that, here’s Our Story:
The history of Birchwood Furniture is, in a sense, a glimpse into the history of this great city and country.
It was back in 1958 that our family and Canada first met for the first time. Oh, we weren’t “Birchwood Furniture” back then. In fact, we weren’t anything furniture. Instead, we were a dream in our father Willy’s heart: an adventurous and honourable man of Mennonite faith and Russian origin (modern-day Ukraine), who stepped into Winnipeg — in a snowstorm of course – after a long journey that included stops in Germany and South America. He was just 17 years old, and arrived without much more than a commitment to hard work, the desire to put down roots in his adopted country, and the dream of making a better life in a new land.
Admittedly, the first few years were tough as nails. But our father’s spirit was made of sterner stuff than even the harshest Winnipeg winter, and he soon found a niche in the construction trade, framing homes, roofing, and earning a reputation as a man of considerable skills and heart.
Those skills, and that heart, soon caught the eye of a furniture manufacturer, who offered him a job in framing sofas. It was here that dad discovered the art and the science of furniture craftsmanship; a special combination that would eventually become synonymous with the name “Birchwood Furniture.”
But before that was the detail that changed everything: a move to Calgary in 1968, on the heels of a job offer as a foreman. It was here that dad honed his business skills, and helped his new employer turn the company around and earn a profit.
And it was also right here, in the heart of Calgary, that Birchwood Furniture was born in 1978. Not surprisingly, Dad built it on the principles that he had learned through his in-depth, personal experience in the furniture manufacturing industry: lasting quality, distinct styling, premium comfort and dependable service.
Of course, added to that was dad’s tremendous love for his new home of Calgary. And that love and dedication was (and remains) a big reason why Birchwood is committed to local production. This commitment not only boosts the local economy and puts our neighbours to work in quality jobs, but it allows our customers to receive their purchases quickly and safely.
Indeed, over the past three decades, we’ve seen many changes at Birchwood Furniture; including changes in ourselves. As kids, we still remember “pushing brooms” every Saturday and summer, not realizing at the time how profound an impression it was all making on us.
We lived and breathed “Birchwood” long before we formally joined it as professional adults, and in 2009 created Birchwood Furniture Galleries so that we could offer our premium products to even more customers through our elegant and fully-furnished Calgary showroom.
Yes, you can say that a lot has changed since the very beginning, on that cold, wintry day when dad arrived in Canada with a big dream, a bigger heart, and the will to outlast the obstacles in his way.
But there are some things that haven’t changed at all. Commitment. Quality. Value. Service. Community. These haven’t changed, and they never will, because they’re the foundation of what and who we are.
Today, the story that dad started all those years ago continues to be written — by us, our wonderful Birchwood Furniture Gallery team, and course, by you, our valued customers.
Because you’re a big part of the Birchwood story, too.
Thank you for helping us write the next chapters!
Marilee and Bryan
Birchwood Furniture Galleries