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Petaluma’s Sons of Salvage goes against the grain

If it seems like piles of discarded wood are disappearing from the roadside in Petaluma, it’s not an illusion.

It’s probably the work of Aaron Beatrice or Serge Biryukov, who are scooping up material in anticipation of creating another unique furniture design for their innovative Petaluma-based company, Sons of Salvage.

The duo, friends since elementary school in Terra Linda and now in their early thirties, have stumbled upon a crowd pleasing business making unusual and one-of-a-kind wooden furniture for restaurants and other businesses.

“We have been artsy and artistic and did different things with our hands. We got into woodworking by necessity,” Beatrice said. “We did not have any money to furnish our apartments so we had to make the furniture. We put photos of the things we made on Instagram and then people started ordering the furniture and we started our business.”

Downtown Petaluma’s merchants have taken a particular shine to the Sons of Salvage aesthetic, and their designs can be found at the Shuckery, Speakeasy, the Big Easy, Prodigy Hairdressing and Griffo Distillery, with more to come. The quirky upstart has even gotten some significant recognition, and was recently named best furniture maker in the North Bay by SF Magazine.

The friends’ first commission was in March 2015, when the pair made a reception desk for the Oakland Fitness Company in Oakland where Beatrice lives. They then started making the furniture in Beatrice’s mother’s basement before moving their operation to a barn in the Petaluma countryside. The two also have a retail shop at 145 Kentucky St., above the Opera House Collective.

Beatrice and Biryukov pride themselves in being the ultimate in green building, since all the wood used in their creations is reclaimed.

“We get wood from all over the Bay Area,” Biryukov said. “We have a couple of contacts, like a guy who does fence building. When we first started, we were nervous about where we would get all the wood. But, people contact us through social media and let us know about friends with barns and fences.”

The designs themselves use the character of the wood, whether it’s old fence pieces and a bicycle wheel crafted into a picture holder, sides of a barn assembled into a table or the bones an old ornate sofa given new life as a bench.

Before starting Sons of Salvage, Beatrice and Biryukov spent an intense year, along with their girlfriends, living and working in Boston helping out in Beatrice’s family restaurant.

“The four of us lived together. We had just one car between us. It was a great learning experience about work and effort,” Biryukov said. “We did everything - the four of us, marketing, serving, cooking, cleaning, everything. We learned what we were capable of doing and how far we were willing to go to get the job done.”

The partners are both still employed at restaurants. That helps pay the bills but it also helps them keep in touch with the industry, and one of their latest projects is constructing 75 sake gift boxes for Nobu Restaurant in Malibu.

“We know the trends and what people are thinking about and what they are concerned with,” Biryukov said. “We hope to get into bigger restaurants although we enjoy the custom work, too.”

The pair complements each other in both work style and talents.

“Serge did take a year of wood shop and is very logical and calculated,” Beatrice said. “I am imaginative and creative. The final result of our product is the balance of the two of our minds working on a project. We make it up as we go. That is what makes it special since we don’t have to stick by rules.”

Their families are involved in the business as well. Biryukov’s wife and mother-in-law, both from Petaluma where Biryukov lives now, created the eye-catching logo.

Beatrice and Biryukov are excited to realize the potential of the company and to see where it leads them. They hope that the business keeps growing to the point where they can hire a staff and quit their restaurant jobs so they can work on Sons of Salvage exclusively. In the meantime, they’re having fun exploring this new venture.

“The best part of this is working with my best buddy every day,” Biryukov said. “It’s really cool making something custom and seeing people’s reaction to it. Turning trash into a usable piece of furniture or art is great. And it is great to put our stamp on Petaluma.”

Beatrice agreed.

“It’s a labor of love,” he said.

Visit sonsofsalvagefurniture.bigcartel.com for more information.

(Contact Elaine Silver at argus@arguscourier.com)

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