Well-crafted, sturdy furniture is like good footwear. It underscores and supports daily life from one moment to the next, adding ease and comfort. Good furniture lasts for more than one lifetime, acquiring a patina of memories as it’s treasured and lived on—a blend of function and beauty. You won’t find that kind of furniture just any old where.
When you step through the doors of either Bare Furniture or A&G Custom Made Furniture on Route 209 in Accord, inhaling the scent of newly cut wood and looking around at the simple, clean design aesthetics, you’ll realize that their wares are meant to become part of your lifestyle and family heirlooms. You enter a world of genuine old-school artistry.
“My philosophy about business is this,” says Sarah Meni Weaver, the operator of Bare Furniture, “It doesn’t matter what type of individual you are, to run any successful business you need to have passion. Passion is what drives you, and without drive, no business would be successful. All of my family has passion; our passion just so happens to be our family—and, of course, each and every one of our businesses.”
These words are far more than an empty marketing slogan. A&G proprietor and Weaver’s father, Alex Kambouris, is an American success story ripped straight from the pages of a good novel: coming to New York as a sailor, falling in love with a trade and a woman, and finding the good life in the country with his first U.S. dollar still framed proudly on the wall. “I love being able to pursue what my father worked so hard for,” says Weaver. “He came to this country with not a nickel to his name, just hope and the willpower to succeed. With his hard work, sweat, tears, and the love of his life—my mother—by his side, he was able to do just that. And once he and my mother started a family, there was never any stopping him.”
As his children neared adulthood, Alex succeeded in infusing them with his devotion to quality and the kind of business principles that keep customers coming back. “My father approached me with a business proposition at the end of tenth grade,” says Weaver. “He wasn’t sure whether I would actually pursue it and take as much part as I did, but when I said yes to opening, managing, and running Bare Furniture, I meant it. I stayed after school three times a week with my math teacher to study percentages and profits. We opened in 2006, my junior year. I was already enrolled in college-level courses, pursuing my business management degree.”
Sarah’s brother George works with her father at A&G; her mother Dru accompanies her on buying trips to select Bare Furniture pieces. If something they’ve chosen is almost but, not quite, ideal for your home, Alex and George will happily customize the piece. In both businesses, the family has found that an educated furniture buyer makes the best customer.
“There’s more to a piece than meets the eye,” says Weaver. “It’s about wood, construction, quality, finishing, décor and creativity. One unit can be customized and finished so many different ways. Each customer has different ideas, and I get to be a part of that process... and I love when I get my shipments in, seeing the different pieces, examining the construction. My customers can feel sure I have thoroughly inspected the items I sell.”
Weaver thoroughly enjoys each and every one of her customers: “I get to meet such an array of different people, and I love that too. There is such diversity in our customers.” It’s an easy guess that Bare Furniture customers find themselves feeling the same way about their encounters with her—not to mention feeling much more comfortable and aesthetically gratified in their living quarters by the addition of her wares, beautifully finished, carefully delivered, assembled, and installed.
What’s next for this warm and lively clan? Well, look for a possible expansion of their outdoor furniture selection, currently in the planning phase. And don’t be surprised if, when you stop in to ogle Bare Furniture’s wares, you meet the third generation. “My two munchkins,” is how Sarah refers to her twins, Nikolas and Zoey. They’re not old enough for school yet, but in this family, you’re never too young to learn the scent and feel of fine wood and the joy of meeting people.
“I really seek to keep the shopping experience here different from the usual,” says Weaver, “We want people to enjoy the products, to understand and appreciate their quality. And when a customer leaves, they know they’ve been to a business that the owners have passionate love for.” Check out their website at agcustommade.webs.com and barefurnitureny.com for more information, or, better yet, experience their passion firsthand by visiting their store in Accord.
Visit Bare Furniture:
4737 Route 209, Accord, NY