The story behind the handmade wood furniture story James + James of Springdale is remarkable.
James Smith decided to build a coffee table in his garage one September day in 2011 and sell it to earn a little extra cash. Fast-forward 10-plus years and the company that sprang from that table is one of the fastest-growing private companies in the state.
But it made Whispers wonder: What ever happened to that original table? It might be worth a pretty penny as a collector’s item.
Smith said he has tried to trace it back to the original buyer through emails, since it was listed and purchased off Craigslist. He remembers delivering it to an apartment in Fayetteville but that is as detailed as his memory is.
“I think it is just lost to time,” Smith said. “They probably don’t even know they have it.”
It isn’t completely lost to time, though. Smith documented his first carpentry efforts on Facebook, posting pictures of his table coming to life so he knows exactly what it looked like.
In September 2021, he handed over pictures and specs to the head carpenter who now builds furniture for James + James to have him build a replica on the 10-year anniversary.
“I told him, ‘You need to do a really bad job on it,’” Smith said. “You can’t take it to the quality level we do now.’ He built an exact replica, and I put it in my office.”