2015 – Designer Bios

Want to know more about the creative contestants participating in this year’s Furniture Flip? Read on.

Jeanne Keith 

Bend ReStore 2015 Furniture Flip-Jeanne's Junk

A Jeanne’s Junk creation.

Jeanne Keith wears many hats: She’s the owner of The Garbage Gnome (garbage & gardens), a property clean-up company based in Powell Butte that specializes in doing the work that no one else wants to do while emphasizing the importance of salvage and recycling. She’s also the owner of Jeanne’s Junk, a business that came about because of all the great usable items reclaimed and recycled from The Garbage Gnome that were destined for the landfill.  About six months ago, Jeanne started her third business: Industrial Reclaim, which upcycles and repurposes items that were discarded as garbage.  She also does custom furniture painting and rustic sign painting.

Why take the Furniture Flip Challenge?
“I joined the Bend ReStore Furniture Flip because it is truly what I deal with every day,” Jeanne says. “This is a fun event to help get the word out about all the possibilities of reusing what is already out there while raising money for a great program.

“I hope to bring awareness to the local community that there are businesses like mine and the ReStore that are willing to recycle these items and that they don’t all need to go to the dump.”

Contact Jeanne: 541-480-8654
Company websites: https://www.facebook.com/GarbageGnome

Mike Ross & Mallory Queen

Mike Ross, Natural Edge Furniture

Mike Ross

Mike Ross, owner/president of Natural Edge Furniture, is the genius behind the company’s organic industrial aesthetic. He opened Natural Edge in 2010 and plays a vital role in every aspect of the business, which produces modern, organic, eco-friendly designs composed of natural-wood slabs paired with clean steel bases, for every room in the home or office. He’s been spotted doing everything from hauling fallen trees to writing and producing a local television ad. Mike spent many years of his career selling handmade products at arts and crafts fairs because he truly enjoys the producer to consumer aspect of his business.

In addition to being an entrepreneur, Mike enjoys white-water rafting, camping, biking and skiing. He’s a white-water guide for friends and family, and his snappy sense of humor is always getting him into trouble (watch out for his story about the psychic and the German Shepherd!).

Mike has partnered with one of his Natural Edge cohorts, Mallory Queen, whose background is in fine art, especially painting and photography.

Why take the Furniture Flip Challenge? 

“It’s at my core to reuse and recycle,” Mike says. “ReStore does just that. So, it turns out, I was born to do this challenge.”

Contact Info: 541-728-3555
Company website: Natural Edge Furniture

Chris Gorman

Bend ReStore 2015 Furniture Flip-Chris Gorman

Chris Gorman

For Chris Gorman, repurposing is all about the journey: She simply loves creating. In the past, she’s done fine art with oils, has sewed a lot, tackled decorating, refinished furniture, and planted and replanted gardens.

When she started volunteering at the Bend ReStore four years ago, she began to discover that items that had been donated could be recycled and then upcycled into new pieces that appealed to all ages.

For Chris, repurposing castaway pieces has been an exhilarating process of rethinking broken, damaged, dated and discarded items— changing them so they look current and have a “fun” look. Her mantra? It isn’t damaged or flawed…it’s an opportunity!

Why take the Furniture Flip Challenge?
“That would have to be the fact that I head the CUP (Creative Upcycle Program) at the Bend ReStore,” Chris says. “And the fact that all kinds of upcycling ideas are constantly going through my mind. My hope is that attendees at the show realize that with a little bit of work, amazing transformations can be made with unwanted and unloved items. They become one-of-a-kind creations.”

Contact Info: 541-372-6709 (the Bend ReStore, where she works Mondays, Tuesday and Thursdays)

Tambi Lane and Jason Whalen 

Bend ReStore 2015 Furniture Flip

Jason Whalen & Tambi Lane

Tambi Lane and Jason Whalen have been building and creating for almost two years together. Co-Owners of Armature, located in the Old Ironworks District, repurposing is a part of their daily lives.

Tambi has lived in Bend for nearly 13 years; she and her two daughters partnered with Habitat for Humanity 10 years ago to build their first home. Although Jason is more of a newcomer, both to Bend and to building, he is finding that he’s more of an artist than he originally thought. They both love the treasure hunt and enjoy spending time working on projects both at home and in their art studio.

Why take the Furniture Flip Challenge?
“We love to support the ReStore and Habitat for Humanity in any way we can,” Tambi says. “With our love of upcycling, it was a natural paring for us to join in as a designer.

“Our goal is to bring more awareness to recycling, repurposing, design and creativity. The nature of the Ironworks (where our studio is located) is reuse. We’ve done away with plastic during events, we upcycle and repurpose anywhere we can, and love to turn the unexpected into a wonderful piece of art.”

Contact Info: 541-390-7666
Company website: Tambi Lane Photography

Lisa Rindfleisch and Julie Story

Bend ReStore 2015 Furniture FlipSisters Lisa  Rindfleisch and Julie Story spent their early years living above their parents’ second-hand store in Prineville. Out of necessity, they helped clean and resell all kinds of treasures.

Now that they’re a bit older and more “seasoned” — like the bits and pieces they’ve picked up along the way — they’ve continued their collaboration by creating two- and three-dimensional collages sourced from found objects.

Why take the Furniture Flip Challenge?
“We jumped on board the Flip design challenge at the suggestion of a local shopkeeper, who thought the project might be right up our alley,” Julie says.”When you mix up fun and a wonderful cause, who wouldn’t say ‘Let’s do it!’?” All of that and the honor of being part of another wonderful Habitat endeavor makes it especially meaningful to us.

“We’re excited to bring the idea of our art to pieces of furniture that will go towards helping someone realize a home of their own. We hope you’ll find a ‘treasure’ in each one.”

Contact Info: jsbulldogmom@gmail.com (Julie Story)

Allison Ripley

Bend ReStore 2015 Furniture Flip-Allison Ripley

Allison Ripley

Allison Ripley comes from an extremely creative family in many different ways and says she hadn’t exactly found her “creative niche” until she graduated college and gained a lot more free time.

Like many folks, she became obsessed with Pinterest and began making small pieces for herself. Before long, she was also creating pieces for her close friends and family.

Why take the Furniture Flip Challenge?
“I love taking something with little to no purpose and giving it the boost it needs to become an item for someone to love,” Allison says. “I love color and rustic decor, and in the few years I’ve been creating, my home has made a total 180.

“I’m also a very proud born-and-raised Oregonian and love crafting anything Pacific Northwest-inspired.  Although I’ve never sold any of my pieces or made anything for an individual I don’t know, I’m excited for this opportunity, and hope I can bring some fun, colorful pieces to the show.

Ben Hull & Julie Connell

Bend ReStore 2015 Furniture Flip-Ben Hull

Ben Hull

Ben Hull and Julie Connell are the creative forces behind Connell Hull Company, a craft design studio whose focus is creating amazing spaces and experiences through good design. Connell Hull Company’s stamp can be seen throughout the Pacific Northwest in office, retail, commercial, residential and restaurant spaces.

Ben Hull is an artist to the core.

He majored in fine arts with an emphasis in sculpture, and his design work and creative vision is crafted through the eyes of an artist.

Bend ReStore 2015 Furniture Flip-Julie Connell

Julie Connell

Julie Connell joined the company this year after leaving a nearly decade-long career in the publishing industry. She’e excited to put her experience and passion for sales, marketing and her eye for design to good use at Connell Hull Company.

Why take the Furniture Flip Challenge?
“We want to bring more awareness to the importance of up-cycling,” Julie says. “The Challenge has inspired us to make something out of ‘nothing.’ We see potential in what most people would disregard. It’s a practice in creative utility.”

Contact Info: Ben: 971-506-5176; ben@connellhullcompany.com,
Julie: 541-241-4345;  julie@connellhullcompany.com
Company website: Connell Hull Company

Corie Ball and Larry Heath

Bend ReStore 2015 Furniture Flip-Corie Ball

Corie Ball

Corie Ball likes to reuse anything. “I have always liked doing stuff,” she says, “and when Hurricane Katrina hit the South, I was there for six months helping teams rebuild. I learned a lot and saw a lot of waste.”

A couple years after Corie returned, she purchased her own home and started taking out walls, remodeling her home using mainly recycled and found items. “I’ve discovered, since owning my own home, that I like to reuse stuff and have found joy in making new stuff,” she says.

Bend ReStore 2015 Furniture Flip-Larry Heath

Larry Heath

Larry Heath has been a house painter for 20 years and has been remodeling homes for the last five years.

Why take the Furniture Flip Challenge?
“I really hate to see all the things that get thrown away at Knot Landfill when we take our remodel trash to the landfill,” Larry says. “I feel rewarded when I can take something that others throw away and make it something that someone would want to put in their house or yard.”

Stemach Design & Architecture team

The name Stemach Design should be familiar with fans of the new Bend Area ReStore: the Stemach Design team donated many hours and a tremendous amount of creative effort in overseeing the transformation of the former Backstrom Builders site into the current ReStore. They’re well-known in our community (and have received numerous awards) for their thoughtful, sustainable approach to architecture, renovation and product design. chandelier by Stemach Design & Architecture - Copy

Joining owners Stacy and Rachel Stemach on the Flip project are Stemach Design staff members Matt Tynan, Christian Torchio and Samantha Schonegg.

Why take the Furniture Flip Challenge?
“We love a good design challenge,” Rachel Stemach says; “and it isn’t everyday we get a design challenge like this one — where the goal is to create a thoughtful design from an existing product that can be reused in a new way.

“The design/construction business is so busy right now, but doing this was important to us: We love supporting our local non-profit groups. This also gives us a creative outlet we don’t ordinarily have.”

Contact Info: (541) 647-5661
Company website: Stemach Design & Architecture


Sally Ragsdale-Smith and Jeffrey Smith

Although this is Sally Ragsdale-Smith’s first collaboration with the Bend Area Habitat, she’s no stranger to the concept of giving back. Far from it. In fact, she says she does as much volunteering as she can, and has — for many years. A lifetime member of the VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars), she also helped raise funds for what is now Saving Grace (when it was known as Central Oregon Battering and Rape Alliance), and last year donated a quilt to Healing Reins Therapeutic Riding Center for its annual auction.

Sally, who recently retired from a career in construction engineering, and her husband, Jeffrey, have been married for the past 13 years; she introduced him to volunteering too.

An avid recycler for 40-plus years, Sally’s a county girl at heart: She and Jeffrey have seven different gardens, raise their own chickens and do their own repair work. They also make things for family, friends and neighbors.

“With my background, I know how things go together and work,” she says. Jeffrey’s experience as a pressman, woodsman and hunter also come in  handy.

Why take the Furniture Flip Challenge?
“I have 13 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, and I love teaching them about gardening and repurposing things,” Sally says.

Neither she nor Jeffrey is in the best of health: Sally has diabetes and a genetic eye disease; Jeffrey is deaf and has cerebral palsy. But that has hardly deterred them from achieving their goals.

“We call ourselves ‘handi-capable,’ Sally says “Between the two of us, we get the job done.”



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