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A family kind of furniture

by: SPOKESMAN PHOTO: JOSH KULLA - Charisse Reentz (seated) and Haley Hawes are founders of Meteor Eight Furniture, which is based out of the West Linn home of Reentz. The company also has offices in Wilsonville.  The first time you look at MeteorEight furniture you might ask, “Why has nobody thought of this before?”

As it turned out, it took sisters Charisse Reentz and Haley Hawes, plus their husbands, Chris and Jake, to come up with an idea for a new kind of furniture that can be adjusted and placed just about anywhere in a home. In fact, it works so well that Reentz says her two sons now return their library books on time.

“They haven’t forgotten once!” Reentz said. “I’m so excited about it!”

Exclamation points abound when the two sisters — Charisse lives in West Linn, Haley in Wilsonville — talk about their new product, which they manufacture in their Wilsonville workshop.

However, Reentz noted, “We aren’t the only ones excited about this.” Which, of course, is why the two families have gone into business. Their enthusiasm was confirmed by the public reaction to the recent Home and Garden Show in Portland.

“The Home and Garden response was so great,” Hawes said. “People were so interested because we had created something new. People would tell us, ‘Your booth looks different every day.’ I told them, ‘Yeah, that’s because we have such a versatile product.’”

“We were really excited about it because this was our test market,” Reentz said. “It wasn’t just our friends saying, ‘You should definitely do this.’”

The first thing you notice about MeteorEight furniture is all of the little holes, and you soon find out why they are there. They allow an incomparable amount of adjusting to any home situation. It is especially suitable for children, as the amount of stuff they accumulate over the years keeps growing and growing. Need more trophy room? No problem. Need more room for baseball cards? Just add another drawer.

by: SPOKESMAN PHOTO: JOSH KULLA - Meteor Eight Furniture is based on boxes and pegs. Its like a giant peg board, only it holds your books, clothes, posters and anything else you can think of.

“Kids love the added shelves,” Reentz said. “It’s not me organizing their lives, it’s them.”

“It is super easy for a homeowner to use,” Hawes said. “It’s made out of birch plywood, it’s completely green, and it’s a lifetime kind of product.”

“It’s like an oversized peg board,” Reentz said. “It’s like a blank canvas.”

“For condo and apartment living it fits into small spaces,” Hawes said. “It’s easy to take with you.”

The sales pitch is easy, fast and expertly done by Hawes and Reentz since they are both real estate agents. But the reason they are over the moon about MeteorEight furniture is because it is a product of their extremely close-knit families. The sisters, husbands and sons (total of four) go on many camping trips far off the beaten track, and the idea for a new kind of furniture arose from their campfire talks. They decided to test the product on themselves, since Jake Hawes is a cabinet maker.

“For years so many people were asking us if we could make the same kind of furniture for them,” Reentz said. “But we all had regular jobs. One day we pulled the trigger and signed up for the Home and Garden Show.”

The rest will be furniture history, they hope. Since Haley and Chris are in sales, Jake is a wood craftsman, and Chris is an IT person, it seems their team has everything needed for success.

“We launched everything, including our website, on the same day,” Reentz said. “It’s been fun to watch the numbers. One day we got only three visitors. That wasn’t too encouraging. But the next day we got 97 visitors, and it’s been like that ever since.”

“There are so many different ways to go with this,” Hawes said. “We’re just trying to figure out what the best route is.”

In the future it is most likely that Reentz and Hawes will be asked how they came up with the name for their company. It happened because of a remarkable thing that occurred on one of their camping trips.”

by: SPOKESMAN PHOTO: JOSH KULLA - This close-up photo of the back of a Meteor Eight Furniture storage box shows the simple hook used to connect boxes to the standing wall.

“We saw a meteor, but no one believed us,” Reentz said.

Despite this frustration, Reentz always remembered the meteor and kept it in mind when it came time to name their company. But why the eight?

“There are eight of us,” Reentz explained. “MeteorEight was the only name that was on all of our lists of favorite names. We didn’t want to pigeonhole ourselves.”

For more about the MeteorEight Furniture Company go to the website at http://meteoreight.com or go to the social media websites Facebook Instagram and Pinterest.