Customer Profile: Audiowood and WWOZ

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Every item that passes through the ReStore has a story, and each of those stories has a beginning, middle, and end. We know the beginning of the story because we talk to our donors: often they’ll tell us where their couch, shutters, or stoves came from and explain to us why it’s time to pass them on. Once they reach the ReStore, the donated items takes their place among the other furniture, building materials, and appliances that were generously given to us. Here, customers examine the items, imagining each in their own homes, and finally selecting the piece that works for them.

The unknown part of every story is the end. What happens after these items leave the store? This week, we’re spotlighting Audiowood, a locally based turntable and stereo gear craftsman, and exploring how Audiowood has been able to adapt and use ReStore building materials.

Joel Scilley, the founder of Audiowood, began working as a professional carpenter in California’s Bay Area in 1997. He eventually transitioned into woodworking, earning the support and admiration of his friends for his work. “I built this turntable for myself and had friends come over and say it was the coolest thing they’d ever seen,” says Scilley. “It was a burl wood turntable that caught people’s eye. So over time, I started making turntables as a profession.”

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Scilley’s specialties are showcased at his St. Claude Avenue shop in the Healing Center. There, along with a few of his distinctive lamps, iPhone docks, and audio gear from other manufacturers, he displays many of his burl wood turntables, which have gained attention from such major publications as The New York Times. In keeping with his unique, aesthetic creations, Scilley envisioned an audio store that would be as much an art gallery as an audio store.

When you visit Audiowood’s Healing Center location, you’ll find long counters lining the walls of the space. Now dark-stained with a glowing finish, the Swedish pine for these counters originally came from custom shipping crates for a Boeing project at the NASA Michoud Assmebly Facility. Through Boeing’s generous donation and Scilley’s vision, what began as a raw material became a rare creation. It’s exactly the kind of renewal that the ReStore hopes to facilitate.
wwoz_sheet__3_Scilley also played a large part in another major collaboration, this time with radio station WWOZ. While building out their Swamp Shop in the Louisiana Music Factory on Frenchmen Street, WWOZ commissioned a set of display cases and cabinets from Scilley, asking that he use reclaimed wood from the ReStore. With the help of a volunteer group of Marines, Scilley retrieved wood and cabinets from a Carrollton-area house, and used them to build the desk and display area that now houses New Orleans music memorabilia.

Swing by Audiowood or the Swamp Shop to get a closer look at Scilley’s work, and check out the ReStore to see what materials inspire you. Imagine what you could create!

To find quality items for a great price, come visit us at the ReStore this week! We’re located at 2900 Elysian Fields Avenue, open from 10-6 Tuesday through Saturday.  Interested in donating? Swing by to drop your donation off, sign up for a pickup on our website, or give us a call at 504-943-2240.