Veterans turn hobby into full-time custom furniture business


By Richard Sharp

Need a new table, bed or set of chairs? Wellington-based At Ease Design Co. creates handmade furniture “made with honor” by two military veterans who found solace and independence in their hobby.

It started with a bed that DJ Schauer and Brad Burkhart built for Schauer’s daughter.

“From that, it evolved into people saying, ‘Hey, could you do this for us?’ ‘Can you do that?'” Schauer, a Navy veteran, said.

“My son saw it and wanted one, and one thing led to another,” said Burkhart, an Army veteran.  “We started building beds. People were requesting furniture, so we started a website and we started building a few pieces of furniture. Ever since then, we have been getting orders on a weekly basis.”

Best friends Burkhart and Schauer turned their furniture-making into At Ease Design Co., which creates custom, hand-made items for customers. The pair now have several orders they are racing to keep up with.

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