‘Strictly Amish’ offers quality

Dave Ogilvie

At this time of the year, with shoppers looking for that special present for a family member or cherished friend, one store offers quality products that will last for generations.
“Strictly Amish,” owned and operated by Dave Rempel and his family, has been in business since 1999 selling a wide range of wooden furniture products made by skilled Amish craftsmen in the United States.
Rempel buys his inventory from about 50 Amish family-owned factories in Pennsylvania, Indiana, and Ohio.
He says buying products directly from the Amish is a unique experience. Since they avoid many modern ways, the workers cannot be reached by phone, for instance.
Instead, he simply faxes all his orders to a number on the outskirts of the community.
“But they’re a very good group of people to deal with,” Rempel stressed. “They’re honest and hard-working, and the trust is always there.”
On his first trip to the factory, Rempel recalled he picked out a piece of furniture and told the family he would send them a cheque when he got back to Canada.
Much to his surprise, they had no problem with this arrangement.
“Strictly Amish” is a business that offers quality furniture made by proud, skilled workers in their Emo store, in their store in Winnipeg, and in their new location in Alberta.
Rempel also supplies several other stores out west.
“It’s the quarter sawn white oak that gives the furniture its special appeal,” he enthused.
“Quarter sawn” means the wood is cut in a specific direction, which exposes the growth rings of the tree.
This method allows the natural beauty of the grain of the wood to add to the value of the furniture.
The prices may seem high to some price-conscious consumers, but when the quality of the wood and precision of the craftsmen who make the products is considered, then the value of each piece becomes obvious.
“This is not assembly-line furniture,” Rempel stressed. “It’s hands-on with each piece.”
The lowest-priced items are their chairs, which run from $325 to about $600.
Dining room sets (a table and six chairs) sell for an average of $5,800 while bedroom sets (a bed, dresser, mirror, two night tables, and a high-boy dresser) run from $8,000-$10,000.
During Emo’s “Holly Daze” celebration this Friday and Saturday (Dec. 4-5), every item in the store will be on sale for 20 percent off. In addition, Rempel will give 15 percent off on all special orders.
Rempel and his family believe this solid wood furniture is an investment in the future. With the high interest in antique furniture, these Amish creations literally will last for decades and only will become more valuable with age.
No wonder the store is called “Strictly Amish–Furniture for Generations.”