You’ve probably passed their previous showroom on Hollis Street next to Rotten City Pizza hundreds of times and wondered what Teak Me Home is. Perhaps you’ve even peeked into their showroom or punched up their website. As you probably could have guessed, their products are made of teak wood, but that is a small part of the story of Emeryville-based entrepreneurs Alex Elsinga.
The self-taught designer worked hard to grow what started as a hobby into a budding business. The good news is their business is thriving, the bad news is they couldn’t find an appropriate spot here in Emeryville to expand so they’re moving their showroom to the thriving Gilman District area with its ample Warehouse space and crafts scene. To commemorate the expansion, they’ll be hosting a Grand Opening celebration today with champagne, hors d’oeuvres and product giveaways.
Alex began the idea of Teak Me Home sketching his designs during his free time while working for Kaiser. He began making things for himself and eventually for others. Three years ago he cut the cord on his stable corporate job to pursue his dream. It was also his commitment to sustainability causes that led him to pursue crafting his designs from reclaimed sources. He fell in love with Teak.
Teak wood is unique to Southern Asia and Central America. Teak Me Home relies exclusively on reclaiming structures built from old growth wood on the islands of Indonesia. Old growth teak is known for aging very well with unique color patterns and grains. “We both go to Indonesia several times a year to bid on and buy structures” explained Alex when I stopped by to see their previous Emeryville showroom location. “Back in the 1800’s, they built structures out of old growth teak. These old growth trees are now illegal to cut down so when these old structures are upgraded or demolished, we’ll come in and reclaim the teak for our furniture.”
Teak beams from older Indonesian homes like this are bid on and reclaimed for Teak Me Home’s custom furnishings.
Their Emeryville showroom was by appointment and in a lofted area of their warehouse making moving of their solidly built pieces difficult. “It’s been pretty successful but we want to take it to a whole new level with our new showroom with regular operating hours” noted Alex. Their new showroom that they’ll share with A&G Home Garden. They’ll maintain some Warehouse space at their current Emeryville location so they won’t be deserting E’ville completely and live just blocks away on the Oakland/E’ville border.
Teak Me Home’s new Gilman District showroom allows them to maintain regular hours and allow walk-up clients.
Their products are also at the forefront of an eco-movement to use reclaimed materials and prevent depleting forests. They give one percent of all their sales to Conservation International to help protect forests around the world. Their dressers, chairs and tables are all competitively priced, durable and require very little maintenance. A complete catalog of their products are listed on their website and they ship anywhere in the U.S..
TMH features bold designs like this Harrison table that was recently featured in the NY Times.
M/T/R/F: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
S/S: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Feature Image: TMH’s new Gilman street showroom in Berkeley.
This article was updated 8.24 to reflect some modifications to the company.