BY Becca Opp
PHOTOS BY Paul Flessland
When walking into a store for the first time, most folks don’t know what to expect. Well, at Everything Amish, you can expect to see handsome, handmade furniture and to be greeted by the two charismatic owners. Aside from being business partners, Justin Schmaltz and Kayle Dangerud are also cousins carrying on the family business.
“My dad started an Amish furniture store in Deadwood, South Dakota,” said Schmaltz as he told us how he became interested in selling Amish furniture. Our friends had a factory that were OSHA safety inspections approved and that’s how we got started.
Six years ago, Schmaltz opened his own furniture store, Everything Amish, in Bismarck, North Dakota. When Scmaltz started thinking about expanding to a second location in Fargo, he began making plans with his cousin, Kayle Dangerud.
“I’ve always wanted to own my own business and thought that it would be a good idea to open up a store here in the Fargo area,” Dangerud said. This lead the entrepreneurial cousins to partner with Dangerud’s brother to purchase land in West Fargo for their new location, which opened in June of 2016.
Sourcing The Furniture
All of the furniture at Everything Amish comes from Amish colonies in Ohio and Indiana, as well as Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. One unique aspect of Schmaltz and Dangerud’s business is that they get to travel to these communities and witness the building process in person. “We don’t work with a builder unless we’ve met them first.” Schmaltz said.
“Justin and I went out last November and met with probably a dozen different builders throughout Ohio, so it was a good experience for me to understand the environment that our builders work in and get to meet them personally and create a relationship with them,” Dangerud looked back on their last business trip.
Everything Amish offers one-of-a kind, custom-made furniture. “We’re able to customize any piece of furniture out there. Our builders will build off of pictures or drawings, and we deal with about 150 different builders,” Dangerud explained.
For example, Dangerud’s wife wanted a spinning shoe rack, or a “Lazy Shoesan,” and the builders were able to recreate the design based on a picture from Pinterest.
To customize a piece of furniture, all you have to do is bring a photo or even a drawing into the store. Schmaltz described the process, “You can have anything built. Our builders will build out of pictures in a magazine or off the internet or from other stores, and there’s really nothing like it at all.” Customers can also pick the type of wood and the stain. Then, each order takes two to three months to complete.
When asked why the furniture they sell is special, Schmaltz told us that it is the quality that makes their products truly unique. “All our pieces are heirloom pieces. They are pieces that are meant to be passed down from generation to generation,” Schmaltz said, “The solid wood craftsmanship-there’s nothing like it.”
Each piece of furniture comes with a lifetime warranty on the wood and is hand-delivered by Schmaltz and Dangerud themselves. Despite their busy schedules, Schmaltz and Dangerud deliver furniture orders before and after business hours, which are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays.
Customer (and Owner) Favorite
We asked the owners about their favorite pieces in the store, and Schmaltz is especially fond of a three-in-one high chair that converts into a desk or a rocking horse.
“It was always a big seller at my dad’s store,” Schmaltz said.
Meanwhile, Dangerud is having a custom set of barstools made for his house.
Carrying on the Family Business
Amish furniture clearly runs in the family. Schmaltz’s father still runs his own store, and Dangerud’s brother got involved by becoming a partner on the land. However, when asked if they hoped that their own kids would carry on the tradition, Dangerud said, “I would like my kids to do whatever their passion is, so if Amish furniture or owning their own business is one of those passions, I’d be all for that.” Schmaltz felt the same way about his daughters.
For more information:
1010 13th Ave. E, West Fargo