Workspace: Eco Relics finds the re-purposing in life for salvaged materials
From Lawrence Welk and Liberace albums to lumber to handmade lamps, Michael and Ann Murphy stock and sell it at Eco Relics, an architectural salvage business they opened in March not far from Downtown.
There’s reclaimed structural wood. Old windows and doors. Building supplies. Bottles. Church pews. Toilets. Lighting. Flooring. Sewing patterns. Old license plates. And a lot more. Outdoors on the 1.5-acre site are bricks, fencing, pavers and other weather-friendly items.
“We get some gems sometimes,” Ann Murphy says. Among the more unusual are an elevator from a Ponte Vedra estate and a circular staircase.
They acquire the stock from estate sales, home deconstructions, metal recyclers, contractors and construction projects with leftover supplies, online and people with stuff to sell. Staff makes lamps and tables with repurposed supplies. They focus on selling at discount prices.
They maintain a website, EcoRelics.com, and a Facebook page, which update the latest finds. The Murphys also set up this year at the One Spark crowdfunding festival, introducing them to new customers and sources.
Customers include interior decorators, do-it-yourselfers, contractors, restorers, wedding planners and people just taking a look. Some travel from as far as Savannah, Tallahassee, Orlando and Tampa.
Ann Murphy says quick sellers are “antique cabinets or funky, vintage stuff,” even “rusty old iron beds.”
“Nothing surprises me anymore,” Michael Murphy says.
The Murphys bought the 50,000-square-foot former railroad freight depot at 106 Stockton St. for the business, which is open daily. They employ 21 people, including staff to sell items on eBay.
“You never know what you are going to find here,” says Ann Murphy.