I left the farm to attend The Ohio State University in Columbus, but the woods and timber were not far from my mind, I majored in Forestry and earned a BS in Natural Resource Management. I had a part time job on a loading dock, that upon graduation I turned into my career and I spent the next 16 years working in the transportation and logistics industry. During that time I moved out of state to work my way up in the company. Life happened and my one time passion of timber and woodworking faded away. I was very successful in the corporation I was in, but there was always this hole. This feeling I couldn't fill I should be doing something greater.
Red Barn Home Furnishings is owned and operated by Ben Crawford. He follows each piece were it leads him. He also relies on his children, parents, siblings and customers for inspiration. We operate on our family farm in Minerva, Ohio where Red Barn is located.
Over the years my jobs actually became more important as I grew into a strong young man and my uncle slowly began to lose his strength, but even at 70 he could outwork me as a 17 year old. I still remember the day he taught me to fell my first tree. I quickly took to running chainsaws and became my uncle’s trusted sawyer. I had become the important member of the team that I had always pretended I was as a young boy. Those days with my uncle taught me what real work is. The passion to see the beauty in the woods and to care for them, for a life time of enjoyment they brought our family.
Uncle Emory and Ben cleaning storm damage in 1998.
The first piece of true furniture I made was a play/drawing table for my son Jack’s 2nd birthday. Everyone was blown away with the absolute beauty of the piece and insisted I create more. So, in my spare time I started building furniture to match the play table. Shortly after this a horrible tragedy struck our family that left me alone to raise my children. For everyone there is that moment in their life that changes everything for them. This was that catalyst moment for me.
I focused on the only things that made any sense in my life. My children and my furniture. Finding the beauty inside of wood others would throw away. Pouring my soul in to simple pieces that most wouldn't think twice about. I felt God gave me the gift to see what could be with each and every piece of wood so I could help these trees live on as he intended. Red Barn Home Furnishings was created from this and now continues to grow here in my home town. The place were I first learned to love the woods. To love nature and the beauty that God hides in the most unlikely places.
Red Barn operates out of the family farm that now three generations of Crawfords are living and growing on. The big white barn, that was originally red, that my Grand father, father and Uncle worked and bled in for years as dairy farmers. The place my father was raised. The place I was raised. The place my children will grow up. Our 110+ year old dairy barn is now home to a group of Crawford men who create life and beauty in hunks of wood. We create so these beautiful trees are not forgotten. So they can live on instead of being burned or turned to dirt from rot and decay.
God has brought calm to my soul now through the love of my wife Shauna and our children. He has also blessed me with great family. Vision to see the beauty inside trees, lumber, and wood. To see there is absolute beauty around the places and things so many say are different or "not prefect". I pour my heart and soul in to every single piece created here. If you want a truly unique piece of functional art that doubles as furniture. If you want a piece that has a story as great as yours please come and visit us.
Owner, Red Barn Home Furnishings
Custom Made. Quality Made. American Made.
Top- Ben and Shauna with 6 of the 7 kids. From left to right, Myla, Gwen, Cohen, Emory, Lainey, and Jack. (Little Benjamin not pictured)
Left: 1984- A young Ben joining his Uncle Emory on one of many tractor rides.
For as long as I can remember I have been drawn to the woods, around trees, working with wood, planting, cutting you name it. Growing up on a 110 acre farm brought the normal “country life” experiences. We had milk cows, crops and a large garden to keep busy. Even with all those things to help my family with I was attracted to our timber stand and spent as much time as I could there. As early as 3 years old I was with my Uncle Emory in that timber stand. He was a man who could fix and build anything from scratch. A dairy farmer by trade, but in all rights a true engineer and force to be reckoned with. Many of my earliest memories are with him planting our walnut grove or watching him process windfallen trees with our family friend, Gary. Like most boys you couldn’t keep me from the action and by the time I was 5 I felt I was a valuable member of the timber crew. My uncle and Gary would fell the trees, process them and run the equipment, but I had the most important job of picking up the sticks!
Ben felling a poplar tree on the family farm.
The big white barn that used to be RED.
Then through the crazy turns that life takes you on, my one time passion brought itself back front and center in my life. During construction of a home for my family I decided my father and I were going to do all the casing and trim work in the home. Now I don't mean we were gonna go buy it and install it. No, my father and I salvaged some poplar trees from our family farm. Milled, dried and created one of a kind trim work for the home. It turned out beautifully. It was amazing to be working with wood again. To see something in my head and then create it. So with the scraps left over from this endeavor I began creating furniture for my family.