Our Town Amana: Amana Craftsmen
By Travis Bockenstedt, Our Town Producer
AMANA - The Amana Furniture and Clock Shop is home to more than quality furniture. This workshop is home to generations of craftsmen like the Reihman brothers.
"We used to come down here at night and help my dad make things and kind of goof around, see how he did things. Next thing you know we started coming here too," said Gary Reihman.
"I started actually when I was then 10 years old, helping my dad make coffins after hours and I kind of really got into it after that," said Ron Reihman.
Since 1855 Amana Furniture has stayed a one person, one project shop. When customers place an order the craftsman stays with it from start to finish, giving it lifetime quality.
"I understand something else that's personal goes on each of these. You have to sign them. Yeah every piece of furniture is signed by every craftsman that made it. It makes it a little more personal," said Gary.
Gary specializes in making tables, and he's also a shop supervisor. Ron works with time, he builds grandfather clocks and caskets. Both take great pride in the finished product, and making the customer happy.
"Actually I have a lot of fun doing it because there are so many different ways of making them," said Ron.
While Amana Furniture has been in business well over a century its planning for the future. Customers can participate in the "plant a tree" initiative. The program allows furniture buyers to cycle and replenish the Amana Forest.
"It's all about substantiality. Keep these things growing so people will be able to have more trees in the future," said Larry Gnewikow, an Amana Society Forester.
More trees that the Reihman brothers can use to make signature Amana Furniture, that truly lasts the test of time.
"I have some things I have made in my home and I look forward to passing it down to my boys and probably they can pass it down to their kids someday," said Ron.