Carbondale furniture store promotes a way of life

John Gardner
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

CARBONDALE ” Adam Odoski and Mick Murdock befriended one another while surfing the tropical blue waters of Indonesia. They were both at a time in their life where they traveled and worked odd jobs to sustain their freewheeling lifestyle.

How they came to open Via Viva furniture in Carbondale has to do more with the way they wanted to live their life, than what they wanted to be when they grew up.

“It’s a dream come true,” Murdock said in his rich Irish accent. “It’s been a long process just moving in and getting things done.”

These two gents aren’t the furniture store entrepreneur types at first glance, surfers would be a better first guess with their worn jeans and T-shirts. But everyone needs to make a living and selling furniture made from recycled materials from the other side of the world fit not only their business needs, but their philosophy on life as well.

“Via Viva, means by way of life,” Odoski said. “That’s it. It’s a way of life, that’s what it’s all about.”

The business is about selling rare and unique furniture along with spreading a message on becoming more environmentally aware.

“There is a need in this country for forward thinking,” Odoski said. “People in the valley care about the environment and we thought if we could do the work and bring this way of thinking to the valley, people would really be into it.”

Via Viva features furniture that is made completely from re-used materials. Household items like tables made from scrap pieces of lumber or reclaimed wood from homes destroyed in a natural disaster.

“Once they get an idea they can’t let it go,” Murdock said. “It’s amazing what they come up with.”

Murdock then pointed to two unique patio chairs made from used tires, the tread a fancy design for the indestructible ” yet comfortable ” chair.

“It’s about taking the most environmentally friendly stuff and not throw it away, but use it to make something useful,” Odoski said.

All merchandise is hand crafted and imported from Indonesia. The two spent about a year-and-a-half researching several manufacturers in Indonesia, between catching waves. They only wanted to buy merchandise from those with a green and sustainable materials influenced businesses that honestly bought into the same philosophy.

“You have to go see it for yourself,” Odoski said. “We did all the leg work ourselves and found the right suppliers.”

They didn’t skimp on anything, they went the quality route over the cheaper furniture that was also available.

“We’ll pay more for the right stuff,” Odoski said. “It’s been a long process, but it’s all worth it.”

The two found a retail space in Carbondale and began to set up shop. They opened on December, 7, only about a month and a half since Murdock moved to Carbondale. Odoski has lived in the valley for more than six years.

Their philosophy, and taste in furniture, is incorporated into the retail space by using reclaimed wood and materials themselves to build the front counter. And a lot of the construction work they did themselves with the help of some friends.

“Everyone has been so great in helping out with it,” Murdock said. “It’s really been a dream come true.”

A dream that started when the two were visiting “Indo” as they refer to it, and by happenstance they were staying at the same hotel in Bali and noticed each other surfing. Quickly becoming friends, it’s still uncertain how the idea of the furniture store came to be, but they did notice that the people of Indonesia, had a great way of living in that they made a lot of everyday discarded items into chairs, tables and other furniture. The ultimate recycling center.

“Over there, there are trash heaps everywhere,” Odoski said. “They just use it rather than throw the stuff away.”

A philosophy the two hope will catch on here in the valley, and beyond.

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