Sustainable is the new sexy. Maybe we don’t typically think about it quite like that, but there’s no doubt about it: our booming, overcrowded, busy, technological world is bursting with incredible invention, but we need to change the way we consume. With Earth Day just around the corner, words like reuse, recycle, and upcycle are especially prominent. Johnstown’s Traegan Industries does all of these, and better. If you’re looking for some inspiration, you might be hard-pressed to find anyone who takes on the eco-friendly concept of repurposing in a more romantic, purposeful, and meaningful way.
Owned by married couple, Troy and Raegan Welte, Traegan is a reclaimed barn wood supplier and repurposed antiques seller located a quarter mile west of I-25 in Johnstown. Searching for salvaged wood products to use in a new construction? Traegan offers bare wood exactly as found, pre-cut wood with clean edges, or custom cut wood. Perhaps you love a home with rustic, western appeal. The Weltes are dedicated to travel aimed at discovering antiques and other vintage items you’ll fall in love with.
“We’re unique in that we aren’t a flea market, or a lumber yard, or an antique dealer, but we have elements of all,” says Raegan. “Customers tend to be overwhelmed when they come in for the first time because there really isn’t a store quite like ours in northern Colorado. We welcome people to take their time and browse as long as they like.”
Troy and Raegan’s personal journey rather appropriately mirrors the essence of their business. They rediscovered something treasured from the past, renewed it and brought it forward into today, where it is cherished. Illinois natives, Raegan and Troy were not high school sweethearts, but they might have been had circumstances been different. “My dad was the superintendent of the small school we attended, and so Troy considered me ‘off limits’,” Raegan says. Thirty years after having gone their separate ways post-graduation, the friends reconnected via Facebook, and fate was sealed. “I was living in Colorado,” says Raegan. “[Troy] came out to visit and never left!”
Returning to Illinois frequently for visits over the years, Raegan and Troy found themselves increasingly saddened by a common theme. “So many neat old barns were being torn down, burned, or bulldozed,” Raegan says. The couple reflected on how they might save those barns, letting people enjoy their history by using the reclaimed wood in their home projects. “If those barns could talk, the stories they’d tell!” Raegan enthuses.
Everyone knows, starting a business is daunting. But Troy had business experience and a background in construction and remodeling, and Raegan’s work as a paralegal added a comfort with contracts and legal processes. Before long, the simmering idea was one they felt too drawn to not to give it a shot. The pair knew they had a ready-made team to support them in getting things underway. “We have very special people back in Illinois who help us acquire these barns and unique treasures,” Troy says. “We couldn’t do this without their help.”
Once they began acting on their business plan in earnest, their vision rapidly evolved, expanding to incorporate much more than reclaimed wood. “We soon found that the barns were full of other treasures: Farm equipment, tools, and other cool items,” Raegan says. “So we decided to try to repurpose those as well. One thing led to another and now we have architectural salvage items from barns and old homes, antiques and collectibles.”
Traegan just opened its doors this past November, and has quickly been establishing itself as being on the forefront of a movement. Reclaimed wood has a timeless beauty that can’t be recreated. It’s strong and stable as well as eco-friendly; the ultimate in recycling. And it is just bursting with character—ripe with history and ready to create many more memories.
Reclaimed wood may be trendy, but it is clearly no short-term fad. At Traegan, you’ll find wood, tools, and decor you can feel good about— you are preserving both history and forests.
“It only makes sense [the reclaimed trend] is more than a passing fad,” Raegan says. “Using reclaimed wood to build something new, or repurposing something for modern use, you get quality materials and unique, one-of-a-kind items.”
Since opening, Traegan has been making a noteworthy impression. Visitors rave about the personal service, expert guidance, and wealth of ideas and inspiration they are treated to. “I’ve used Troy since the store opened,” writes regular client, John Andrews. “Not only does he find and stock rare and amazing reclaimed products and antiques, he also makes custom pieces for you!”
Troy has applied his woodworking skills to build beautiful, custom-made doors, tables, and mantels for customers. The Weltes are clear in their commitment to meet clients’ needs. “We’re just starting out, and we may not have everything you are looking for, but we will do our best to get it,” Troy says.
With the popularity of home and design programs such as those on HGTV, and platforms like Pinterest, Troy and Raegan say that many people come in with an idea in mind. Whether clients’ visions shift or remain the same, Troy and Raegan are dedicated to making the process enjoyable and satisfying; and the end result is always beautifully unique. “Our reclaimed wood is unique and high-quality,” Troy says. “No two boards are the same. It’s also a finite resource, and will only get harder and harder to find as time goes by.”
See for yourself what Traegan Industries can do for you. Visit their website at traeganindustries.com and follow Traegan Architectural Salvage on Facebook.
308-C Mountain View Road, Johnstown, 970.714.1015
Open Tuesdays-Saturdays,10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
By Wendy McMillan, Photos by Tim Seibert