The first piece that Rob McGowan and Ben Olson, founders of Denver-based furniture shop FinArt, made together was a long plank of walnut that Olson smoothed with a sander to become a surfboard shaped coffee table. Since then their mutual love of surfing — “We’re both terrible, but just love it and the whole culture behind it” — has served as a source of inspiration for their work, which focuses on furniture but now includes homes, salons, restaurants, and stores. “We got started about seven years ago just tinkering with stuff in our garage and built some interesting pieces people really liked, which led to them actually wanting to pay for them,” he recalls. “Once the check came in we realized, wait a minute, maybe we can do this full time.”
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