Saturday, February 4, 2023

Fallen Oxford trees have second life as tables and chairs

Will Hopkins sketches on one of his own tables, made of reclaimed window panes.
Will Hopkins sketches on one of his own tables, made of reclaimed window panes.

“You give me a key, I’ll come back with a car,” said Will Hopkins in analogy to his business. Often, customers pull up to The Green Door Company with absolutely anything — a window pane, a mirror – and an idea for him to turn into something for their home.
Hopkins, a former Ole Miss Baseball player, started working for his cousin as a carpenter in 1996. Both of his grandfathers were carpenters, so Hopkins claims it’s only natural that he wound up in the business. Eighteen years and 485 pieces of furniture later, what started as a hobby turned into a career.
Hopkins was originally drawn to reclaimed materials, which he is most known for using. However, in order to expand to the interests of his customers, he builds custom and non-custom furniture out of reclaimed or new materials.
The Green Door, the store he and his wife Missy own and manage, located on Molly Barr Road, carries full furniture lines, as well as custom and individual pieces, Hopkins also uses reclaimed building materials, such as flooring and ceilings.
During the Magnolia Bowl against LSU this past October, Hopkins discussed possible new trophy ideas with athletic director Ross. When Bjork found that the players both at Ole Miss and LSU agreed that the trophy could use an update, he called Hopkins to ask him to make a new, custom one. The new trophy will be debuted on April 5 at the Grove Bowl.
A table made from a tree fallen on Ole Miss's campus.
A table made from a tree fallen on Ole Miss’s campus.

The new Magnolia Bowl trophy will launch the rest of Hopkins’ new Magnolia Collection of furniture. In honor of Mississippi’s state flower, the line includes pieces made from fallen trees from Oxford and the University’s campus, as well as a table made from a tree that once stood in Rowan Oak.
Woodland Tree Service, the company contracted to remove dead and fallen trees on campus, inspired the Magnolia Collection when the owner came to Hopkins offering him wood from fallen trees around town. After cutting the trees vertically into slabs and drying them for six years, he worked with Hopkins to turn historic pieces of campus into furniture and accessories for customers to take home.
Pieces in the Magnolia Collection, including custom items, start at $100.
The Green Door Company is located at the North Lamar and Molly Barr Road intersection.
Bar table and stools built after the six year process of wood drying.
Bar table and stools built after the six year process of wood drying.

A twenty-foot long table is made from a Cedar fallen at Rowan Oak, William Faulkner's famous Oxford home.
A twenty-foot long table is made from a Cedar fallen at Rowan Oak, William Faulkner’s famous Oxford home.

This coffee table once stood among the other tall trees at Rowan Oak.
This coffee table once stood among the other tall trees at Rowan Oak.

– Elizabeth Ervin, Freshman Ole Miss Journalism major and Mississippi tree enthusiast, elervin@go.olemiss.edu
 

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