Shuswap craftsman Adam Seward is realizing his dream business at Solid Urban Studio.
Located at 5807 Mayfair Road, adjacent to Highway 97B in Ranchero, Solid Urban Studio is a showcase not only for Seward’s skills as a carpenter, but also his personal interests and passions. Among them, a newly expanded space, complete with stage and instruments, that allows him to host live music events.
“I’ve always played music and liked bands, live music,” said Seward. “That’s something I wanted in my studio when it was created, things to purchase, things to listen to and, soon enough, things to eat.”
Seward said he’s up to hosting about two events a month now, with his next show planned for Aug. 1.
“It sounds like I have two bands coming in, they’re rock/jazz up-beat bands so it sounds like fun,” said Seward.
The space is also used to host yoga classes.
Originally from Portland, Oregon, Seward came to Canada to play hockey. He later moved from Alberta to B.C. for work, and found the dilapidated Ranchero building, a former auto service station, that he would transform into what it is now.
“When I got to this building, it was littered with dead vehicles, a lot of different metal… these bays were full of grease and junk and dead cars and go-karts and stuff,” said Seward. “I just helped the owner clean it up… It didn’t look like there was a lot of great things happening on this property for a lot of years. I’ve really enjoyed turning it around and using it to bring the people together.”
The storefront offers an eclectic mix of collectibles and locally produces wares, from soaps to cigar box guitars, as well as some of Seward’s hand-crafted furniture produced in his shop at the back of the building. Seward said he keeps busy crafting custom kitchen tables, bar tables, kitchen counter tops, shelving units, bar stools and other items, all of his own design.
“The dream was a to have a studio full of home decor and just being a creative space for my craft,” said Seward. “I do a lot of kitchens and bathrooms, all sorts of things along the rustic industrial look.
“I really hold on to using structural lumber and structural engineered bolts and screws and I glues and yeah, just really solid big furniture.”
Seward sources his wood, largely fir and some cedar, from local mills, including South Enderby Boards.
“Those guys there treat me really well and they’ve got such a great selection in their yards,” said Seward.
Many of the collectibles for sale Seward himself collected over time.
“I’ve been here for a while and a lot of people come to me,” Seward continued. “Either I purchase it or put it on consignment. That’s where I get some of the unique items.”
Urban Kids is another project Seward is working on at the Ranchero location. He described it as an afterschool, and now summer program for local youth.
“They can come down and learn how to do things, garden and do projects and run different stands for fundraising so they can do trips, and have food programs for them after school. All the good stuff,” said Seward, who has built an stand outside where the kids sell lemonaide.
“They all work together and help clean up the community; we help them be entrepreneurs and generate their things,” said Seward.
To learn more, visit the Solid Urban Studio Facebook page.