Finding outdoor furniture that withstands Florida’s humidity, rain and salt air can be challenging. Living by the beach – coupled with a dislike of rusty tables and chairs – inspired St. Augustine’s Michael Wiles to build his own patio and yard furniture.
What started as personal project to create nautical outdoor furniture for his home by the St. Augustine pier quickly turned into a business. Friends and family would come over wanting to buy the pieces Michael had made.
So, he started making “fish chairs”, Adirondack chairs in the shape of fish. Then, people started bringing Michael photos of things they wanted, so he began building all types of pieces. Initially, he worked out of his back yard (no rent is the best!) but his business grew so quickly that to keep up with all of the orders he hired woodworkers and opened his store at 96 South Dixie Highway.
Through the expansion of his business, Michael has maintained his focus on the quality of his products. Everything St. Augustine Furniture makes is from cypress and stainless steel. It was important to Michael to support other local businesses and so the cypress he uses is locally-milled by Bubba’s Cypress.
Today, St. Augustine Furniture has moved way beyond fish chairs. They ship their handcrafted locally-made furniture all across the nation – and their lifeguard chairs can even be found throughout the Caribbean! Michael makes furniture for condos, patios, porches, poolsides, boathouses, docks, lawns, decks and beach houses. He also designs and manufactures large quantities of custom furniture for restaurants, bars and stores. His favorite orders are for lifeguard chairs and when he has the opportunity to design furnishings for entire homes.
But that’s not all! St. Augustine Furniture makes barrel furniture too! You’ll see them throughout the festival at Made in St. Augustine. And be sure to stop by Michael’s booth to see his handcrafted creations or commission him to build your perfect piece.