OKLAHOMA CITY - Think of this morning pep rally as more of a family meeting, and you might begin to understand why the 72 employees at The Urban Farmhouse seem so emotionally vested.
"If we want to be that company we all know we can be, it starts in this moment," said Jason Thomas to his employees. "Are you with me?"
Thomas and his wife, Cherami, aren't the parents here, but they do provide the example at this business in terms of its rapid rise from garage business to multi-million dollar furniture enterprise.
"We had lost everything," said Cherami of Urban Farmhouse's beginnings.
Go back four years, and the Thomas's were bankrupt with four kids.
They had nothing much more to their name than a pile of old wood, their builders' talents and a strong work ethic.
"It was go to work," Jason said. "There was no middle ground."
They made one table, then another and another.
Reclaiming old wood and reclaiming their own lives at the same time made so much sense they applied the idea to who they hired.
"So, just like the reclaimed products that we built with, we took on people who had the same sense of being abandoned by the world," Jason said.
David Littleson spent 20 years of his life in prison before hiring on here from a half-way house.
Working here changed his life.
"Yes," he agrees. "That value and structure of being part of something."
Gabe Dirmeyer was an out of work cabinet maker whose own life had its peaks and deep valleys.
Working at The Urban Farmhouse reclaimed his life, too.
"I always say a good day's work will filter out anything bad you're going through," he said.
From a garage to a big warehouse on Western Avenue, from broke to successful, from useless to useful, the idea resonates in some way to a lot of people who work here now and to the customers who file in wanting to buy a table or something else that's rescued.
Dirmeyer is August's Employee of the Month.
Other Urban Farmhouse workers loaded a truck full of supplies to send to Hurricane Harvey victims in Houston.
Redemption through labor still has real traction in Oklahoma.
That might also be why we like the look of furniture and people who show its mark.
For more information on The Urban Farmhouse, their products and their story, go to www.urbanfarmhouse.com.