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Leon Mast discovered he had a gift, “a God given talent” when it came to design. Sticking with the ever reliable pencil and notebook, Mast never felt the need to use the latest software to create his masterpieces. Hand-drawn works of art become long lasting pieces of furniture for many of Masts customers.
What was once an old feed mill located in the heart of Charm and owned by Mast’s father, Abe Mast, was transformed into 7,000 square feet of showroom space for furniture and home décor. “My sister and I decided we wanted to do something different, so we remodeled and put in furniture,” said Leon Mast.
Having no previous knowledge of running a furniture store, Mast and his sister faced their ups and downs with the business. “It has been a learning experience,” said Mast.
Most of his pieces are created by the local craftsman in the area or designed by Mast himself. As you walk through three floors of furniture for every room in your home, if you don’t find exactly what you had dreamed, Mast will work with you to create a dream space that is all your own.
“Tables and chairs are the hottest item right now,” said Mast. The main floor is dedicated to several of these handcrafted dining sets. Dark and light woods are paired with the most vibrant colored accessories to inspire the home owner.
The top floor carries several bedroom sets and living room furniture from the most rustic to more contemporary styles. Mast hopes to incorporate more contemporary styles in all his pieces as it seems to be the most popular trend among his customers.
Keeping up with the trends is not always the easiest in a slower paced economy like the one that surrounds Charm. “This area doesn’t change too fast,” said Mast. “We introduced the Mission Styles 10-12 years ago and they were not popular at first but are recently starting to catch on.”
Mission styles of furniture are designed to have straight lines and flat panels that accentuate the grain. Often Mission Styles feature inset drawers and slat like doors. They are usually made with an oak finish.
“I try to stay on top of the latest trends and work them into my store a little at a time,” said Mast. He also uses some of these modern and classic styles to inspire new designs and create something totally different and unique.
Heading towards the basement of Ole Mill, you enter what Mast likes to refer to as the “Man Cave.” A laid back entertainment style features bar stools and couches as well as rustic and outdoor inspired décor. It seems to be one of Masts favorite rooms in the store.
“We’ve been here 27 years and we have a good relationship with the community,” said Mast. While he says a lot of his furniture is shipped out, in the past 5 years, much of his customer base has been the local community.
“The economy hasn’t been the greatest on supporting the furniture business,” said Mast. “We used to have a lot of customers visiting us from out of state, now many are having furniture shipped directly to them.”
Mast hopes that as the economy turns around, it will encourage tourists to come back to purchase furniture pieces for their home and work with Mast to design unique pieces.
“We get a lot of compliments on our quality and our price,” said Mast. He receives many new customers due to referrals from his pleased customer base.
“I think a lot of our sales have to do with our display and set-up,” said Mast. “People can get a feel for how it will look in their own homes.”
Ole Mill Furniture also carries a small selection of pictures and wall signs, décor such as shelves and lamps and even crocks and other small gift items.
Ole Mill Furniture is located at 4422 St. Rt. 557 in Charm, Ohio. Hours of operation are Mon.-Weds. and Saturday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Thursday from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. and Friday from 9 a.m.-8 p.m. For more information call 330-893-2823 or visit www.olemillfurniture.com.