Santa Fe furniture moves
EAGLE – Several years ago, Manuel Pilas had a vision. He and his wife, Yolanda, had just bought property in the Eagle area, and were moving into their new house, when he noticed the string of traffic snaking its way through Eagle. Many of the cars were coming from the airport, with skis atop their roofs, and many were making stops in Eagle. It was then the realization struck Pilas. “I saw that Eagle would be a good place for retail,” Pilas said. “I thought, some of these people will need furniture.”Roughly five years ago, Pilas and Yolanda opened Santa Fe Furniture on the corner of Broadway and Highway 6 at the entrance to downtown Eagle. They had checked out upvalley locations first, but settled on the growing Eagle-Gypsum area, instead. Santa Fe Furniture quickly became a familiar fixture in town, with its ceramic pots and pine furniture prominently displayed. The store also became an increasingly popular stop for valley residents – so much so that Pilas and Yolanda decided they needed a bigger place.”We had a need for more space to display our furniture,” Pilas said. “Over time, the other location grew too small.”
On May 1, Santa Fe Furniture moved into its new location further west, at Highway 6 and Lindbergh Drive. Pilas and his wife built the stylized, southwestern building with its pleasant ambiance for shopping and, more importantly, 10,000 square feet to display and store an expanded line of furnishings and accessories. There are even two rental spaces next door.Eclectic blendBut the new location is not the only significant change at Santa Fe Furniture. For those who have not walked through its tall, glass doors lately, you may think that Santa Fe Furniture adheres strictly to its name in style and selection. But this is hardly the case.”We have an eclectic collection,” Pilas said.Santa Fe Furniture carries several diverse lines, including its Mesquite line, which uses hard to find, reclaimed mesquite woods in tables, chairs and beds.
“It’s one of our best sellers,” Pilas said.The store still carries its ever-popular pine line – one of the lines the store opened – as well as its lodgepole line, with beds, chests, dressers, desks and lamps made of peeled lodgepole pine. Then, there is the western line, which offers furniture with distinctive western touches, such as wagon wheels and fence posts.”This is very popular right now,” Pilas said.Inside Santa Fe Furniture, are also old, wooden troughs that have been turned into sofa tables; leather-covered bar stools; burled-log bed frames; granite-topped tables; and armoires with tooled leather doors. Santa Fe Furniture’s selection runs from the western to the European.
Southwestern historyPilas was born in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, while Yolanda was born in Guadalajara. Pilas’ family moved to Arizona in 1984, where he attended school as a teenager. In 1986, the family moved again to New Mexico, where they had relatives, and where Pilas lived in Santa Fe almost nine years.Santa Fe Furniture was not Pilas’ first foray into retail or into the furniture business. In Santa Fe, before moving to Colorado in 1993, he was a partner in a New Mexico corporation, which specialized in southwestern and Santa Fe-styled furniture. After moving to Eagle, Pilas opened Santa Fe Furniture with the same idea in mind, but found that the southwestern craze had passed here, and Colorado residents were more into rustic Western or European country looks.”The taste here wasn’t as southwestern as in New Mexico,” Pilas explained. “It was more country French style; a little more alpine.” So, he started to search for pieces that Eagle Valley residents would buy, he said. The couple is also working hard to build a solid business they can pass down to their four children one day. Their oldest son, Emanuel, now 14, is already “very interested” in the business, Pilas said. “We treat customers like family,” Pilas said. “We understand their needs and their expectations.”