10 Places I've Never Been image

This summer I’m on a mission to explore uncharted territory in my own backyard, and improve Michigan’s economy one purchase at a time.

The strategy is simple. Visit 10 places I’ve never been before…just because, I’ve never been. Next on my list: Woodland Creek Furniture

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If you’re thinking, “eh, Up North woodsy furniture…not my thing,” don’t stop reading this post. At least until you scroll through the photos. Because if there’s one thing I learned visiting Woodland Creek Furniture, they’re more than just a rustic furniture store. But if that’s what you’re into, then boy are you in for a treat.

I’m willing to bet that if you’ve been to Traverse City in the last seven years, you’ve driven past Woodland Creek Furniture. Probably at about 55mph. Woodland Creek Furniture is located on US-31 North, across from beautiful East Grand Traverse Bay, on a large piece of property that used to be Traverse Bay Woolen. Despite the size of the complex, and fantastic roadside visibility, owner Rob Evina still fields calls regularly from locals who found him on the web instead of driving down the street.

Woodland Creek interior view

My first impression of Woodland Creek was one of total shock—at the size of their business, and the variety of goods they sell. Their primary business is hardwood furniture, the majority of which has a very natural, organic style. Clearly if you are decorating a home, cottage or business with a woodland theme this place should be on your list to visit. But there’s also a large collection of home decor, floral arrangements, and gift items that will interest shoppers looking for something you can’t get at a box-store in suburbia.

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They have one of the largest selections of Michigan or Up North themed bathroom accessories that I’ve ever seen in one store. I love the lighthouse collection shown here. But if you’re into hunting, or birding or fishing they’ve got you covered. And not just in bathroom decor. From books to lamps, children’s gifts and greeting cards, there’s more here than I can possibly show. Where else can you find a lamp made from Salt Crystals? These were seriously cool. And apparently they’ll ionize your room too!

Woodland Creek bear ornamentWoodland Creek hunt ornamentWoodland Creek ski ornament

Since I happen to have a die-hard fisherman at home, I’m always on the lookout for fishing-themed Christmas ornaments. Now I know where to look. There are trees scattered throughout the store each decorated in a different Up North theme. If you’re into hunting, fishing, skiing & snowboarding, camping or cottage life, they have a tree for that. I knew I’d find something I didn’t have.

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But the basis for Woodland Creek Furniture is, well, furniture. And for the details on the history of Woodland Creek Furniture I had to talk to Ron Evina, the owner.

It was seven years ago that Woodland Creek took over the old Traverse Bay Woolen space and created a furniture store unlike any other across the Nation. Their pride in handmade furniture stems from Rob’s own love of unique woods and quality craftsmanship. What started out as a small handmade furniture business lead to 28,000 sq. ft. of space dedicated to their passion. And with customers flocking from all over the nation, it’s safe to say they’ve made a name for themselves in a very competitive business.

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One of the secrets to Woodland Creek’s success is customization. Any piece you see in their showroom can be customized to suit your space, color palette, style or building dimensions. Fall in love with a dining table for 4 but your feeding a family of 8? No problem. Love the rustic bed on the showroom floor, but you’re more into cottage style? Pick a color and they’ll have it painted. “I love saying, Yes, Yes, Yes,” said Rob, “especially when customers are so used to hearing No.” Rob Evina is also proud of the fact that 30-40% of the furniture is made right here in MIchigan, much of it in Kalkaska just a few short miles away.

Woodland Creek furniture image

So most of my pictures paint a pretty woodsy theme, right? And I promised something beyond that. Well all you have to do is cross the parking lot to Woodland Creek’s new addition…UR Houzz. Say it out loud, and you’ll get it. If you like the idea of handmade furniture, but your style is classic or contemporary, UR Houzz is worth a look. You’ll find more colorful fabrics, cleaner lines and still a twist of the unexpected. They also expand your living space into the outdoors with a large collection of patio furniture, firepits and custom made pergolas.

Woodland Creek furnitureWoodland Creek imageWoodland Creek furniture image

Woodland Creek Furniture image

Located alongside the TART Trail, Woodland Creek has made an effort to provide a diversion for travelers young and old. There’s a giant playscape for the kids, a waterscape with a small bridge that leads directly to their ice cream shop. A unique partnership with Moomer’s Ice Cream allows guests to get premium ice cream without crossing town to visit the farm.

Woodland Creek Rob Evina imageWoodland Creek purchase

With a showroom this large, sitting alongside one of the busiest highways in Traverse City, it might surprise you to know Woodland Creek Furniture is more popular in New York, and LA than it is with locals. Their web presence and attendance at furniture shows has attracted the attention of interior designers, corporations and customers from across the country all looking for the quality they can produce—at a price that beats a Manhattan showroom anytime.

Alas my tour was complete. I couldn’t resist picking up a couple stocking stuffers for my husband…shhhh, don’t tell. I’m sure I’ll be back before Christmas, but I figured, no time like the present.


Woodland Creek Furniture is located at 4290 US 31 North in Traverse City, across from East Grand Traverse Bay. For more information reach them by phone at 231.938.8025 or visit them online at woodlandcreekfurniture.com. You can also find them on the Traverse Traveler iPhone app — our free mobile guide to the Traverse Area. Download on iTunes here.

If there’s a place in northern Michigan you’ve been dying to visit, but you’ve never made the time, I’d like to hear about it. Join the conversation on the Traverse Traveler Facebook page, and let me know where you’re going.

And stay tuned, as I plan to explore the next stop on my 10 Places I’ve Never Been tour:  The Rock Shop.