Although Columbus Barrel Company first came on the scene in 2013, you can trace its roots back to the early 1900s. Fourth generation woodworking brothers Curt and C.J. Shaver—co-founders of the Ohio-based business centered around upcycling used bourbon barrels into unique home goods—attribute their line of work to the tradition begun by their great-grandfather.
“Our great-grandfather started HJ Upperman & Sons woodshop, and my grandfather, Melvin Shaver, worked for him when he returned from World War II. Together they specialized in crafting bank teller stations and wood phone boxes for banks,” explained Curt Shaver."When Melvin retired from HJ Upperman and Sons, he went to work for the Columbus, Ohio, City School District as an on-site carpenter where he refined his woodworking skills. Our father, Dave Shaver, started at HJ Upperman and Sons when he was 13 years old, sweeping and pushing a broom until he worked his way through college. C.J. and I, along with our three other siblings, grew up in the family business unloading trucks and pushing that same broom our father did for our grandfather years before. We still have that broom in our warehouse, and we use it every day remembering the sacrifice they made for us so we could get to where we are today.”
Curt and C.J. pride themselves in doing things the right way. For them, that means always operating with integrity, honesty, humility and consistency. “We were raised watching our father operate with these same values,” stated Curt.“He made every customer truly feel like family, and it is our goal to do the same.“ Every piece made at Columbus Barrel Company is designed and handmade at its Lewis Center, Ohio, headquarters, and all products are customized for each client’s specific needs.
This year, Columbus Barrel Company was welcomed into the Friends of NRA Standard Merchandise Package, showcasing a customized barrel head bearing the NRA seal. This item will be available exclusively at all 2019 Friends of NRA banquets and is limited to 1,130 units. Timeless, rustic and made in the USA, its a statement piece full of NRA pride. Plus, the 2019 Standard Merchandise Package also features a barrel wood basket created by Columbus Barrel Company.
When an NRA Field Representative came across Curt and C.J.’s barrel wood and buffalo hide flasks, he called Kathy Purtell, the merchandise manager for Friends of NRA. “From the day I met Curt and C.J., I would hear from one of the Shaver brothers almost every week,” noted Kathy. “They wanted to be part of our program and were very excited to join us as a direct vendor for 2018 banquets. We are excited to work with them now in our 2019 Standard Merchandise Package. They are very talented in what they do and have a great story behind their American-made products and family-owned business.”
“We hold the NRA and Friends of NRA program in the highest regard. We represent the same core values and are blessed to partner in their efforts.”
The Shaver brothers are just that—excited. Excited to be part of something which helps secure the Second Amendment. “We hope to be involved with the Friends of NRA program forever,” noted Curt. “We hold the NRA and Friends of NRA program in the highest regard. We represent the same core values and are blessed to partner in their efforts. We have known for quite some time what the organization stands for and what their goals are, but it wasn't until we met the people and volunteers of Friends of NRA that we truly connected to the mission. Simply put, those who work and volunteer for the NRA are just good, wholesome people, and we love being able to work together each and every day.”
It comes as no surprise that Columbus Barrel Company has a long-term goal of supporting The NRA Foundation. The Shaver brothers plan to continue doing their part to support the core values and mission that the Friends of NRA program represents. “We feel a responsibility to provide high quality, hand-crafted, unique and 100% American-made products to Friends of NRA so they can use them to benefit the growth of the organization in the best possible way," they shared. "We hope to partner with the NRA for many more years to come and to help grow their mission through our continued pursuit to provide new and exciting products.”
Get your hands on a one-of-a-kind, exclusive Columbus Barrel Company NRA Seal Barrel Head at your next local Friends of NRA banquet!