Kootenay Murphy Beds answered the call for modern downsizing solutions

From China to New Denver: How a family adventure turned into a thriving furniture business

by Danielle Brost
Ramona and Allen, owners of the company at their shop

Allan and Ramona take great pride in their work. — Photo courtesy Kootenay Murphy Beds

Ever wonder how a family adventure halfway around the world could transform into a thriving business venture? Ramona Tomescu experienced it firsthand. She is the partner and co-owner of Kootenay Murphy Beds, along with her partner Allan. In our interview with Tomescu, she shared the fascinating tale of Kootenay Murphy Beds—a New Denver business born from an unexpected turn of events and a dash of creativity.

As COVID-19 reshaped lives and living spaces, downsized living became a prominent trend. The demand for space-saving solutions soared, and Kootenay Murphy Beds' handcrafted, solid wood murphy beds turned out to be the perfect answer.

In this interview, Ramona shares the journey from their cozy cabin in Rosebery to the bustling business they have become today, all while embracing the spirit of downsized living and community support.

- Photo courtesy Kootenay Murphy Beds

How did Kootenay Murphy Beds come to be, and what inspired you to start this business?

So, picture this: We moved from Nelson to China in September 2019, ready for an adventure-filled year—to travel as much as we could in South East Asia, work in China, learn Mandarin and fully immerse ourselves in Asian culture with our then six-year-old daughter. But, COVID-19 had other plans, and in January we had to flee China while we could still do it. Not having a place in Nelson anymore, we decided to come to New Denver where we had family, until we reset our lives and COVID turned a corner.

Fast forward to our cozy cabin in Rosebery—our family's new headquarters. While exploring the woods one day, it hit us—solid wood space-saving furniture! Living, working, and playing in a small cabin got us thinking further: Murphy bed! Our first Murphy bed for our kid was a hit. Suddenly, social media loves it. Downsized living? Turns out, it’s a thing. In early 2020 COVID days there were so many people downsizing, migrating from big cities to smaller communities—everyone was working from home, space was hard to find and so on. Our handmade solid wood Murphy bed turned out to be the right product at the right time.

Why do you think Murphy beds are ideal for downsized living?

Here’s the scoop: Murphy beds are a game changer for small spaces. Imagine a bed that effortlessly folds into thin air, giving you more room to twirl. From snug apartments to tiny homes, these beds are like magic. In downsized living scenarios like studios, tiny homes, or urban condos, Murphy beds become transformative. They allow you to maximise your living area, effortlessly switching from a cozy bedroom or guestroom at night to a spacious living room or home office during the day. Our solid wood wall beds are all about blending both style and practicality, without giving up on quality. Want a bedroom that moonlights as a home office? You got it. Murphy beds are the epitome of smart furniture, perfectly tailored for downsized living. In today's economy, where space is often at a premium, Murphy beds propose an ideal solution.

What has been one of your biggest challenges since starting the company, and how have you dealt with it?

Kootenay Murphy Beds had an organic start. The demand was there and we seized at the right moment. But the logistics were challenging. Let's talk real talk. Building beds in the middle of nowhere? Not easy. Locally sourcing wood? Sounds fun and mindful, until it’s not. But guess what? We got through it. And our beds? Worth the adventure. Finding reliable folks? It's like a treasure hunt. Challenges? Bring them on!

Is there anything else you would like our readers to know?

From our next-door neighbours, to ski resort lodges—our community rocks. Even during a wild pandemic, they cheered us on. We’re truly grateful and humbled by the local support and generosity. Starting a local gig? It’s like building a puzzle together. Need a takeaway? If your idea vibes with the times, your community has got your back. Go build cool stuff together! There's nothing more rewarding than a community-built brand.

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