Who We Are & What We Do:
Live Edge Detroit is a premier local supplier of Live Edge wood slabs. We only work with felled urban lumber, which means logs that would otherwise go to "waste" material, such as firewood or mulch. We do not purchase trees, logs or lumber, or remove trees - and we never seek out a living thing to build our wood slab inventory.
At our warehouse in Troy, will mill our responsibly sourced logs into usable materials like slabs and rounds. From there, they go through a 1-3 year air drying and dehumidification kiln drying process. When slabs are dry and ready for their next life, we make them available to the public for purchase at our warehouse.
Jenny (Barger) Kwiecien
Co-Founder, Director of Sales & Marketing
Jenny began her career in Marketing and Advertising at 19 years old. After 3 corporate internships with General Motors she transitioned out of Automotive and went to work for Starz Home Entertainment, where she successfully helped to launch two new brands for their Kids & Family division. Within a few years she landed a role in publishing for PEOPLE Magazine. Jenny worked at PEOPLE until August 2016, when she left to pursue her love of world travel and - of course - work alongside her family to launch Live Edge Detroit.
Jenny runs the Sales & Marketing for Live Edge Detroit, as well as oversees day-to-day operations.
When she's not at work, Jenny can be found relaxing at home with her husband John and their three dogs... listening to country music and most likely, indulging in their semi-serious pizza addiction.
Co-Founder & Business Forecasting Specialist
Coincidentally, Joe also grew up with the same tree-loving father figure as Jenny! He studied Forestry and Business at Michigan State, with a specialization in Entrepreneurship. After college, Joe's career took him into the business world where he gained extensive experience in Sales, Marketing & Finance across various industries. It wasn't until he moved to California in 2012 that Joe really discovered his passion for building wooden furniture.
With his knowledge of the urban wood industry on the West Coast, Joe helped Mike and Jenny develop a business plan for launching Live Edge Detroit in Michigan.
Although remote for now, Joe continues to support the business in various facets, including creation of his one-of-a-kind live edge furniture, made with Live Edge Detroit's locally salvaged urban slabs. Joe's West Coast business operates out of LA, under the name Urban Reserved.
Co-Founder, Live Edge Detroit
Certified Arborist & Urban Forester
Past President & Founder, Mike's Tree Surgeons
Past President, ReLeaf Michigan
Mike Barger grew up in Royal Oak, and graduated from Michigan Tech University with a degree in Urban Forestry. After college, he worked for the City of Southfield before starting his own tree care company (Mike's Tree Surgeons) in 1984. Mike and his wife, Denise, have two kids, Jenny & Joe, who have both followed in his entrepreneurial footsteps.
Mike has always had a keen interest in environmental conservation and sustainability. A few years ago he acted on a dream he's always had for the business: Salvaging the high quality logs and milling them into new usable material for craftsmen and DIY'ers. In 2016 Mike and his kids decided to put some power behind marketing the dry wood... and here we are today!
When Mike is not working you can likely find him in the woods... hunting, fishing or napping in nature.
John Kwiecien spent the earlier part of his career in the retail sector, as a sales rep for Gallo Wines. After a few years in this role, he jumped at an opportunity to open his own retail store in downtown Plymouth, which he called Trader Jack's. Filled with energy and magic, Trader Jack's was the place to go for the latest trading cards, sports memorabilia and even to meet some of Detroit's most well-respected athletes during in-store appearances. John ran Trader Jack's for 12 successful years, before switching gears to help out a couple friends in the Commercial Photography business.
For the next 15 years, John worked alongside some of the most talented photographers in Detroit, helping them coordinate photoshoots around the world. It was through a photoshoot for Carhartt that John would ultimately meet Jenny (his now wife) and become part of the Live Edge Detroit family.
John has a deep appreciation for architecture and design - specifically Mid-Century Modernism - and music history. In his downtime, he can be found tinkering in the garage or grilling up a feast for family & friends.