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Members like Beck & Cap

Supporting growing business ventures like Beck & Cap

Carving out a new space…and growing a new business

 

In 2016, the idea of a small fungus changed everything for Tanner and Jana Roach.

“Early on, we were faced with the direction of, like, which direction we want to go,” says Tanner Roach, the co-owner and furniture-hewing half of Beck & Cap. “And honestly, it was hard to really know in the beginning which direction we wanted to go. And it’s really been a process of us kinda forming.”

“We enjoy it all, but that’s kind of where it started—with a simple mushroom.”

 

 

In some ways, it seemed almost inevitable that Tanner and Jana Roach—the married team who own and run the Kalispell furniture and design business—would invariably find their way to success. All the signs were there. They became friends at church camp while they were still young, and their creative collaboration grew alongside their relationship, growing, shifting, evolving, and branching out over time. Now married and business partners, the Roaches have found what appears to be a natural crossroads of love, friendship, creativity, and design. 

 

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“We were both creative when we were younger, and I think the melding of our minds has only created a more insatiable creative monster,” Jana told The House That Lars Built. After all, this isn’t exactly where they expected to end up. “Tanner thought he was going to build houses, and I thought I was going into forensic science! Wildly different career choice, at least for me. I also knew back then that I couldn’t be corralled into one specific profession. I don’t think either of us could! We have to flex that creative, spontaneous muscle whenever we can.”

Some might call it fate.

 

“We’ve always been really collaborative on things,” says Tanner. “She’s an interior designer. I love putting the form together, but she’s really got the vision of where the end goal is.”

 

But it doesn’t seem surprising that two creative souls who work to design organic modern furniture with wood and natural materials would find each other and grow together, creating a landscape of their own.

“We’ve always been really collaborative on things,” says Tanner. “She’s an interior designer. I love putting the form together, but she’s really got the vision of where the end goal is.”

So far, the end goal is a much-lauded, sought-after line of ethically sourced furniture. Known in Japanese as “wabi-sabi,” Beck & Cap’s pieces embrace both a physical and philosophical—and what some might call spiritual—ethos that embraces both the imperfections and the transience of the natural world.

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Each piece is lovingly shaped and coaxed from the materials as though whispering their true shape to Tanner’s hands, resulting in pieces that work with the shape and design of its natural form.

If the tree trunk is the body of the table or chair, then the finished piece would be like its true essence. A soul.

Sometimes, it’s a worked block of wood, with finely sanded but chiseled planes, fluted tables, a gently round end table, their signature “tulip” chairs, or even the sloped of a ringed charcuterie board.

“It is, it’s chaos—and I think because we still said ‘yes’ to things during the chaos, that’s why these things have happened,” Jana says of their company and their passion for it.

“I mean, the first ‘yes’ was obviously carving the wooden mushroom,” says Tanner, and he and Jana both laugh.

After all, where this is life and decay and trees, new lifeforms will invariably grow. In 2016, while designing a display for Jana, Tanner carved what would be the first of many—many—mushrooms. The Roaches were stunned when they were approached by hordes of potential customers, all asking the same thing: “Where can we get one of those? And are they for sale?”

Over the next few years, the Roaches created and sold hundreds of mushrooms up and down the West Coast. All the while, their reputation was growing along with word about their work. And in 2020, Back & Cap’s first taste of real success came knocking…along with interior designer Leanne Ford. Once they were featured on Home Again with the Fords, Jana and Tanner really started making waves in the design world.

 

“We enjoy it all, but that’s kind of where it started: with a simple mushroom,” says Tanner. “The rest of everything we do—the organic, modern-type furniture—really grew out of that. ‘What else can we do with the carving and the kind of natural characteristics of wood?’”

 

Because, on the one hand, it’s just a mushroom. But in another way, they’re so much more than that. Each mushroom is carved from wood, softly sanded, but showcasing a sloping, organic form that shows off the nuances of the raw food, its cracks, whorls, knows, and variations in color and gradient. The result is altogether aesthetically pleasing—and more, it seems to channel the very soul of the forest. These aren’t your everyday grocery store mushrooms, but something untamed and viscerally natural that grows among the moss and decay of the deepest forests. These mushrooms speak of sprites and wild things and a world that smells earthy and clean under dappled shade.

 

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“We enjoy it all, but that’s kind of where it started: with a simple mushroom,” says Tanner. “The rest of everything we do—the organic, modern-type furniture—really grew out of that. ‘What else can we do with the carving and the kind of natural characteristics of wood?’”

That question has evolved into Beck & Cap growing beyond their wildest dreams. Last year, they purchased an old factory and renovated it, keeping an eye on the details of its history. White-painted brick walls, with dark doorways, detailed with “fermenting room” or “E Cellar,” a high ceiling with painted steel beams, old timbers, and concrete floors—the space is a veritable ad for design living. 

“The building we’re in right now is a building that we just purchased last year,” says Jana, who admitted that she “loves the juxtaposition” of the modern décor with the historic building. “It was an old brewery back in the 1800s. Even Pabst Blue Ribbon had ownership in the building at one time.”

“We literally used to just drive around the building and daydream of what it could be,” adds Tanner. “It seemed like a big thing for us. We’d never purchased commercial property before. The help we received from Whitefish Credit Union was just incredible.”

Running perfectly parallel to the factory is a Quonset hut—a long, arch steel building—that serves as the workshop. Inside are scores of enormous tree trunks and branches, roughly hewn and simple blocks, yet each with their unique shape and grain, waiting for Tanner to find their next shape, their next incarnation.

Inside Beck & Cap, anything is possible. Everything is just waiting for its time; it's season to grow.

And the Roaches are ready for whatever sprouts up.

“We have no idea what the future is. Who knows what we’re building? Who knows what the next mushroom is, you know?”

 

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Because what we do pays dividends.

 

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