Furniture Maker Wins $100K By Turning Beetle Blight Into Furniture

Ketel OneCorbin Clay, winner of the Ketel One A Gentleman’s Call programThis article is sponsored by Ketel One.

When beetles killed scores of pine trees in the Rocky Mountains, making them highly flammable — and a major source of forest fires — custom furniture designer Corbin Clay saw beauty amid the damage. He started building furniture from the blue-tinged beetle-kill pine, breathing vibrant new life into this otherwise unusable wood.

Now Clay is ready to take his ambition even farther. The winner of Ketel One Vodka’s A Gentleman’s Call program, he’ll receive $100,000 to expand his Colorado-based business, The Azure Furniture.

Quality and Craftsmanship

For A Gentleman’s Call, Ketel One asked people what they would do with $100,000, drawing upon the pillars of entrepreneurship, craftsmanship, and philanthropy. 

Since 1996, almost 4 million acres of woodland had been destroyed by the mountain pine beetle. Clay had the vision to create affordable heritage-quality furniture while also helping save the ravaged land.

Given his dedication to sustainability and to the quality of his craft, Clay was selected as the A Gentleman’s Call winner for embodying the values and passion of the Nolet family, which founded Ketel One Vodka and has been distilling spirits for more than 300 years.

With the money awarded to him by A Gentleman’s Call, Clay hopes to hire staff and acquire resources to open a retail store.

Congratulations to Corbin Clay and the four runners-up, all of whom received an exclusive Ketel One and Tumi mixology set, for their game-changing “gentleman’s” ideas.

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KETEL ONE® Vodka. Distilled from Wheat. 40% Alc/Vol. ©2013 Imported by Ketel One USA, Aliso Viejo, CA.

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