A warehouse full of stories
by Hailey Wilson
photography by Pete Grady
In 2001, Suzanne McDaniel accompanied her father on a trip to Bali. While in a small village on the island, she called her husband Drew, and said,“find a warehouse that will hold a 40 foot container of goods! I’m going shopping.” This was just the beginning of what would eventually become Impact Imports.
From that first trip, the company has grown exponentially. Not only is the product beautiful, but the business itself has a hugely positive impact. Suzanne and Drew go on a buying trip to Indonesia at least once a year. They typically spend three weeks on the road visiting villages to source, meet with artisans, and buy. These partnerships support individuals, families, and villages- both financially and by helping artists continue craft that has been passed down from generation to generation.
“Impact Imports is more than a store. It’s a place where stories are told, and the work of generations past is restored and honored.”
The McDaniel’s favorite location found during one of these ventures is Madura Island. Located off the north shore of Java Island, Madura is where the Dutch landed in the early 1700s. Their settlement resulted in a richly mixed culture, and goods that reflect the history. Each product found at Impact Imports has some sort of backstory, and are typically recycled or refurnished. This is a huge difference from the factory beginnings of so many of today’s corporate products. In Impact Import showrooms, you can find a vast assortment of items: dining tables made from boat wood, old Indonesian buildings, stone slab counter tops, and even handcrafted jewelry, to name just a few of the items available.
The logistics of importation are very complex. Not only are there regulations and quality checks, but communication between several makers on different islands is also necessary. Typically an item will be placed in the showroom six months after being found, but that process can take more than a year. Thankfully, the McDaniels are dedicated enough to work through these boundaries, and make their beautiful goods available here in Boise.
Impact Imports also frequently creates custom furniture. They have pieces in such local hubs as Barbacoa, Ling and Loui’s, Raw Sushi, as well as hundreds of homes throughout the area. Their 10,000 square foot Boise showroom is often a destination for interior designers because of the guarantee of one of a kind pieces, as well as the option of customization for their clients.
In 2011, The McDaniels opened an East Coast location in Philadelphia. This expansion has been extremely successful, and has allowed them to work with clients all over the nation- from the West coast to Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. In addition to growing their locations in Boise and Philadelphia, Drew and Suzanne are currently working on expanding their line of steel and stone fire tables. These industrail/modern looking table feature a lava stone fire pit, and are manufactured in Indonesia.
Impact Imports is more than a store. It’s a place where stories are told, and the work of generations past is restored and honored. With the Indonesian islands at their fingertips, who knows what stories the McDaniels will be telling through their finds next?
For more information, visit Impact Imports at:
552 East Amity Road, Boise
open every Friday and Saturday 10-5, Sunday 12-5