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Genoa plant business grows to include barn salvage

GENOA – Bill Lloyd doesn't know what he's going to create with the wood he salvages from 100-year-old barns until he sits down and starts working.

Lloyd is the owner of Lloyd Landscaping and Old Barn Salvage, 662 Park Ave., Genoa. The store held its grand opening Saturday after officially opening April 28.

"As soon as I saw that hayrack, I knew it was going to be a bed someday," Lloyd said while pointing to a bed with a haystack as a headboard.

Lloyd got his start in business after he took a landscaping class at Kishwaukee College a year after graduating high school. He started his own landscaping business in Sycamore in 1994, but recently made the move to a former auto parts store in Genoa to incorporate his interest in barn wood salvage.

That part of business has taken off, so much so that Lloyd is about a month behind with his landscaping side of business. Since being featured in a farmer's magazine, Lloyd said he has gotten calls from people all over the country asking about his products.

"One guy called saying he needed a barn to put his giraffes in," Lloyd said.

Lloyd travels the country to find wood from old barns to make into tables, chairs and shelves. Most of his products are constructed from pine or Douglas fir, so he travels to other parts of the country to find wood native to those areas, including maple and oak.

The Genoa business also has a gardening center where flowers are sold. There are a total of seven employees.

Lloyd's wife, Mary, also works with her husband when she is not working her full-time job as a nurse practitioner. Mary Lloyd said doing payroll and paying the bills for Lloyd Landscaping and Old Barn Salvage is a nice escape from her normal job.

Mary Lloyd also helps design and create some of the products made from barn wood. She said creativity runs in her family; her brother is an artist.

"It's totally different," she said, refering to her two jobs. "It's nice to have something different. Being a nurse practitioner, there's not a lot of creativity."

Lloyd finishes many of his products by using a varnish, which also protects against splinters, an inevitable part of the barn salvaging business.

"You're going to get a few [splinters] along the way," Lloyd said. "That's part of the business."

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