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ROWLETT FRAME MAKER WINS RECOGNITION Keep Texas Beautiful honors Recherché Inc. for use of recycled materials

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Cliff and Jan Hand figure their company Recherché Inc. has kept more than 25,000 soda tabs and tens of thousands of wooden pickets out of the landfill.

The Hands combine the reclaimed wood and soda tabs with cardboard from repurposed boxes to make rustic frames they sell wholesale across the nation.

“We work with fence companies that are going to put them in the landfill, and we go pick them up instead,” Jan Hand said, adding that getting soda tabs is a little trickier.

“We can’t buy those, and that’s what we use for hooks, so we hold contests on social media and whoever gives us the most for the month, they win a free frame,” she said.

Now the company is a prizewinner, too, recognized by Keep Texas Beautiful.

The Rowlett company placed first in the local businesses category for an Ebby Halliday and Maurice Acers Business/Industry Leadership Award. The award recognizes “businesses with sound environmental principles supporting the Keep Texas Beautiful mission,” according to ktb.org.

Martha Brown, executive director of Keep Rowlett Beautiful, had encouraged the Hands to apply for the award.

“The judges at the state level thought it was a program worth recognizing with a first place award, and believe me, they get lots of submissions for those types of awards,” Brown said.

“I love that frame line they do,” she said. “I just bought my first one two weeks ago. They are beautiful, and it’s kind of neat how they are doing it and involving the community, and it keeps all of that out of the landfill.”

The Hands started Recherché Inc. about five years ago, specializing in custom-made furniture. They introduced the frames a year ago and the product line has taken off.

The frames come in 15 different colors, and some now include embellishments of cowhide and silver medallions.

“The rustic look is very popular,” Jan Hand said. “We do well obviously in the western states, but then we get a ton of orders out of New York.”

The Hands didn’t start the frames with winning prizes in mind, but they were hoping to do some good.

Working with their congregation, Lake Pointe Church in Rockwall, they donate 10 percent from each frame sold to help fund the drilling of water wells in African communities that need water, she said. “We call it the ‘turning wood into water campaign.’”