LaGrange Shop Puts a Personal Touch on Handcrafted Products
Writer / Amy Lant-Wenger
Sometimes, the rhythm of life is fueled by a need for convenience – an assurance that something will become available at a moment’s notice. It just seems easier, at times, to find something on a whim and incorporate it seamlessly into a home’s interior setting. It’s quite possible that few people will ever take the time to learn about the process of creating items that end up in a home.
There is a small family enterprise in the heart of LaGrange County that exemplifies a very different perspective on what it means to build furniture. It is all about being unique, and about taking the time to make the end product worth the wait. It is about presenting customers with a work of art that is destined to become an heirloom.
Royal Legacy Furniture, nestled in the countryside between Shipshewana and LaGrange, is owned by Leonard Helmuth, an Amish craftsman who was raised in nearby Michigan before relocating to the LaGrange area in 2007. His operation is simplistic, but his work ethic is strong. While he admits that he wasn’t particularly active in the craft until he was a young adult, he did exhibit a keen interest in woodworking prior to that time, and it was evident that he was skilled quite early on. His initial foray into woodworking has evolved into a business that produces custom, handcrafted wood furniture.
Helmuth first dabbled in building furniture and cabinetry in 2009, along with “whatever came along,” he says with a grin. By 2017 he had begun operating a small storefront, which included items such as mattress sets and other types of furniture.
At that point he felt it was time to give this growing business a proper name.
He turned to his in-laws for some advice on what he should call this new venture, and they were the ones who suggested the name Royal Legacy, for a most touching reason.
The letters “R” and “L” were integral to the business name, Helmuth explains, because they are the initials of the first names of himself and his wife.
Royal Legacy Furniture shares a kind of kinship with other furniture shops in the area, in that they often share similar design ideas when working on various items. Helmuth says it isn’t unusual for folks to reach out to him with a specific vision in mind, a dream piece, or a schematic for cabinetry that they entrust him to bring to reality. Most of his clients are local, he says, but there are also customers who have discovered him from beyond the region.
Helmuth is glad to welcome visitors to Royal Legacy Furniture on any day of the week, with the exception of Sunday. He says the best way to catch up with him is to simply drop by during the afternoon, or prospective visitors can call ahead to set up an appointment.
Royal Legacy Furniture is located at 3950 West 200 North in LaGrange. The shop’s telephone number is 260-768-7510.