Chris Sauer, 40
Owner, Columbus Architectural Salvage
1270-A Edgehill Rd., Columbus

Would you please tell people about your shop?
Our tagline is "recycling old house parts and vintage building materials." We go into old buildings before they're torn down and get as much usable material as possible.

This place is full of finds. What are some examples of items you carry?
Vintage and antique fireplaces and mantles, lighting, bath fixtures, hardware, windows. We have big pieces of stone that people could either use in a garden, or the interior of their house as well.

And there is certainly a lot of it. How much space is here?
The total space is 10,500 square feet.... One thing people always comment on is how organized stuff is. But as we continue to develop, we're working to refine that even more.

Let's talk about your background. You began your college career studying architecture. While your major changed, your interest in it obviously stuck, yes?
I ended up with a degree in American History. I sort of combined all those interests. I served as the Assistant Historic Preservation Officer for the city of Columbus for six years.

Would you talk about one thing that sparked your idea for the store?
We had a house in Victorian Village for 14 years. It had been chopped up into four parts for apartments, and we turned it back into a single house. And I was always frustrated there was no place in town to find authentic parts.

For the store, you get items from not only homes, but also from some high-profile places, like Ohio State University's Brown Hall, yes?
We have to be proactive. It's not always easy to find those opportunities.

You only have one other employee, plus your dad helping part-time. So you actually go into these buildings, physically remove the items yourself and run the store, right?
Yep. I'm answering the phones. I'm doing the marketing. I'm inventorying. I'm running the Web site. There's a lot of stuff we're trying to do!

It's interesting listening to you talk about these items as we walk through the store, because you truly appreciate the workmanship that went into these pieces. Why?
Whenever I take out these old staircases, I think about the people who built them, not having power tools or anything.

You're actually a carpenter as well. Would you talk about that?
I always just loved working with my hands. Just did all kinds of carpentry work. So I'm able to use some of those skills. Having an understanding of how something was put together helps you remove it without destroying it.

Kristy Eckert is the editor of Capital Style.