From the second floor of my in-laws' barn in Westminster, VT (1989), to my newest "dream shop" in Floyd County, VA, my family has grown, persevered through hard times, and thrived. My family, and my love for creating unique and beautiful pieces of furniture, are sources of motivation toward the future.
In '89, I had just the basic tools and a love for building furniture. My first renovation project was an old fruit stand that was falling down -- an "eye sore" for the residents of Westminster. I asked the owner if I could fix it up, at my cost, and then rent the building from him. I remodeled the building and brought it back to its natural look. The people of the town were really excited about my work. The building "with trees growing through the roof and trash all around" was finally back and a part of the town. Unfortunately, after all the hard work and expense, a retail business was not allowed there in the village of Westminster.
This was the first of many setbacks; some other misfortunes followed, but our family and my heart for crafting lovely furniture endured.
In 1999, we made a new start in Virginia. I saw an ad in the paper: "Land for Sale, Owner Financing" and I thought I would give it a shot. Following directions to the land, my wife and I drove to Floyd. It was rainy and foggy and we "felt like we kept going up", but we made it to the land. We couldn't even drive to the top, and the whole time my wife was saying "no way, I'm not living up here." In spite of all that, I had the feeling that this was it; this is where I'm gonna build my new house and shop! So, in 1999, I started cutting trees and clearing the land where our house would sit. I worked all day as a construction superintendent, then drove to Floyd to work all night on the house. Every weekend, every free minute I had, I worked. We finished during the summer of 2000 and moved in.
Now, I have built a beautiful home and my dream shop on that very same piece of land. I have 4 children, 3 of them in Floyd County schools and the oldest at Virginia Tech. Having my shop here at the house allows me to spend more hours working and creating.
Woodworking has always been a big part of my life. It's my therapy when things get a little crazy. I can create these pieces, and still enjoy time with my wife and kids.
For ten years I did the business as a part time job on top of working as a full-time construction superintendent. On December 21, 2014 I began full-time woodworking and while it has been a big change for myself and my family the business has been successful and I am very fortunate to now do what I love full time!