A few years ago I quit my job in the music industry in order to pursue a passion of mine. It was by no means an easy decision but I figured it was much better to have less money whilst giving something I enjoyed a shot rather than being unhappy in a job I was unhappy in. Each week I am going to tell you a short story about something to do with my small woodworking business Common Wood. Some weeks it may not even be about wood. As I learn every day through trial and error I am hoping that some of my mistakes and lessons can maybe help others.
I had been building a few coffee tables and whatnot for family and friends over the previous little while and found the work really rewarding and that I really had 'the knack' for woodworking. What little did I know… The more I did the more I realised that there was and still is so much to learn.
All I really had was an idea. I knew I wanted to design and build furniture, home décor items and artwork from reclaimed timber. I’ll be honest, my main reason originally for wanting to use reclaimed timber was that most of it could be sourced very cheaply if not for free. Thank god I was being a cheapskate. What has now become one of the most rewarding things in my business is taking a rough, busted old piece of timber and turning it into something totally unrecognisable.
I came up with the name Common Wood and began my wooding journey. They say great things come from small beginnings so I began with a small run of iPad/record stands made out of an old chopping block I had commandeered. The only tools I had were a Makita Router, an Ozito power sander and a Stanley Cordless circular saw. With my lack of tools they took me a while to create but I was given a great boost as they sold better than I expected through my newly created Etsy store.
I got a warm and fuzzy feeling when the reviews rolled in saying that the customers really liked the product. This gave me the confidence to dive in and give this ‘thing’ a shot.
Obviously I knew that I could not support financially myself by selling the odd iPad holder so I got in touch with a close friend who I’d worked with in landscaping many years prior to see if I could come and work with him at Straight Up Gardens. This gave me the ability to dedicate a few days a week to Common Wood whilst still maintaining an income.
So there I was, ready to take on the biggest task of my 30 odd years…
Next week – Tooling up