Several weeks ago a fellow dadblogger posted a photo of a wooden growth chart as a suggestion for other dadbloggers who might be interested in making them. I saw the opportunity and set about testing different ways of making these growth charts. After some trial and error I had three different versions completed.
I have long enjoyed working with wood and in making these growth charts I rediscovered a passion. I am turning this rediscovered passion into a business – at least I hope to
I am in the process of putting the operation together. The first products are developed, company is named and website is up (preliminary anyway). I have decided to focus on making children’s decor products. The growth charts are the start. The next product is based on a design by my grandfather.
When I was little, he made me a giraffe with pegs for hanging clothes. I had it for many years and eventually when I grew out of it, it was handed on to my cousin. I always remembered the giraffe being in my room and when my grandfather passed away we found the plans for the giraffe. I made a couple of them and gave one to my dad and kept one for myself.
This is the one I made for my dad more than twenty years after I built it.
When my first daughter was born, my dad brought the giraffe as a gift for her. My second daughter got my giraffe. This one is a little beat up and has had some repairs over the years. This design has one flaw. The giraffes are quite unstable and tip over easily. So I have reworked the design to resolve that problem and the new prototype is now in production.
I decided to name my enterprise Thomas Woodcrafts. My Poppa who built the original giraffe was named Thomas, as was my Grampy who was a plumber by trade. Both were jacks of all trades and it is in no small part due to their influence that I discovered my love of making things with my own hands.
My particular interest in working with wood came from an exploratory shop class in grade nine where I had the opportunity to learn basics of wood working, drafting, welding, electricity, automotive repair and something else that I can’t remember. I am pretty sure there were six shops. I continued with wood working all the way through grade 12 and considered carpentry as a career possibility.
I chose the name Thomas Woodcrafts in honour of my grandfathers and their gift to me. You can find the website at www.thomaswoodcrafts.com and the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ThomasWoodcrafts. I’ll be updating these sites as I develop new products. I haven’t yet sorted out e-commerce for the site, but there are order forms and I can accept payment through paypal.
I am excited about this venture and I am excited about the opportunities for being creative with wood again. Over the years I have handmade a couple of paddles; a large TV stand and a step table – both of which still reside in my mother’s living room; several beds, including one for me that I used through university and beyond and then I modified to suit daughter #1 when she was ready for a bed, another one for kid #2, both of which were then cannibalized for parts when I made these loft beds and bookcases for the girls a couple of summers ago.
The idea of now making things for other kids and developing the designs myself is liberating. A dormant part of my brain has been re-activated and re-energized. I thought of the next three product ideas on my way to and from work today. Now I just need to convince people to start buying what I am selling so that I don’t just end up with a pile of wood decor products in the basement!
Rediscovering an old passion is like running into an old friend and reigniting the relationship.
What are your passions and have you turned any of them into business ideas?