What’s that saying, necessity is the mother of invention, right? About 7 years ago, my teenage daughter needed a shoe rack. Everything I saw in the stores was made of cheap particle board and I knew it wouldn’t stand a chance of lasting more than a couple months in my busy household. I decided to hand make a custom shoe rack from pine. One project turned into two and before he knew it, I found the creative process of woodworking becoming a a great hobby. Not having any training, I didn’t take people very seriously when they asked me about selling my work. It took about a year to gain enough confidence in my skill level to start producing handmade items for sale.
I spent over 9 years serving our country in the United States Air Force. I took my education in IT from the military to civilian life when I moved from last duty station from Oklahoma City to Austin TX in 2004, as a Disabled Veteran, where I began working for Dell, then on to other IT employment places to include government. In 2021 I was laid off and decided to give my woodworking my full attention and strive to make even more beautiful pieces. Married for 25 years and counting my wife, Laddavan and I have 2 children. A 20-year-old daughter and 13-year-old son (who is also learning the craft). Two of the advantages of woodworking has been the connection with my son and the ability to work closely with my wife. My son being diagnosed with ADHD, I appreciate the focus my son has when it comes to working on projects together. The two have formed a tight bond sharing the same enthusiasm for creating handcrafted pieces.
My passion for quality pieces has become infectious. My wife Laddavan, who started out doing our back office functions, now is making and selling custom made beautiful home decor pieces that brings out the artist in her.
Before the pandemic the family would travel to various festivals and markets throughout Texas. Things are starting to pick back up again and I look forward to getting back out there and meeting potential new customers. Some of our most popular items include cutting boards, cheese slicer boards and Mandala art pieces. I thrive to make every piece with the highest quality wood and these items are meant to last for years to come. I love the idea of combining one of Spencer’s Custom Wood signature pizza cutters with a pizza stone or the ice cream scoop with some jars of fun toppings as a gift. Grandparents are tough to buy for and starting a tradition like pizza night or ice cream sundae night would be a really thoughtful present. Then that cutter or scoop can be passed down and hold so many happy memories.
I am dedicated to using local sawmills and fine lumber places to get all the wood. Sometimes I finds tree limbs and puts those to good use as well. Most of my pieces have a mixture of food safe mineral oil and beeswax finish to protect them and in addition I use a food safe, water resistant glue for my cutting boards. If you want to ensure your handcrafted piece stays in great shape, I recommend using olive or mineral oil to treat your cutting boards, as well as some of our special made cutting board conditioner. Don’t put them in the dishwasher either.
I had a long-term goal is to make my woodworking business a full-time job. The opportunity has presented itself quicker then expected, and I want to be sure seize the moment. It brings me so much joy to take a raw material and make it into something not only beautiful but very functional. I am proud to be a Disabled Veteran owned small business that believes in craftsmanship and quality.This year you can make someone’s holiday extra meaningful with a piece from Spencer’s Custom Wood collection. When you shop small and shop local you are buying more than an item. You are making a difference in our economy and our community.