Meet Our Team
There was a point in time not long ago when the idea of making physical changes to our home felt like a daunting and unreachable task. The phrase "Wouldn't it be cool if?" was uttered nearly daily, but we were too afraid to try, so we didn't. Then in March of 2018 we came home to find 6" of standing water in our basement, and black mold had already begun to form. The sewer had backed up clean water (whew!) into our basement and we suffered a complete loss. We were fortunate to have had a rider on our homeowner's insurance that covered the loss, but we decided to stretch our funds as much as possible and do the work ourselves, which meant we had a lot to learn. What we didn't expect was that our "Disastertunity" would permanently change the trajectory of our lives.
It was in those first few days that we began watching "how to" videos on YouTube and started rebuilding our basement from the studs up. How to knock out a wall; how to mud dry wall; and how to lay flooring, soon turned to searches for how to custom build a recessed fireplace; how to German schmear; and how to glass block your windows. With every project, our confidence grew. Brian did the brunt of the work as the carpenter, and the vision and design elements were left to Anna. It wasn't long before we realized that what had started as a disaster had really turned into an opportunity. An opportunity for us to make our home into what we always wanted it to be.
Fast forward two years to the Covid pandemic - Brian was displaced from his job as a phone tech giving him ample time to grow his woodworking skills and his new business, Inspired Lumber. And our neighbor, Robb (R.E.S.K. Woodworking), found himself in the same situation and started constructing small squirrel picnic tables to sell on Facebook as a way to support himself. The two would often be working across the street from each other on projects, giving the neighborhood a "dueling saws" situation, The two became fast friends. That friendship, and their shared love of woodworking, would help to further ignite their collective fire to learn more. It was not long before the two merged their woodshops together to save on expenses and increase their available assets. And while both maintained their separate businesses, the two also served as the other's assistant.
Then in the fall of 2021, Brian was hired by Ottawa Hills Schools to construct the set for their upcoming musical, The Hunchback of Notre Dame. With both businesses growing and space at a minimum, we decided that the guys needed more space and safer tools if they were going to grow and keep all their digits. But then we started to think about all the other budding woodworkers working alone in the cold with dangerous tools on uneven ground in cramped garages across city, and that they too might appreciate a warmer, bigger, safer environment where they could create hand-crafted projects, start and grow their own business, or just learn something new.
The location that we chose allowed us to include a creative suite that features vinyl cutting, screen printing, heat pressing, stencil making, sublimation printing, paper cutting and more. It also provided us with a dedicated classroom for up to 18 people where we will offer classes across a wide range of mediums. And lastly, because our mission is to help incubate other small businesses, we will also feature a monthly retail marketplace which will provide a platform for our members to showcase their work and generate some revenue of their own. We believe in supporting local and we can't get much more local than built within our Workshop.
The opening of Inspired Lumber Workshop is a dream come true for us. It's the culmination of a lot of hard work, dedication and support from our family, friends and community. Thank you to each and every one of you that contributed to the build out, cheered us on or offered support. We couldn't have done it without you.