On the walk to the old barn that crisp morning the dewey grass soaked their shoes. Quinn's uncle has said something about some old rough milled walnut stacked up in there… and they just had to see for themselves. Apparently Quinn's great-grandfather had felled some walnut on the old farm over 100 years ago and the rough milled slabs were still stacked and stickered… untouched. The slabs were cut from trees that had stood proudly since before the Civil War.
As Doug Boytos was telling me this story the other day during our conversation I could see his eyes light up… even though we were talking on the phone, 3000 miles apart. Its the story and history that brings the live edge to Live Edge Wood Designs, now a full time profession for Doug and his friend and business partner, Quinn Ferebee.
The two grew up helping family with building and remodeling projects and spending time in the shop with Quinn's father, Clay Ferebee to whom the boys credit much of their success. Doug said that the wood shop at Greenhope High School in Carey, NC, also had a major role in lighting his passion for woodworking. When asked during high school what he wanted to be when he grew up, Doug would sarcastically answer, “I want to be a woodworker.” Little did he know those words would manifest into reality less than 8 years later.
The two got their start in business doing home remodels and handyman work around Raleigh. Doug mentioned that during those first few years they had built a couple pieces of furniture, but nothing major. About 2-3 years ago Doug and Quinn decided to take a chance and focus their efforts on custom furniture design full time. “We always knew it would work out… and when we didn't have any projects and business was slow, we used our time to practice and add to our portfolio,” Doug said.
One of the pieces that caught my eye when looking at their site, www.liveedgewooddesigns.com was this Pecky Cypress Table with turqoise inlay:
When asked about his advice to woodworkers who are in the process of starting a business Doug talked about being “fully submerged.” In order to succeed you have to be all in and and not look back. As they've progressed over these few short years, Doug said that they've not only become more efficient at designing, creating and building, but that the quality of their pieces has improved immensely. At this point, much of their business is custom design for private clients.
Doug mentioned that one of his favorite parts of the business is making connections and friendships with other woodworkers, sawmills and customers. Networking with other craftsmen has helped these men succeed at learning how to do things they just couldn't figure out without the help of others' experience. And so it is with woodworking across the internet. We help each other, share our questions and answers, successes and failures… all in name of beautiful wood. Keep it live, folks…
You can check out Doug and Clay's creations at LiveEdgeWoodDesigns.com
On Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/LiveEdgeWoodDesigns/
Photos courtesy of liveedgewooddesigns.com