Some are born into the trades, others find themselves here because college wasn't an option, or they just couldn't see themselves sitting behind a desk every day. My story is kind of a mix of all three. My father is a Master Carpenter, who built several homes, but focused mostly on custom libraries, cabinetry, and staircases. His love for woodworking and building was contagious, and he led a happy and fulfilled life doing just that. Unfortunately, the difficulties of running a business are always a reality, and although amazing at his craft, the business side usually needed some work. I looked up to my Dad, and I never consciously decided against becoming a carpenter, or taking a different path than he did. At the time I just did what everyone else was doing after high school, and went to college. The only problem is that I really had no idea what I wanted to do.
Through my first few years in college I bounced around a bit, and finally ended up with a Bachelor’s degree in International Business and Entrepreneurship. I really enjoyed school, but what I really loved was how fun and unique my summers were, compared to friends who were taking business internships and other ‘office’ jobs. Mine were spent building a single custom home with my dad and one other carpenter. We essentially built the place by hand, stuck in time out in the mountains in Vermont. No pneumatic nailers, skyjacks or really much machinery at all. I didn't realize at the time that I was getting some of the most valuable education a kid could ask for. Although I was taking on piles of debt during the school year, the real learning happened every summer, on some dirt road in the middle of nowhere.
What I was given was the most romantic picture of carpentry that I could have imagined. Hand hammering tongue and grooved roofing and assembling our own cherry and maple rafters. Installing cedar lap siding with stainless finish nails, then putting finishes on the interior to button up this little 1200 square foot cabin in the woods. At the time I enjoyed it but I certainly took it for granted. What I didn’t think of, was that these summers were laying the real foundation for the unknown structure of my future life. To be continued!