I was recently asked the question “Why did you become a Furniture Maker?” and my response was simple “because I enjoy it.”
Now granted, that’s a lazy answer, and in a perfect world that would be everyone’s response when asked about their occupation. But that question got me thinking, and I realised it goes far deeper than just “because I enjoy it.”
You see, building is a natural part of me. It’s in my blood and from what I’ve been told, even as a child, I was fascinated by how things were put together, what went where and what would happen if I pulled that apart? The discovery of Lego was a game changer for me. Countless hours were spent building, carefully following the instructions to completion, then taking it all apart, tossing the booklets and building something new from scratch (who needs instructions anyway, right?!?)
The memories of my childhood are vague at best, but one thing I’m clear on is my Grandfather’s workshop. A retired cabinet maker who at this point, spent his time building pieces of furniture for the family in his one car garage. I remember hanging out, watching, listening. I was always so intrigued. It wasn’t long until he picked up on my interest and began asking for help. I didn’t know it at the time, but this was the beginning of something big.
Each time we’d work on a new project he would have something new and exciting to teach me, whether it be a simple trick of the trade, or the proper use of a hand tool. But what excited me the most were the power tools! I don’t know many 8 year old’s who are proficient in the use of a jigsaw, but I was certainly one of them!
My passion for woodwork only grew over the years. Spending my weekends and school holidays in my parents garage, using the limited tools we had. Always coming up with new ideas, yet spending most of my time fixing mistakes. Getting frustrated when things wouldn’t work out as planned. You see, apparently you need patience to be a woodworker, you need to understand that mistakes are part of the process and acceptance of these mistakes help you grow… HA! I’ve been telling myself that for years now. I feel as a professional that I have the foresight to see the potential for problems before they happen, yet mistakes are a natural part of life, and that feeling of failure is still as crushing today as it was when I was a teenager. Yet the drive to succeed has always been far more prevalent.
Looking back on my teenage years in my parents garage, I can now see that wasn’t just a hobby that was filling my time, it was an obsession. The ability to create something out of nothing was and still is, the best feeling in the world. The sense of achievement and the ability to say “I made this” never gets old. So when it came time to leave school at the age of 18, the common question being asked was “so what do you want to do with your life?” I could tell this was a hard question for some, especially at 18 years of age. Lets be honest, that’s a hard question to answer no matter what age. But I knew the answer.
And so my career began.
Over the next 12 years I’d hone my craft in the professional industry. Specifically choosing jobs that would help me grow as a builder in the hopes to one day start my own business. I began with a 4 year Cabinet Makers Apprenticeship. While being incredibly tedious and frustrating at the time, I can look back on it now knowing that it allowed me to start my career with a strong foundation. Not only developing a knowledge of the industry, but giving me the tools to develop a strong work ethic.
From here I’d work in numerous jobs, from building and installing kitchens, to mass production on commercial sites, to domestic custom joinery, to one off custom made furniture pieces. To finally… opening my own business. Where I learnt that being a good builder is only a fraction of the skills you need to run a furniture making business.
It was an exhilarating start when Pedulla Studio opened its doors back in May of 2016. Word of mouth was clearly an effective source of gaining business for me, but I quickly learnt that I couldn’t solely rely on this form of advertising. Actually, I learnt a lot of things. One of those being that consistently upskilling yourself isn’t just an important part of being a business owner, but it’s an important part of life. Learning new skills helps you to adapt to whatever comes your way. So I found myself not only building custom furniture (something which I had confidence in) but also learning every other aspect of my business, from accounting to building a website, from photography to editing videos, from throwing myself into the world of marketing and social media to managing work flow. All of which sounded impossible in the beginning but is now just an everyday part of life
But even though it’s been hard work, I can look back over the last few years and not only be proud of my accomplishments as a confident, skilled furniture maker, but also see the benefits in consistently pushing forward, being the best I can be, to get exactly where I want to go.
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