Making things by hand…it’s a family affair. My little brother (even though he is 38 years old, will always be my little brother) is one of these guys who is a jack-of-all-trades. He has never ceased to amaze and inspire me with his natural abilities and talents. He is someone who, if he wasn’t doing what he does today, could’ve easily been just about anything he put his mind to. It turns out he decided to become a firefighter/paramedic, an incredibly noble choice of careers. Climbing that ladder afforded him the chance to be a mostly stay-at-home dad, on the days he wasn’t at the firehouse. (I’m fairly certain he would say that being a stay-at-home dad was the much more challenging job of the two!) Once my niece and nephew began going to school full-time, he found himself with a lot of free time on his hands and needed to find an outlet for his creativity.
Having a passion for woodworking, he started to make small pieces of furniture out of his garage space, where friends and family members got to see a glimpse of his work and started placing orders on the spot. After a few short months, it seemed that a budding business was taking shape. A little over a year later, he has not only made and sold several quality pieces of handmade furniture, but has over 11,000 followers on his Facebook page Illinois Farmhouse, has turned his hobby into a full-blown business which is partnered by his best-friend, has taken on part-time employees (his wife, kids, our brother and parents included) and has moved out his garage into a warehouse space with an office and showroom. SAY WHAT??? How fantastic is that???
His incredible work-ethic, ingenuity and creative vision have transformed a small idea into a big reality. Not only is this a huge success for him personally, but it is also teaching his children the important lessons in honoring the value of making things by hand, of working hard and following your passion, and reaping the benefits of a fulfilling and meaningful life. For this and so many reasons more, I’m so very proud of him and my sister-in-law.
You can see more of his work at Illinois Farmhouse | Handcrafted Fine Wood Furniture
(Tell him his big sister sent you.)