“I can confidently say that if you asked me back then, I would not think I would be ready to have my own company today. But I took what life gave me and worked with it. ”
Owner of Kartwheel Craftsmanship, a carpenter (like Jesus), creates modern design spaces (unlike Jesus) with an unrelenting focus on quality and craft.
Tell us about you path to becoming a designer / craftsman.
My path to learning woodworking and custom building came from being tired of a desk job. I was designing a music magazine out of SF called XLR8R Magazine. It was a great job with great people but I had the urge to take design 3-dimensional. During this switch I happened to visit Austin for a weekend and I fell in love with this place. A week later, I had an apartment and had turned in my notice at my current job. I was Austin bound. Upon arriving I was still doing graphic design but hating it... enough to quit everything and go back to the bottom of the payroll to learn some new skills.
I went from deck building to home remodeling to wood shop to another wood shop to getting thrown in with the wolves and it was sink or swim. Well I sank. I owe all my skill sets of woodworking and furniture making to a fella named Gabe Lewin. He gave me the insight of what it took to make things happen. I was thrown into making furniture with little to no idea of what I was doing. After 2 years of this I was let go. The economy took a turn for the worse and boom. And then Kartwheel was launched. I can confidently say that if you asked me back then, I would not think I would be ready to have my own company today. But I took what life gave me and worked with it.
Who or what inspires you?
All of my friends. So much talent and crazy awesome people I call my friends. And obviously my seniors in the furniture and interior design world.
Were you creative as a kid?
I'd say no. I was more trouble as a kid. Always getting into something...
What do you like about living in Austin?
The opportunities with a young business. The people, the ease. But not the summers.
What is your typical day like?
Wake at 5:45am, make coffee, feed the dogs, get to the shop by 6:45am. Meet with my team and go over the day. Turn machines on and start making things. Come 5pm, grab a beer at one of Austin's many watering holes.
What's your favorite food?
I don’t have just one - I have a few. Pizza, burgers, Thai food, and of course, ice cream.