Courtesy Justin Stokes, launchengine.io
Caleb Woodard is a second-generation woodworker based in his hometown of Springfield, TN. His exposure to woodworking came from his father, a traditional craftsman who both made furniture professionally when Caleb was young, and continued this pursuit as a hobby in retirement. Caleb tells Launch Engine that he learned all about the different kinds of joints that could hold wooden furniture together—including hand-cut, dovetail, and mortise and tenon joints—early on, constantly being surrounded by the furniture his father was making.
Caleb went to college to study business. After school, he moved to Washington D.C. to work for a trade association. Even after getting his degree, Caleb realized that he hadn’t shaken the itch—he still wanted to make things. So when he learned that a furniture shop in Arlington, VA needed help, Caleb decided to work for the company on nights and weekends. He was also taking sculpture classes in Alexandria, VA, and he put what he learned to good use in the furniture store.
“The entire time… I would come [to Springfield] for visits, and I would bring back things to carve in the living room,” Caleb recalls, adding that he also brought stone carving and clay projects to his Washington D.C. home to pass the time.
In 2013, Caleb relocated back to his hometown of Springfield, and set up the new furniture studio there. Initially, he was driving back and forth between Springfield and Washington D.C. to deal with the clients that he had cultivated over the years. However, this changed for him in 2015, as the demand for his work allowed him to work on his own terms and not have to meet clients personally.
“The goal is always to try to do singular work,” Caleb notes. With such a feeling of singularity, the furniture has an appeal to interior designers and architects who order his work directly. The lion’s share of these orders come from clientele based in New York City, which adds to their importance for Caleb’s business, since those vendors carry a reputation for selling elite goods. But the dissemination of his work doesn’t end there—pieces from Caleb Woodard Furniture are sold to a number of different countries.
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