Garth, mastercrafter at Woodslab, grew up learning and practicing carpentry. He built homes for nearly two decades, and made furniture in the front yard of his home. In November 2016, Ed Lloyd, who owns an equipment rental store next door, approached Garth to help him turn his remarkable talent, into a thriving business. The two friends partnered up and opened Woodslab. I visited Woodslab and had the pleasure of meeting Garth’s dogs Kona and Roxy, and chatting with Ed and Garth about the joy that comes from building beautiful things for people in your community.
How long have you been making furniture here?
GARTH: I’ve been doing this forever. I’ve been a carpenter all my life.
Is your family involved with any of the work?
GARTH: [enthusiastically] My daughters get into helping. It’s all about my family without a doubt. It’s a family gig. My wife comes in and helps out…she’s got an eye.
What’s your working dynamic?
ED: So he’s the woodworker, and I’m the Instagram guy, purchaser, and do all the communications. He’s the mastercrafter.
GARTH: I don’t even know how to work a computer. I just want to get to work and get people stoked. Now, Eddie knows all about computers, so that’s what creates the balance.
ED: That’s what makes the working relationship really good, we don’t butt heads.
What is your specialty here?
GARTH: I make custom furniture, custom tables, custom everything, it all depends on what that individual is looking for. I turn bowls, I do carvings, I make planters for nurseries, succulent planters.
ED: You know the bar that’s in Huntington Beach, Cedar House? He did the countertops on that. Those were redwood tops and those came out sweet. We did a table for the corporate Jack Daniels office in Irvine.
GARTH: It’s all about the customer, one hundred percent, what’s in their eye, and what they want, and then we go from there. (They also donated a beautiful table to Zebra House Coffee.)
How long do pieces generally take to be finished?
GARTH: It’s a couple weeks, you know. Because it has to be done right. I’m not a rich guy. I don’t have the greatest tools, but I make everything that I work one hundred percent, and that’s old school. It’s not Ikea [laughs].
Where does the wood come from?
GARTH: I have a mill up north with a friend. I go up a couple times a month and I mill, stack lumber and then bring slabs home. The real root to it all is finding the diamond. There are so many different things to the wood, and the nature of it.
Do you have a favorite type of wood to work with?
GARTH: Every little piece, I love it all. I don’t even throw pieces of wood away. Eddie and I will get together and make cutting boards. My girls will help me make bracelets.
Have you been able to contribute to the community in a charitable way at all?
GARTH: For a dance studio my daughters go to. They were looking to re-floor the studio, and they didn’t have it. So they had a silent auction, and I made a couple of beautiful walnut slabs and donated them [to the auction]. It felt good, my daughters were stoked, everybody was happy, and there you go, easy peasy happy life. That’s the goal. Giving to the community’s good, I believe in it.
Do you have a lot of people coming back and/or sending their friends?
ED: He’s got a good circle of repeats.
GARTH: Yeah, you know it’s not about making a ton of money, it’s about making a ton of people really stoked, so they go and tell the next friend, and then the next friend. That’s how I proceed in life. I’ve taken enough in life, in my days of being young, so now I give it back. I sit here and work and make people happy. That’s what the most important thing is.
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