Which task would you say is the most challenging?
I think the most taxing thing we do are Esmont posts because they take a long time. The most challenging thing is probably working with 10/4, which is very thick, heavy, and long lumber that we have to cut down to make posts. A finished Esmont post is 2 ¼ inch square by 53 ¼ inches, but the original piece of wood starts off much longer. It takes a lot of time and effort milling it down to size.
Why do you believe someone looking for a platform bed should choose one of ours?
We have a very ethically-sound woodshop. I think customers care about that. They care about real wood. Everything is handmade and hand-stained. The workers are treated well and fairly compensated for their skills. I think that’s really important. And it’s made in America—that’s pretty patriotic.
We’re always looking for ways to improve the system. We just got a new ventilation system for dust particles. There are no harsh chemicals, and all the tools we use are really safe. Everyone is really trained on them. We’re big into safety here.
As a female working in a predominantly male industry (woodworking), what advice would you give a woman who wishes to start a career in a “male-dominated” sector?
You’ve got to have a lot of patience. People aren’t used to women in manual labor, or in male-dominated fields. You have to be really passionate about what you’re doing. I think it’s important to find a company that values women in that field. My manager, Judd, is really great with that. Sometimes it’s your job to teach other people about feminism and teach other people that as a woman you can do anything, and you shouldn’t feel uncomfortable in the workplace just because you’re the only woman. Women bring a lot to the table.
It’s also very rewarding to build your own things. You have these skills, and if you need something, you build it. If you need something fixed, you fix it. I just fixed something in my car the other day. I fix electrical things. In these male-dominated jobs, you have to fight for yourself. For me, I feel really obligated to point out to other women that they can do it. My husband is very supportive. I’m the one who fixes things in our house. He knows that it wouldn’t be good if he did it! We don’t believe in gender roles within our marriage.