Hi, I'm Brian Timmons. Big T Woodworks started in the summer of 2014 with myself along with my amazing wife, Rachel. Initially I offered handcrafted wooden combs on my Etsy shop. Razors, brushes, and pens followed, although my signature combs remain the most popular sellers. When this all started, I had no idea I'd end up having customers all over the US, Canada, Europe, Australia, and Japan.
I've always loved woodworking for as long as I can remember. When I was a kid, the best part of Boy Scouts was any time I got to whittle something or build my Pinewood Derby car. The urge was there.
My uncle is a professional woodworker, who lives about a ten hour drive from my home. Growing up, my family made the drive once a year. Being able to visit his shop as a kid was easily one of the highlights of my whole year. Each time he was tackling a new project with its own challenges, and the skills needed to pull it off always impressed me, even though at the time I had no idea what he was talking about. There was that urge again.
Fast forward to young adulthood. After my wife and I bought a house, I found myself putzing around the garage from time to time. Being a compulsive video gamer all my life, but no longer content with imaginary quests, I suddenly felt the urgent need to have something to actually show for my time. So I did the unthinkable: I quit gaming altogether. The urge had now become my obsession. My first real project was a jewelry box that I made for Rachel from paduak and wenge.
A few years later when the wooden combs took off, Rachel enthusiastically stepped up and became Big T's business manager, shipping office, website admin, photographer, wood buyer, you name it. She's less of a CEO and more like a COE, a Chief Of Everything.
Somewhere along the line, the woodworking bug bit her, too. Just a few years ago she didn't know maple from mahogany, but now she can identify a board from across a room and can talk circles around the guys at the lumber yard. She also purchased a lathe that is her pride and joy. In addition to her turning, she's been experimenting with casting and stabilizing wood. And now our daughter keeps asking to help her build things. I'll have her cutting dovetails in a few years, I bet.
When I made my first combs, I didn't realize I was starting an entire family business. But looking back at it now, I'm very happy with how it's turned out so far. It's allowed Rachel to leave an industry that she had worked in for almost 20 years. She worked long hours at a job that left her constantly stressed, and it didn't allow much family time.
Now with this new freedom, we realize just how crucial it is to support local small businesses and artisan crafters. It truly means the world to us, not to mention that we love every minute of it!