Just over a year ago, craftsman and graphic artist, Rob Laliberte turned his Old North Knoxville carriage house into a wood working shop. Using only hand tools and a small saw, he whittled away enjoyable hours crafting simple kitchen items for every day use while also developing killer forearms.
Right now Laliberte’s business, WDWRK Small Wares Co., is a finalist in the 2014 Martha Stewart American Made Awards. You can vote for WDWRK , for the audience’s favorite design company, through October 13, 2014. You get 6 chances to vote so cast your first ballot today.
A year and a half ago Laliberte quit his job at a health food store. He says, “I wasn’t sure what was next but I knew if I pushed hard enough, I would figure it out.” He narrowed down his many interests to focus on his childhood love of wood working. Six month later he had sold all of his inventory.
A popular Kickstarter campaign allowed Laliberte to purchase a 16″ band saw. All of the wood he uses is “sourced locally in the Knoxville region.”
He has a booth at the Saturday Market Square Farmers’ Market. In addition to the Martha Stewart competition, his work as also been recognized by Garden & Gun. This week he launched his new project Unison Creative , a website hub for creative types/entrepreneurs.
While he treats WDWRK like a regular job, Laliberte is mindful of balancing his work with play and meditation. He says, “I’m not interested in mass producing things. I draw clear lines between working and relaxing.”
© Debra Dylan, 2014.