It all started with a chicken coop and wrong turn.
I always had the dream of owning my own farm. No particular size, just enough space to grow a decent amount of food, have some animals and horses for my daughters to ride. I knew if I bought a farm, there would be upkeep and maintenance to be done. The problem was I didn’t know how to fix or build anything. I didn’t own any tools or know how use them if I did have them!
So as my 40th birthday approached, I decided that building a chicken coop would be a good starting point. With the aid of friends that had tools, we began to construct a 4’x8’ chicken coop for 5 chickens. The learning curve was steep and I loved every minute of it. It took several weeks to complete and it is still standing seven years later.
It wasn’t until I took a wrong turn while taking a sustainability class that I realized the next step in my building obsession. It was on a back road outside of Princeton, NJ that I came across a large pile of cedar fencing along the wrong. I don’t know why but the idea to make picture frames popped into my head. So for the next 2 days, my classmate and I spend our lunch breaks loading up my minivan with the wood from this serendipitous find.
Fast forward a few months to Hurricane Sandy. We were lucky to come through it ok and maintain power. While I did not have school for 7 days, my daughters’ school was totally functional. As anyone with children knows, these moments alone can be super productive. It was during this time I was able to practice with a router and biscuit joiner to make my first picture frames. During that week, friends without electricity would come over for dinners, showers and to recharge electronics. It was during one of these dinners that they suggested this become a business. The first thing to come to mind was the line from the Grateful Dead’s St. Stephen, “One man gathers what another man spills.” That quote was too long for a name so my company became One Man Gathers Studio.
In the past 5 years, my product selections have grown and I sell direct to customers and in stores throughout New Jersey. I still look back to the all that I have learned and look forward to what the future has in store.
If you have any comments or ideas for your own custom product, please contact me at matt@1MGStudio.com
Thank you for visiting!
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