How We Got Started
When I was a kid, my parents had a side business called The Wood Den. My dad built small wooden toys, furniture, and items that customers would order. For a short time he had a store/ shop in St. Louis on Gravois. It was open in the late 70's and then closed.
In 1992 , while I was in the Marines I made my first carving. We had been placed out in the woods in Kentucky in groups of three for a training mission for 3 days. During that mission I started carving some sticks that became walking sticks that I gave to people. Over the next 10 years I carved many small items that I gave to friends and family. Some items I started to sell in local craft shops. In 2003 I had alot of items in a craft store in Ste. Genevieve, MO and it closed. I decided to open my own store in Ste. Genevieve. I was at that location for 1 year.
One day in 2004 I went into a pet grooming store in Crystal city looking to get my bulldog groomed. My first thought was "this place is so run down that I could probably afford to buy it." I moved my store up to Crystal City and my business grew slowly there for the next 10 years.
To backtrack, after the Marines I got my teaching degree at MIZZOU, met my wife and started a family. In 1995 I started my teaching job at Festus R6. Most of the last 20 years I have taught First Grade and love it. This year I will be stepping away from my teaching job to pursue my business at The Wood Den full time.
In 2014 it was apparent that my Chainsaw carving business had outgrown the small building and lot that I occupied for 10 years. I started leasing the building in Festus that I now occupy which is just up the road from our old location. This location has a better store space, a work area, space for logs around the building, and warehouse space.