In June of 2014, Daryl Hobbs decided to make a wooden blanket box but was stumped. He had no tools to speak of and no place to build it. Before long, he found and joined a wood-worker’s co-operative and was soon in the shop, sleeves up and dusty, inhaling the sweet fragrance of newly sawed wood.
A realtor had donated a bunch of cedar for-sale posts that Daryl cut into 4 x 2 planks to form the top. From a discarded pine table he fashioned the boxes’ sides and base. He glued and stained and sanded, creating a solid, recycled and beautiful piece of furniture. The project took less than a week and when done, Daryl knew his life was about to change.
Daryl was at a crossroads. After working most of his life recruiting in the computer and high-tech industry, he was fed up with the highs and lows, and of the cutthroat manoeuvres that often accompany high-stake sales. But could he afford to live off his pension to support his love of creating wood furniture? No, but perhaps he could make a business out of it.
Unsure if he could turn woodworking into an income generating venture, Daryl began experimenting, making wooden cutting boards and showcasing them on his Facebook page. Sourcing wood was becoming a challenge, but Daryl, a master networker found Jim, a veteran lumber king, who was glad to sell his castoffs. Daryl took the spalted and burled pieces, carving and polishing them into gleaming wooden treasures. Within a month, orders poured in and several months later, he tried selling them at a local Christmas craft fair. He sold out!
He left the recruiting business and started a part-job to supplement his income. He created Village Endgrains, and used his sales skills to negotiate wholesale and consignment agreements. Throughout the year, he and his partner sold the boards at local farmer’s markets and Christmas craft shows and dipped their toes into the sea of e-commerce. By the end of 2016, Village Endgrain’s is available in thirty-five outlets from Sooke to North Saanich .