In a Woodworking Network survey, 80 percent of professional woodworkers polled say the company they run or work for is having trouble finding laborers.
One such community, A Workshop of Our Own (WOO) says its mission is to create a professional woodworking environment which cultivates and promotes the careers of women and non-binary craftspeople in the field. Its mission aims to amplify the voices of this demographic in the industry as well as be a collaborative space for professionals, train all skill levels in a supportive environment, and provide apprenticeship opportunities.
The company’s founder, Sarah Marriage was formerly an engineer while juggling furniture-making before dedicating herself to the craft. In 2013, Marriage won a spot at a two-year furniture-making program at the College of the Redwoods in California. Upon completing the program, Marriage migrated back to the East Coast to work in a New Jersey shop run by another fine-art furniture-maker, where she was the only woman in the shop.
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