Kyle Toth, custom furniture maker and wood sculptor, owns and operates the company, Wood by Kyle Toth, a business he began in 2011 after Graduating from the North Bennet Street School in Boston, MA.
Since launching his own company, Toth has crafted custom pieces for clients including Refuge Brewery, Disneyland, Jelly Skateboards and Metallica.
In honor of Young Woodworking Professionals Week, we spoke with Kyle about his experience in launching his own company and making it grow:
What is your background in Woodworking?
My background in woodworking started when I was 12, making skateboards and building cabinets out of scrap wood. I built my parents kitchen table when I was 16. We still use it today. After high school, I went to Palomar College and then applied to North Bennett Street School in Boston, Ma. Thats where I learned to build furniture that can can last lifetimes. The school slowed down the whole process of woodworking and taught it from the beginning. I graduated in 2011.
When did you start Wood by Kyle Toth? What challenges did you face?
When I started Wood By Kyle Toth, I was in my parents garage and now I am in my own 1,200 sq ft. shop. The challenges I faced were letting people know that I existed. I had to make my self available through my website and simply taking all the jobs that came my way.
How has your business developed since then? Any major differences?
Since I started I have upgraded my shop space and woodworking equipment. I now take bigger jobs and more of them at the same time simply because of the extra space that I have. I've been able to develop more of my own style.
Is there an aspect of woodworking that has been especially important in your career?
An important aspect in my career would have to be to keep my quality of work high no matter the quantizes. I try and stay true to that.
What is the most interesting custom request you’ve ever received?
The most interesting request I received was to build 30 decorative speaker boxes for Disneyland, as well as a few 8/4 white oak handicap benches for some of the trains at Disneyland, too.
What advice do you have for younger woodworkers who are either starting out, or are getting ready to start their own businesses? What do you wish someone had told you?
If you just starting out as a woodworker or looking to make it more of a business, I would say: don't turn down any job. It will force you to learn and be in situations where you have to learn. I would also say to reach out to places that you wouldn't expect would need wood things built, like breweries for tap handles, wineries for display racks, and other people in the trades like automotive and metal work. You never know what they might have been looking for or what they might need made out of wood.
Any trade schools you recommend?
For trade schools, I recommend North Bennet Street School in Boston, MA--if you really love woodworking and want to turn it into a serous passion and career. Also, Palomar College in San Marcos, CA if you're looking to see whats available in the woodworking fields.
Anything else you would like to include?
Things to include? I'm working on a staircase railing with spindles made in walnut and copper and 100 more tap handles for Refuge Brewery.
Toth is also featured in the "Meet the New Face of Manufacturing" campaign, promoted by the AWFS.
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