Behind the Scenes | Woodworking Becomes a Passion
Tony loves to learn. After working for a year on Barn Light Electric’s inventory team, he was ready for another challenge and planned to apply for a job in the machine shop. There he would learn metal spinning and other steps in handcrafting our American-made lighting.
A chance chat in the hallway with George, the team lead in Barn Light’s woodworking shop, led Tony down a different path.
“George told me there was an opening on the woodworking team,” Tony says. “He gave me two weeks to see if I could do it.” Tony not only adapted to his new position but excelled beyond George’s expectations.
“Tony learns at such an incredible rate that it’s impressive to watch him,” George explains. “He’s one of the most assertive learners I’ve ever had the opportunity to teach.” Tony spends his days turning wood for furniture and for the Timber & Ore collection of lights, as well as sanding, routing, staining, and spraying.
“I like to sand,” Tony admits. “George thinks I’m crazy because no one loves to sand. But I’ve always worked with my hands — building houses, washing dishes and cooking at restaurants, driving a bus for Disney, and being a youth pastor. Even toting pieces of lumber around. It’s like therapy.” One of the things Tony likes most about his job is that everything the team creates is different.
“Every piece of wood is different so each piece we create will be unique,” he explains. “I love walnut. The dark color, the grain, it’s just beautiful!” Crafting pieces that he knows will be shipped to someone’s home or business and enjoyed for years makes all of the hard work, and endless sawdust, worthwhile.
“I love making customers happy, and I like the atmosphere here. We feel like a family,” he says. “Working with George is phenomenal. He made me love my job again.” In his spare time, Tony enjoys walking and going to the beach with Libby, his wife of 28 years who works with Barn Light’s Customer Care team.