In three years, Paul Adams has expanded his hobby of handcrafting gifts for family and friends into running his own home-based custom woodworking business in Magnolia.
“I love to create,” Adams said. “If [a customer]wants something, I’ll do everything I can. I will bend over backwards to make it what they want.”
In the garage of the home he shares with his wife, Deanna, Adams creates everything from outdoor coolers and cutting boards to bedroom sets and children’s toys. A self-taught craftsman, he maintains a full-time job as a paramedic while building made-to-order wood pieces in his spare time.
In addition to providing a creative outlet, Adams said woodworking has been a positive way to deal with everyday stresses and personal tragedy, including the loss of his emergency medical services partner several years ago.
“I had a line-of-duty death—my partner was killed—and I’ve been through some tragedies in my life,” Adams said. “Probably more than anything, woodworking is a form of therapy for me. It’s really positive because I can use my hands and create something.”
After working with local retailers to sell his home decor and furniture items, Adams opened a retail location in downtown Magnolia in 2014. However, surrounding construction in the area and unexpected costs made it difficult to sell inventory and make payments on the lease, he said.
“I realized I can’t compete with [wholesalers from]Mexico and China because I don’t buy my lumber cheap,” Adams said. “I want to do custom work, but custom work does cost a little more. My goal is to get where I can mass produce a bit more, but I refuse to ever let quality go for quantity.”
Adams said he moved his business back into his garage a few months after he decided he did not want to switch from crafting quality hardwood designs to using cheaper lumber for lower quality products.
“I get it—you can run to the store, you can buy off of the shelf and take [a piece of furniture]home today,” he said. “But a couple years from now, it’s sitting on the curb because it’s broken. When you [order a custom piece], you’re buying me. I build from my heart, and I build something that will last.”
While he hopes to own another retail location one day and retire from paramedic work, Adams said he finds happiness in building pieces that become part of someone else’s home.
“I never believed in my wildest dreams that [people]would consider coming in and asking me to build something,” he said. “It’s an absolute honor, and when I’m long dead and gone, I hope the stuff that I build is still here.”
Note: Most items are made to order. Customers are encouraged to call for details and pricing.
Built to last
Adams uses mostly hardwood in his designs that is sourced from Houston wholesalers, including:
- Knotty alder
Gifts for weddings, bridesmaids and groomsmen
Each item can be branded and customized with names, years or quotes:
- Beer and wine bottle holders
- Cutting boards
- Keurig cup holders
- Pet beds