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BUILDING Ryan Daly, a junior at Stratford High School, discovered woodworking in shop class in middle school. (Photo: Jackson Allred)
Ever since I can remember, I have loved to build and create things. It is something I have always done. Four years ago, I started to turn my ideas and creations into something I never thought would be possible.
While attending Spring Forest Middle School, I enrolled in an Intro-to-Shop class taught by a teacher named Mr. Javier Torres. We started with small projects and, as we learned more, the more advanced the projects became. Needless to say, I loved it so much, I took the more advanced class the school offered the following year. During that time, I figured out that people loved the items I was making, and that’s when I realized I could turn my passion into a business.
I used reclaimed wood discarded by contractors and neighbors and built projects from them, such as monograms, bottle openers, nativity scenes, sports signs, etc. I would work at school, where Mr. Torres would let me work on my own projects and help me whenever he could, and when I wasn’t working at school, I was working in the small shop I built in my garage.
I then started a website and a Facebook page and started to make wood projects for events as well as custom orders, and I attended markets to sell my goods.
I continued to grow my business until August 2017 when Hurricane Harvey slammed the Texas coast. My house, shop and all the projects and tools in it were submerged and partially flushed away by five feet of water. I had to start over from nothing and rebuild my business. Through help and generous donations from customers and neighbors, I was able to get back up on my feet and keep working.
I continue to build projects that go to large and small companies and donate many projects to school and organization fundraisers. I love to build things that bring people’s ideas to life, and I will continue to create, construct and learn to better myself and my community.
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