The answer depends greatly on the person. For many, carpentry offers an escape from their ordinary occupations. But for others it may merely be an extra career option. “Even if carpentry doesn’t pay, people who go into carpentry do get in the door where, as you have to teach carpentry in addition to whatever else they are doing, it would allow them to keep on working. The job isn’t a pay-off, but it’s an option,” she explains. “They keep on working, because they want to,” adds her husband.
Dennis, who started carpentry in 1998, was fortunate. His father had an automotive repair shop in his mother’s name for a couple of generations. While this business remained, Dennis’ father never left the area, but Dennis’ mother went back to school. “I worked hard and I was not going to give up so easily,” Davenport says. “My mother told me to stay home. She said to me, “Listen, I will not leave. If you come home late I won’t tell anyone but you, Dad.” She did. “I never looked back.” As Dennis got more proficient, he began to show his father-in-law how he could get some extra cash. It all started with a little window. “I had to do the work my father-in-law wanted me to do because he didn’t have anyone else to take it.”
Even though it wasn’t much of an income, Dennis found work. He worked hard, and his dad-in-law took it easy on him. In 1999, Dennis’ father-in-law was getting ready to retire after 40 years of service. As the clock ticked down on his retirement, Davenport began looking for a new business to do. One afternoon during lunch, Davenport was looking over his father-in-law’s old books. He came across a business he knew little about when he began to look over his father-in-law’s carpentry book. The business was a simple plastic bottle that Davenport had thought of and was excited to work on. He spent more than a year designing his creation.
Now Davenport says he is not just working with new ideas. “It was a business that was very good, to have the money, but not necessarily the money, I wanted to be able to use the money for something worthwhile.” Dennis also realized that a business that had become successful at the expense of
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