When I was in my early 20’s, I was a part-time college student with a full-time job. Two of my brothers were in the military and my oldest brother was away at college, so it was just Mom & me living at home.
When my Mom bought the house several years earlier, iit was an eccentric mix of “style”. There was carpeting throughout the house even in the kitchen. The dining room had green carpet and pink walls. The kitchen was a bright yellow with a 60’s pattern carpet with a mix of rust, olive and other colors. Anyways, the entire house was eccentric.
Well, I had a couple of days off from work and I was on winter break from school. Mom was at work and I had just vacuumed but the carpet never looked clean…SO, I grabbed a box cutter. When Mom got home a little after 11, the carpet in the kitchen, dining room, living room and hall were all in rolls ready for the garbage. There were hardwood floors in the living & dining rooms and the hall. They needed to be refinished so I rented a sander and got them ready for polyurethane. I had the majority of the floors done when Mom got home from work, we would go to the bathroom one last time for the night and “paint” ourselves into our bedrooms for the night.
When it was all done, I couldn’t believe the transformation in the wood and this is where I started falling in love with woodworking.
Joey, however, took a different path into woodworking. He was also in his 20’s when he started working with wood. Joey needed to support his family so he got a job building cabinets in manufactured houses.
Even though Joey had not done much woodworking before this job, he picked it up quickly and he was building quality products in no time. He first started cutting all the pieces necessary for each home. One day another employee called in sick, so Joey started helping with the building process. Like I said Joey was a quick learner and before long he was the main cabinet builder.
Joey moved on from that job and eventually started driving a NASCAR hauler. On his truck he used those woodworking and cabinetry skills to maintain the cabinets, doors, countertops, etc. since his trailer became an office at the track.
A few years after Joey started with NASCAR I started a job with them, too. The first time I met Joey he played a practical joke on me which backfired. It was the start of our friendship. Many years later Joey asked me on a date because he didn’t want to eat a TV dinner that night, that was the start of our beautiful relationship.
After we were married, we were in Kentucky for work but we both had a couple of days off so we visited a couple of distilleries on the Bourbon Trail. We fell in love with the barrels and some of the furniture built from the barrels. We bought a couple of used barrels and built some furniture for ourselves.
In 2019, we found ourselves looking for a new career, so we mixed our love of woodworking with the work we had done with barrels and Shady Grove Ventures was born. We continue to build furniture out of barrels and we have added in home décor items out of barrels. In addition we also repurpose 100 year old barn wood and live edge slabs for other furniture and home décor items.
Refinishing wood floors + cabinet building + practical jokes + Bourbon Trail + repurposing = a desire to build beautiful, unique one-of-a-kind wood furniture and wood home décor pieces which look great in homes, bars and man cave/she sheds.