One of the oldest professions around is furniture making. It takes a lot of creativity, patience and knowledge to create a piece of furniture that is not only beautiful but will stand up to the test of time. No one would know this better than Jody Racicot.
Like all craftsmen, his business had to start somewhere. For Jody it started with a dresser for his wife. When he started the project he was unsure of how it would turn out but once it was complete he was left pleasantly surprised. That moment inspired him so he went back to school and took on furniture making as a career. Now he makes some of the most beautiful and unique pieces from his studio in Canada.
Tell us a little bit about what you do.
I design and build one of a kind furniture in my studio located in Prince Edward Island, Canada.
What inspired you to start making furniture?
Like many furniture makers I began out of necessity. My wife and I needed furniture when we moved into a big empty house several years back. I promised I could build a her a better dresser than we could afford to buy. She watched with some trepidation while I cobbled it together in our living room. To the surprise of both of us it worked out quite well. As my body of work grew I decided to go back to school and committed to furniture making as a second career.
Approximately how many pieces would you say you’ve made at this point?
I have produced dozens of pieces of varying sophistication since that first dresser. My early work was much simpler (some would say crude) compared to the work I do now. I qualified my earliest work with the disclaimer that “at the very least it could be used as fire wood to keep you warm”.
Is your furniture available for purchase anywhere besides your website?
My website is currently the only outlet to purchase my work. I plan to make furniture available through select galleries in the near future.
What makes your furniture unique?
Hand made, one piece at a time. It is very satisfying when someone else takes possession of the furniture I create and makes it their own. My goal is to produce objects that are both functionally and aesthetically pleasing to others while remaining true to my own vision.
What are some goals you hope to accomplish over the next year or so?
In the next year I plan to have enough inventory to display at a major show. I believe it is important to meet the challenge of working on big stages.
Have you always had an interest in furniture making? What lead you to this craft?
My first career was as an actor in movies and television. The nature of that industry gave me plenty of time between jobs. The need for a creative outlet during the downtime led me to furniture making. This fulfilled me in ways that my acting career did not and so I began to consider furniture more seriously as a vocation than as a hobby. “Energy flows where attention goes” is a saying that couldn’t be more true. The more I focused on furniture the fewer the calls from my acting agent.
What are some lessons your business has taught you?
Multi-tasking. I’ve become more knowledgeable in the subjects of marketing, PR, accounting, photography… the list goes on. It may be hard to believe, but I have to market myself much more now than I ever did as an actor!
Any advice you’d like to offer fellow entrepreneurs that are just getting started?
Trust in yourself. Make unpopular choices. Take risks that you believe in. We are entrepreneurs because we are compelled to lead, not follow.