What’s that saying, necessity is the mother of invention, right? About 6 years ago, Sidney Spencer’s teenage daughter needed a shoe rack. Everything Sidney saw in the stores was made of cheap particle board and he knew it wouldn’t stand a chance of lasting more than a couple months in his busy household. He decided to hand make a custom shoe rack from pine. One project turned into two and before he knew it, Sidney found the creative process of woodworking becoming a hobby. Not having any training, he didn’t take people very seriously when they asked him about selling his work. It took about a year to gain enough confidence in his skill level to start producing handmade items for sale.
Sidney spent over 9 years serving our country in the United States Air Force. He took his education in IT from the military to civilian life when he moved from Miami, FL to Austin in 2004 where he began working for Dell. Now he works in IT for a government contracted company. He and his wife, Laddavan have 2 children. A 19-year-old daughter and 13-year-old son. One of the advantages of woodworking has been the connection with his son. Being diagnosed with ADHD, Sidney appreciates the focus his son has when it comes to working on projects together. The two have formed a tight bond sharing the same enthusiasm for creating handcrafted pieces.
Before the pandemic the family would travel to various festivals and markets throughout Texas. Sidney said things are starting to pick back up again and he looks forward to getting back out there and meeting potential new customers. Some of his most popular items include cutting boards and cheese slicer boards. I have my eye on the pecan wood cheese slicing board. I appreciate how each piece is unique, like the wood itself. Pizza cutters and ice cream scoops are made with the highest quality wood and these items are meant to last for years to come. I love the idea of combining one of Spencer’s Custom Wood signature pizza cutters with a pizza stone or the ice cream scoop with some jars of fun toppings as a gift. Grandparents are tough to buy for and starting a tradition like pizza night or ice cream sundae night would be a really thoughtful present. Then that cutter or scoop can be passed down and hold so many happy memories.
One of the best things about Sidney is his dedication to using local sawmills and fine lumber places to get his wood. He finds the occasional tree limb and puts those to good use as well. His pieces have a beeswax finish to protect them and Sidney uses food safe, water resistant glue for his cutting boards. If you want to ensure your handcrafted piece stays in great shape, he recommends using olive or mineral oil to treat your cutting boards. Don’t put them in the dishwasher either.
Sidney’s long-term goal is to make his woodworking business a full-time job. It brings him joy to take a raw material and make it into something both beautiful and functional. It has become a family business as well. Along with his son being involved, his wife gives design input. Sideny credits her with telling him to, “Let the wood talk to you” and I love that sentiment. This year you can make someone’s holiday extra meaningful with a piece from Spencer’s Custom Wood collection. When you shop small and shop local you are buying more than an item. You are making a difference in our economy and our community.
To purchase products from Spencer’s Custom Wood, click here.