The Marvelous Woodworking team is comprised of Doug Marvel, founder and master woodworker, and his assistant Max Somers. Doug officially began the Marvelous Woodworking business in 2009, but he has long been a practiced craftsman. The art of carpentry had been passed down from his grandfather and father to him, and he had much practice on his family’s farm where there was always something to fix or build. Doug started a career in computer consulting after college, and worked in that industry for many years, but kept crafting on the side. It became a serious hobby when Dawn, Doug’s wife, wanted storage shelves, and after buying saws for the shelves, more projects came his way. Soon he was creating pieces for other family and friends, and even making some money at it. And what he earned he turned back into acquiring more tools that expanded what he could do.
According to Dawn, “He started taking on some serious woodworking projects in 2002, working out of our three-car garage. One area was for equipment, and a second for putting things together. It was a bit tenuous.”
At the time, Doug considered his woodworking trade as his future retirement business. However, computer consulting had him traveling more than he liked, and he began thinking about transitioning careers early. Doug started working with contractors who had projects that required his level of craftsmanship, and by the time the economy took a downturn in 2008 and ‘09, he was splitting his time 50/50 between computer consulting and woodworking. He made the jump in 2009 to launch Marvelous Woodworking, and hasn’t looked back since.
“I have a different skill set and tools than the average contractor,” Doug said. “A niche market exists for the kind of work I do, and after a little bit of marketing and advertising, my business took off.”
“He took about 3-5 years building his business through word-of-mouth referrals, and saved up a year’s salary before taking the plunge,” said Dawn. “I also decided I would work full time as a nurse. That way we would have a set income while we took this leap of faith. It worked out, and the change was definitely worth it. It’s good to see him happy doing what he loves.”
About 3 years ago the Marvels moved to Lebanon where Doug has his own workshop, fitting the growth Marvelous Woodworking has seen over the years. The new space allows for more and bigger projects, as well as hiring junior woodworkers.
What Doug loves most about woodworking is, of course, crafting the wood itself, but also the people he makes beautiful pieces for. “I love the whole process of drawing and engineering a piece, then putting it all together. Meeting and talking to people is another great perk of the job because you get to hear their fascinating stories, and you get to build something personal for them.”
“Doug enjoys keeping the skill alive,” said Dawn. “He loves to pass it along, whether its to our kids, their friends, or someone who’s just interested. Being a math guy, he’s all about the puzzle—give him a weird angle or unique circumstance, and he’ll take the challenge.” The Marvel house is full of Doug’s handiwork—a barnwood dining table, built-ins around their TV, a mission-style coffee table of American walnut, live-edge accessories, a cedar chest, a custom bed frame, and all their upper kitchen cabinets custom built to fit the weird angles of their kitchen.
“There are a surprising number of people who need what I do,” said Doug. “it’s something I enjoy doing so much I can’t believe people pay me to have this much fun. I’m very grateful for everything in my life: I have great kids, a great wife, and great clients.”