Three years ago, Ron Banks of Wilmington, Delaware, was a civil engineer in road construction. While living in hotel rooms, “all I had to do was read my woodworking magazines and watch TV.” Eight months later, a near-fatal motorcycle accident ended his road construction career.
Luckily for Ron, he’d seen a magazine ad for Eureka Woodworks and started a part-time woodworking business after calling Eureka and speaking with president Harry Wilk. After the accident, woodworking became his full-time job.
Harry provided instruction materials, ideas for marketing, templates and a jig for Adirondack furniture — the style Eureka has targeted for its producer partners.
Ron has since modified some of the styles to come up with his own line of furniture for restaurants and bars. Narrowing or removing the arm panels, for example, allows restaurants to get “more bellies up to the bar,” he said.“We’ve gone, business-wise, from rags to riches,” Ron said. He and his wife, a 50 percent partner in Wooden It Be Nice Furniture, started out doing flea markets, progressed to home shows and opened a showroom in High Point, North Carolina, last fall.
“Our first few shows this year were record shows,” Ron says. Eventually, the Banks would like to open an additional shop in Houston, Texas. Monetarily, his new job in woodworking, compared to his previous career, “is not quite there yet, but it’s getting there...and it’s still really a lot of fun.”
To contact Ron, visit his site at www.woodenitbenicefurniture.com or call 302-368-9663. For more information on Eureka Woodworks, visit www.eureka-business.com or call 877-731-9303.