A couple of winters ago, Don Kosten carved a mantel. “My wife loved it,” the Indianapolis woodworker said, but “a month later, the grandkids were in, and they panicked because there was no place to hang stockings.” His wife sent him to his workshop with instructions to find a solution. Don emerged with the Stocking Caddy™, a freestanding woodcraft support for up to 10 stockings.
“Friends and neighbors kept coming over and saying, ‘We’ve gotta have one,’” said Don, who noted that metal mantel weight stocking holders can be a cause of injury to children. Plus, some people “don’t even have mantels.”
While Don is “supposed to be retired” after 27 years of selling industrial motors, “my business side kicked in,” and he patented the Stocking Caddy. He’s no longer doing the manufacturing himself, but the Stocking Caddy business is still going strong.
Don, meanwhile, can usually be found in his office/woodshop, a 9,000-square-foot facility in a building he owns. Don built most of the items in the office, including a desk in a “patchwork quilt” pattern that incorporates over 550 pieces of inlay. Don says of his woodworking, “I do it for myself, my family, and my church.”