People ask us that question, all the time. I guess it would be best to start 38 years ago, when a spark ignited in the soul of my husband, Scott Robeson. He had always had an appreciation for beauty in nature, but it was during wood shop at Eisenhower High School (Lander, PA) where he realized how much joy he felt when working with wood. He continued learning, and working outside of school with local contractors, taking in everything he could about carpentry. It was people like Larry Werner, a business owner and friend, who taught Scott to install hardwood flooring, and friends Mitch and Dave Passinger (Passinger Construction in Russell, PA) who took him under their wings and patiently taught him about building. Friends, like these, gave Scott the opportunity to grow into a competent carpenter, who would strive to be a master craftsman one day. Over the next decade, Scott read, observed, questioned, and tested his newfound knowledge and skills, becoming an artisan in the process.
I remember when Scott was 19, and he told me he was going to build all of our furniture and cabinets one day (I have to admit I didn’t really believe it then, just like I didn’t believe him when he told me about the grizzly bear attacking his brother and him. I was wrong then, too, but that’s another story.) Little did we know that, someday, he would be building beautiful things for people all over the United States.
When Scott and I were first married, in 1986, he took a job working in the woods of western Pennsylvania, logging. He worked really hard, which is typical for him, and he got to learn from the foresters who managed the projects. He was also frequently asked to clear trees for private homeowners, who would give him logs in exchange for the exhausting work. He would take those logs to an Amish friend, who would saw them into lumber, and then to another friend, who had a kiln, to dry the boards. Scott used some of that lumber in building our first furniture.
At first, Scott worked with only a circular saw, a drill, and a sander in the garage. Everything else was done by hand. My daddy, who loved refinishing antique furniture, taught Scott about finishing. Eventually, he had a small shop to work in, and he was given an old table saw. He slowly bought tools when he could, and he continued to build things for friends and family, all the while reading and learning as much as possible. He continued to work with other cabinetmakers and contractors. By 1996, he knew he could make a living building cabinetry, so he started in business, full-time. His shop was in his parents’ barn in rural Pennsylvania, overlooking the gorgeous Allegheny foothills. There, he quickly became quite busy as a custom woodworker and cabinet maker.
In that barn, he taught our sons, Brynn and Nick, how to use power and hand tools to create things that would last a lifetime and longer. He taught them to have great work ethic and high integrity. He never told them they were too young, but instead, he encouraged them to work hard at, and love whatever they did. Both boys enjoyed working with wood, and still do on the side, but have found other dreams to pursue. Scott never expected them to take over his business, because he knew the secret. He knew that he was good at his work because he loved it so much. His vision comes from deep inside, and it isn’t something you just do.
Eventually, circumstances and a love for Wyoming brought us out west, which required starting all over again, and building new trust and relationships with new customers. For the first year, we lived in Casper, where Scott worked out of his brother and sister-in-law’s garage during the week. They were so good to us. On weekends, he traveled to Lander (Wyoming this time, not Pennsylvania) to work with contractors, meet potential customers, and to begin building his new shop.
The next August, in order to start the new school year in Lander, we decided to make the move. Because our housing fell through immediately afterwards, and there was no other affordable housing available, we lived in a hotel room for the next 8 months, while continuing to build the shop/home at night and on weekends. Finally, after a long struggle, we were able to move in and finish the home over the next few years, with the help of new and very dear friends.
Those years were hard. There is no easy way to describe the difficulties we endured, but they were also beautiful, strengthening times -- times that we are very thankful for. Through everything from severe illnesses to a flooding river, with the Grace of God, we continued to press on and grow Scott’s business and his love for his trade.
People who know Scott, know that he is a determined and detail-oriented guy. They know he isn’t afraid of a challenge or hard work. He cares about people, and he deeply desires to give them exactly what they want. He sees his customers as his friends, and he sacrifices a great deal to treat them as he would want to be treated. He believes in that golden rule, and to this day, he stands behind his word and his work.