Meet Eric

He’s our sales manager and resident Jeopardy whiz. “I’m the king of useless info,” he says. Here’s a little useful info about him.

What brought you to Edgework? A few years ago, I was traveling abroad, partly for fun and partly to look for work. When I got back here, I felt so lost. I was looking for a place and a vocation that rooted me and gave me a sense of purpose. And I knew I wanted to focus on furniture. When I lived in Columbus before traveling, I had gained probably three and a half years of carpentry experience. My dad saw an article about Edgework in Business First last February or March and encouraged me to check them out. I did, and I knew it was a special place.

How did you learn your craft? I’m mainly self-taught. I’ve had jobs in construction. I did hardscape patios. I did a lot of that while I was in college. I graduated at the beginning of the Recession. I was super poor, and I did whatever I could to get by. I did several odd jobs for carpenters. I was doing refinishing work and restoration work in old houses. When I was broke and working down here in the Short North, I got a job at this vintage resale place. There was a couple who came in and bought a table for $600. And I knew I could make a better one. I knew I could teach myself and get myself there.

What do you love about carpentry? There’s a sense of gratification in seeing a completed work. You can build something in a day. You can see tangible progress in a day. I love the design aspect. What makes carpentry and furniture special in particular is the intent involved. You can see if something’s well designed based on the intent and form and structure and texture. You can notice how detailed or how well thought out it is just by looking at it. From there, you can see who the craftsman was, what they were thinking when they made it. There are a lot of things you can pull away by looking at a piece of

What’s your typical day like? I, like many of the crew, wear many hats. I’m the sales manger. When I first got into the sales gig, I was looking for opportunities to add value to Edgework. I knew I wasn’t the best carpenter, so I thought I’d switch gears and explore sales to add value. It started out just pricing out small items and projects. Once I got comfortable with that, I found people would come to me with design questions. It’s my job to provide design solutions. I’m focused on building great relationships in the community with individuals, interior designers, architects, construction companies. We’re big on building relationships. At the end of the day, it’s really about those relationships. If they’re not genuine and authentic, that comes through.

Favorite project? When people come to us, whether it’s residential or commercial, a good challenge is what I look forward to. It enables us to really use our imaginations and our customer service. It helps us grow. We’ve done these built-in entertainment centers with sliding barn doors. Those are cool. We’re in the middle of a basement remodel. The client asked us to design and remodel his basement around having a bar. So we got in the mind of a bartender. It’s exciting and a new opportunity to do something different. We have an architecture firm that came to us and wanted us to do decorative beams suspended from a bar. It’s a big job. There’s no room for error.

Hobbies? Spending time with people I love. I love a good hike. I love the outdoors, getting away from the city. I love a good party. I love dancing and being a goofball.

Favorite movie? There’s still something so irresistibly goofy about Dumb and Dumber. For a serious movie that’s always inspired me, Waking Life directed by Richard Linklater.

What are you currently listening to? A song by The Cat Empire called Panama.

Go-to Columbus restaurant? German Village Coffee Shop for the blueberry short stacks with bacon or Philco for two coneys with everything and a side of Brussels sprouts.

Skill you’d like to learn? Laying out really complex joinery. There’s a lot of beautiful stuff coming out of Japan where the mortise and tenon joinery are really intricate, and it’s like, how did they do that?

Little-known fact about you? I studied political science and philosophy at Ohio University. It was a shotgun decision. I ran out of time to explore. I probably should’ve gotten a doctorate in the time I spent there. I thought I was going to go into government. I continue to utilize the skills I learned, but by no means do I have plans to go into public service.

Anything else? I don’t think I’d be here if it wasn’t for Alex and Lindsay being such strong, motivated and inspiring people to stand behind. It makes my job so much easier when I have people who believe in me and let me be myself. It’s a friendship, and it’s familial. It makes everything worth it.

Read Eric’s full interview Here