Woodworking in America: Meggan Smith

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We are interviewing producers from all 50 states. Today we introduce you to Meggan Smith, a carpenter and owner of a small business in Kansas.

How did you start working with wood? Who were your mentors?
My carpentry career started with a patio project with my husband. He is very helpful and decided to take care of the project himself, which involved a retaining wall, stairs and a patio. All the stones arrived on pallets. Determined not to let those pallets get to the landfill, I told him I wanted to create something with them. He found this funny, as I had no skills regarding power tools, etc. My husband Kyle showed me the details of a lab and tools. Eventually I created a few small signs and placed a few in the school auction of my kids’ school. I had a lot of interest in them and I decided that maybe I could do more. It grew rapidly and within a year I had a full-fledged business. My husband has always been my mentor. He is a brilliant man who can always help me understand something as he teaches me during the process.

What do you think is your best or favorite job? What kind of work do you do the most?
I like the challenges of custom work. I can use my creative side and decide how I want something to be done. I love to capture my clients’ vision in my work. My main work is metal paired signs and backlighting, although I also dabble in the art of the barn wood quilt, in honor of my late friend Loni, who was interviewed by you last year.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to start woodworking or pursue it as a profession?
My advice for anyone who wants to start working with wood is to learn the safety aspects of all your tools and keep a clean laboratory. It sounds simple, but I can tell you from experience that a tidy workshop can keep you from hurting yourself as much as having knowledge of tools.

Is there anyone you would like to shout out or advise us to follow? Who inspires you? (It doesn’t even have to be related to woodworking.)
I had the honor of working on a project in Utah earlier this year called “The House That She Built”. I met talented female carpenters from all over the country – we came together to be part of the ultimate team for a house that was built exclusively by women from scratch! The project was to fund scholarships for women in commerce, as well as support a domestic violence shelter in Utah. The women I have worked with have been so inspiring and talented and I highly recommend following:

Kristine @onegoldnail
Merissa @heathstreetwoodworking
Maria @ she.tiles
Lindy @paradeofhomesig
Stephanie @stephaniebuildsit
Abby @thelocaltilechick
Karissa @thesandingblonde
Sam @_ssssam

See more of Meggan’s work on his website or on Instagram @mrsdecorllc.

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