I Love My Trade - Dusty Pearson, Woodworker
Our series, "I Love My Trade" is a huge hit! We love sharing the stories from tradespeople written in their own words. We are pleased to introduce to you Dusty Pearson, a very talented woodworker who lives and works in Helotes, Texas, a small town 16 miles northwest of San Antonio. Thank you, Dusty, for sharing your story and inspiring future men and women to choose a career path into the trades!
My name is Dusty and I’m the proud owner of Dusty Saw Designs. I would like to say I have a large staff and a big shop, but that isn’t the case. My small business/shop is on our property in Helotes, Texas behind our home. I love that I get to walk to work every day and build cool custom projects for my clients.
My journey in woodworking started in high school shop class. I loved the idea of working with my hands to create anything that I could think up. Shop class gave me a baseline of the ins and outs of woodworking. After school I spent 25 plus years in an industry that I thought was my passion. I went down the path of claiming the company ladder and thought, well once I get the next level…I’ll be happy. After each advancement was just more stress and disappointment. I knew that I wanted to start a small business but wasn’t 100% sure what it should be.
After we purchased a home back in Texas and coming from a big city the one thing I knew was that I wanted to move as far as I could. Well, as far out as my wife would allow. We found a great place. It had a small shop in the back with a Radial Arm Saw in it. I figured out how to operate it and decided to start building some things for the house. When I was installing hardwood floors, I quickly realized the radial saw had to go. So, I start buying tools, table saw, miter saw, and so on. Then it was on! I was building projects for our house every week. I fell in love with the craft again and decided to build some inventory for a local market show. I took a couple of months to get what I thought was the right inventory and put down the money for a booth. The coolest thing is that I was learning more and more with each project.
This was the next major step for me. Before setting up a booth or building product I had a company design my logo and my wife and I decided to call the company Dusty Saw Designs. Applied for our LLC and didn’t even have one client or one product to sell. So, needless to say the first day in our booth I was a little nervous. Luckily, we did pretty well at the two-day show, but the best thing was when the clients called me to build them something custom. At first, I was worried about how much I would sell at the show. Now I do the shows to meet new customers. After every event I will get 2-3 custom orders. The best part is meeting new people, hearing their story and why they would love that custom piece. Also, when you give a client something they will pass down in through their family and see their eyes light up. Well, that’s a cool perk of the job.
The one thing I would recommend to anyone getting into woodworking. First you need to have a passion for it. It will be hard to get going. Take your time and when you get those first big orders, put as much as you can back into the company for better tools. Quality tools will help your productivity. Listen to your customers, if they are asking for something you can’t build because you don’t have the right tools. Do that project and spend the profit to buy the tools you need.
I love woodworking, there is nothing I would rather do. No matter the trade you are in, have fun every day and enjoy life!