Texas Heritage Woodworks is a company that was borne of necessity. I never had aspirations of making my living as a seamstress, leather worker, or woodworker. Life had other plans for us it seems. A few opportunities came along at the right time and after two and a half years of hard work, we are now a full-time, family run operation that works off of our family ranch in Menard, Texas.
When our oldest son was born in 2009, my wife decided she wanted to raise our children full time and be a stay at home mom. To help make up for the loss of her income, we purchased an embroidery machine and she started doing embroidery out of our home in Cedar Park, TX. I soon found myself staying up late at night, helping her fulfill orders while learning all I could about these fascinating sewing machines. Up to that point I had been an automotive technician who specilized in European vehicles. The complex mechanical aspects of the sewing machines appealed to me and I soon found that I was quite adept at being behind the needle.
At the same time my interest in hand tool woodworking was gaining traction. I soon built a bench and acquired a nice set of tools. Consequently, I also started tracking in shavings when I came back in the house. Light, fluffy shavings that my toddler was quick to pick up and put in his mouth. The search was on for an apron. A long and disappointing search. Why were there no options??? If someone sold aprons, it was only one color, one choice of pockets, only one size. And usually emblazoned with a somewhat disproportionately large logo front and center. This was unacceptable to me, surely there was a better way!
After a few months of complaining about the lack of proper apron choices online, my wife had had enough. She told me to quit my complaining and make my own! I knew how to use the machines, I had access to plenty of fabric, and I OBVIOUSLY knew what I wanted. So I did. With her guidance in terms of construction techniques and assembly methods, coupled with the ideas I had tossing around in my head, our first apron was born. It was a little rough, but it had a solid foundation. And more importantly, it made the gears in my head start to turn.
I posted a picture of this apron on my Instagram account. I had a whopping 42 followers at this point. One of those followers took a liking to my apron, he was shopping around for a replacement at that time coincidentally. He sent me an email and we worked out a trade, a custom apron for some extra hand tools he had. Little did I know that this was the start of something big, something life changing.
Not long after he received his apron, the emails from other woodworkers started to trickle in. One apron led to another, which led to another, and so on and so forth. A little over a year later, with two young boys at home and a wife who was seven months pregnant with another, I left my full time job for good. It was the best, and most difficult decision I've ever made.
our build process
All of our products are made from scratch, right here in our small Texas shop. We try to keep every step of the manufacturing process in house, from cutting the fabric to making our leather labels. Most of the items we sell aren't carried in our inventory, we just have too many options available for that to be a possibility. Our products are made to order, in the order they were received. Our normal process is to work on 10-15 orders at one time. This can take 5-7 days to complete and ship, depending on what was ordered. In between rounds of orders we like to dedicate a day or three to ranch work and woodworking, those are mainstays of our life as well. Whether it's working in our organic garden or restoring a 1950 Jaguar XK120, things are always busy and always interesting, just the way we like it!