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“It Started With a Challenge…”

Corey Swanson of Wood & Stone Designs in Minneapolis doesn’t shy away from a challenge. He’s taken on the challenge of designing and crafting countertops, furniture and more using concrete and wood.

He’s gone far beyond just learning the technical aspects of his craft, to learning the business aspects of marketing and selling. This has made Wood & Stone Designs the leading craftsmen in the Minneapolis area.

Check out their amazing website at www.woodandstonedesigns.com. Below is their story, as told on the website. Great job, Corey and team!

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It Started With a Challenge…

I used to work in a cubicle and I hated it; it just wasn’t for me.

For years, I could be found in my basement, working with my hands to create something out of nothing. I’ve always enjoyed building and having something physical to show for my time and energy. I loved learning about the different properties and characteristics of materials. Similar to cooking, I found learning the different ways materials interacted and altered one another fascinating! I’d build wood pieces based on what I liked or wanted to learn- a small coffee table, a bench… I loved meeting any challenge head-on!

Like anyone with a passion to learn these days, I turned to internet videos. I studied DIY woodworking videos to get insight into different techniques and see how professionals with decades of experience perfected their crafts. I became a sponge and soaked up all of their tips and tricks and quickly implemented them into my work.

I enrolled in local woodworking classes and began building larger and more technically difficult pieces, including cabinets and furniture. I even sold a few tables online. Those sales got me wondering, “Maybe this hobby could turn into something more…?”

About three years ago, I saw a concrete coffee table and took on the challenge of making one instead of buying it. Needless to say, there were a few fails along the way, but I did it! From that point on, I was completely enthralled with concrete.

I found some “for cost” job opportunities and hit the ground running creating concrete countertops and sinks. Wood & Stone Designs was born!

For someone without much experience at the time, both jobs went better than I could’ve hoped! I continued using the sink mold from those jobs and worked to hone my skills and started selling them online.

I knew I had a lot to learn, so I enrolled at the Concrete Countertop Institute where I learned hands-on from the best of the best. Upon finishing the training, I couldn’t wait to get started!

I continued to refine my skills in wood and concrete and decided it was time.

I left my 9-5 job in a cube and went all in. After a year of working full-time at the Wood & Stone Designs World Headquarters (aka… my basement!), I signed a lease and made the move into a real shop. I hired some part-time help and haven’t looked back!

Wood & Stone Designs is still working out of that same south Minneapolis shop. We craft each piece with the same passion I did when I was working on concrete sinks alone in my basement! I can’t wait to help you create a piece that you will love for years to come.

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