We had the good fortune of connecting with Jason Vetsch and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Jason, as a parent, what do you feel is the most meaningful thing you’ve done for them?
I am a father of three beautiful girls along side my wife, Chelsea. Lydia is almost 12, Renae is 10 and our youngest, Emmy, is 2. My path to parenthood is an unusual one. In 2017, My wife came home from teaching grade school and sat me down on the couch. She told me of a situation at school with one of her students. There was a little girl in her class that was withdrawn from school and sent to a group home with her little sister because their grandma didn’t want them anymore. My wife was heartbroken and told me we had to do something. It was right before Christmas break and they had no family to take them in or care for them. At this time, we were newly married with no children of our own. I was busy in architecture school trying to build a career as a designer and woodworker. We decided it was the right thing to take them in and become their foster parents.

Overnight, our lives changed. It’s definitely not easy raising children who aren’t biologically yours, but the connection we made with them in that first year was unlike anything I ever experienced. The true impact came when we finalized their adoption as our own, sharing my last name with theirs. To see them transform from that first day they came to our house, to the fun loving, joyful girls they are today has made me a better person because we all need a chance at life, even if we don’t get it the first time. I always remind them that they are unique because we got to choose them as our children, and we continue to choose them every day.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My path to woodworking started with my love for psychology. I have a BA in industrial/organizational psychology. I decided to step away from a career as a psychologist and go all in as a designer and woodworker in 2017. The psychological and emotional reaction to my furniture is very important to me. I love taking as many details as I can into a piece and then start removing them until I feel a balance between simple and complex. I like to design with a level of disbelief and suspense. I love when people do a double take at my work and approach it to get a closer look at what they are seeing. I use joinery as an opportunity to be creative. The intersection of materials is where the magic happens. Because I don’t have a traditional education in woodworking, I think it helps me more as a designer because I’m able to use tools and techniques from a different perspective. There are many times when working with different materials, I’ll try to find another alternative or approach to make the material act or shape in a way that may be contrary to the status quo.

Working with my hands humbles me. Not knowing what challenges await when starting a project forces me to trust my instincts and use my hands and mind to work my way through the unknows. When a piece is finished and is exactly how it should be, the rewarding feeling I get is second to none.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
The thing I love about living in the valley is the juxtaposition of nature and busy city life. From hiking Camelback mountain and strolling through the Botanical Gardens, to ending the day at happy hour with friends, good food and entertainment are woven together with the unique desert climate. Some of my favorite spots to eat are St. Francis restaurant, Arizona Wilderness Brewery and Churn for a late night treat.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
While my wife has always been there for me, supporting my dream to be a professional woodworker, the company I currently work for has had a profound impact on me as a designer and artist. Four years ago, 180 Degrees Inc, located in Phoenix, Arizona took me on as a summer intern. They gave me freedom and resources to become the designer I am today. Their constant pursuit of excellence has pushed me to a higher standard of woodworking. When there’s an issue, we solve it. When we accomplish something, we celebrate it. The brands core values are rigor, restraint, craftsmanship, and patience. Thanks to 180 Degrees Inc, these values have become engrained in me at work and beyond.

Website: bytheguild.com

Instagram: bytheguild

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