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

Hi Lance, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
Of all the reasons to start a business likely the most foolish is to follow a popular hobby into a highly saturated market where your small business will compete against multi-billion dollar multinational companies with million dollar ad spends and thousands of locations. Years ago I began building furniture for my own home. When my wife and I moved into a larger home we made the decision to never buy furniture again. Through our woodworking hobby eventually Wooden Philosopher was born.

We believe there is a need for heirloom quality custom furniture that simply cannot be met by massive companies. Large furniture companies have their space and we don’t want that space. We want to build quality furniture that our customers will pass on to to their children and grandchildren. Every Wooden Philosopher piece is made to reflect this desire. We only use high quality hardwood and other high quality materials with the best woodworking processes available to make durable, beautiful, heirloom quality furniture that we are proud to put our name on.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
The first piece of furniture I made was a dinner table for am oddly sized eat in kitchen in my first home. The room would not accommodate any off-the-shelf table so I had to make one. The table was, objectively, terrible but I was proud to have built it. I learned several valuable lessons from that project and applied them to my next furniture build. As I built more and more furniture, and other woodworking projects, I learned more and more about the craft.

The furniture I build today is heirloom quality hardwood but there is always room to learn and grow more. I push myself to be the best woodworker I can be and that will always show in my work. The process has taken a significant amount of time, effort, and cost, all of which I have happily put into my craft.

Today I build heirloom quality hardwood furniture of a quality simply not available from any mass-market furniture company. Among hardwood furniture builders what makes us different is our vision for the purpose of our furniture. Each piece I make is an extension of every piece I have made so I only build projects that I am proud to put my name on. This exclusivity in our building means that each piece gets a level of attention and pride found nowhere else.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I have always been enthralled with Arizona’s natural beauty so my friends will, and do, spend a lot of time outdoors when I am allowed me make these sorts of plans.

We are going to hike McDowell Mountain’s Pemberton Trail before having an early lunch at All American Sport’s Grill in Fountain Hills. From the restaurant we can watch the fountain at Fountains Park.

On another day we are going to visit South Mountain at twilight. The city view from South Mountain is unlike any other I have seen. Phoenix is a huge and beautiful city (especially at night) and the lights of the urban sprawl make an impression on visitors they won’t forget. After this it off to Rustler’s Roost for a steak dinner.

Lastly we are leaving the Valley and heading to Boyce Thompson Arboretum for a day adventure learning about native trees and vegetation.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
In my first ‘real job’ I had a mentor named Frank. Frank was a seasoned veteran of the industry and he took me under my wing. From Frank I learned the ins and outs of being a professional and really taking ownership of my career. Frank has since retired and I have moved into a different industry but the lessons he taught me still serve me today and I owe a lot of my success to his help and advice.

Website: woodenphilosopher.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/the_wooden_philosopher/

Image Credits
Wooden Philosopher, LLC

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