I became interested in woodworking and furniture design while studying at Colorado State University where I earned a degree in Wood Science and Technology in 1994. After graduating, I gained some valuable experience working in a cabinet shop, a hardwood lumber store, and as an interior trim carpenter.
I started the wood shop in the summer of 1997. After one year I hired an experienced craftsman named Steve Wright who is still working with me.
In the early days we built just about anything for local individuals and businesses. We built beds, tables, bookcases, office furniture, jewelry boxes, etc. But over the years there were a few events that formed the product line we offer today.
In 1998, I introduced myself to Carey Hewitt, the owner of Old Town Fort Collins' favorite retail store, The Cupboard. They specialize in kitchen furnishings and without hesitation he asked me if I would be interested in building recipe boxes because he had been searching for a high quality recipe box to sell to no avail. Carey, with his 30 years of retail experience, discussed with me the pros and cons of the other recipe boxes available on the market. A short time later I showed Carey the recipe box that I had built with his guidance and he said, "I'll take 20. And then let's discuss some other product possibilities." Well, serving trays, cutting boards, napkin holders and Shaker peg racks soon followed.
In 1999, a local restaurant owner, Rob Osborne, requested some simple, strong shelf brackets for his office. We designed and built him something very similar to our current Maple Straight 10 corbel. The installation went very smoothly and I had an "everybody could use one of these" moments. We then decided to advertise our shelf brackets to the local community which resulted in a few sales.
In 2000, my friend Jon Summerfield, approached me about starting a website. He was just starting his website design business, Blue Avenue Design, and needed to strengthen his portfolio. So we built a jewelry box for him to give to his wife and he built me TylerMorrisWoodworking.com. We advertised our recipe boxes, serving trays, napkin holders, shelf brackets and cutting boards on our new site.
During the first few years we were content with our relatively light web sales because we continued to fill the schedule with local custom work. Then one day in 2003 it finally sank in what many customers had told me. "Your shelf brackets can be used as countertop supports too."
In 2003, many homeowners across the country were having their kitchens remodeled because there was a new emphasis placed on making the kitchen into a place for entertaining guests as well as food preparation. Kitchen designers were strongly recommending seating in the kitchen, so countertops were being built with overhangs to accommodate bar stools. Furthermore, the countertop installers were telling the homeowners that their overhangs require corbels. Personally, I considered corbels to be heavier and more ornate than our brackets. But the fact was clear. Homeowners were told they needed to buy corbels. So they Googled corbels. Thus, purely for Google marketing purposes, our countertop brackets became corbels and our website visits and subsequent sales increased dramatically.
The staff consists of three talented individuals and myself. Steve Wright has been working at the shop since 1998. Steve has many responsibilities around the shop but his primary, self-inflicted, focus is to continually make our products more efficiently and make them better. Luke Reynolds started working at the shop in 2016.
Our List of Clients
Sears Trostel Lumber
New Belgium Brewing
Colorado State University
Carestream Health Inc
The Coffee Registry
Rhinebeck Animal Hospital
Unique Custom Products
Coastal Bath and Kitchen
Quality Marble Inc
Greyrock Concrete Design
Libby Barbee, artist
Remington Flats Hotel
Didier Design Studio