In 2020, while working at Windsor Regional Hospital, Kingsville native Derrick Wigle decided to take the leap and turn his passion for woodworking into business. Recognizing that starting a business during the pandemic would present many obstacles, he felt he needed to do something he truly enjoyed. Like many entrepreneurs, he wanted to love his job and fuel his passion.
The result was Red Beard Designs. Today, Derrick spends his time honing his craft and producing a variety of wood products including butcher blocks, cutting boards and charcuterie boards, to name a few.
The Kingsville Times spoke with Derrick to find out more about Red Beard Designs and what’s behind his drive to succeed.
What was your motivation for starting your business?
I have always had a creative passion for woodworking. I was always making things around the house or as gifts, and realized that I needed to put my talents to use and try to start my own business. I wanted to be happy every day doing something I love, and needed to take the chance — even during the roughest times, just after the start of the pandemic.
I also am employed at the hospital, so while doing my part during one of the hardest times our community has seen, I also realized life is short, and each day I was wasting time I could have spent on an opportunity to live my dream.
What advice would you give to others who might be considering starting a business?
If you have the chance, take it. You can’t always live wondering what if. It’s hard work, and be prepared for that.
Be prepared for failures too. With failure also comes lessons learned and motivation to work harder to get where you need to go.
I started this adventure working in my backyard with a few hand tools and a vision of what I wanted the business to be and where I wanted it to go. I started selling my products on social media, on Instagram and Facebook.
Sales started off very well and as the orders grew and the requests for furniture came in I quickly realized working from home would not cut it.
It was time to move into a shop which I did by renting a space from a local industrial construction company called Incore Construction, owned by Jeremy Winter and Chris Whalen. This was a huge stepping stone to give myself the proper space and equipment I needed to grow my business.
I am so grateful to be able to do what I love every day, I have received an amazing amount of support and am going to continue to give all my energy to this passion in hopes for a business that continues to grow successfully.
Who are your target clients?
I have a variety of clients. I make furniture, mantels, cutting boards, charcuterie boards, knife holders, pet feeding holders with bowls, grilling planks, essential BBQ tools, etc. If you like food, entertaining, or unique pieces of furniture I can and will execute the task into something you will love.
What is your business motto?
“Where badass meets beautiful.” I have a Lumberjack Artist Creed. I would say I have an eye for taking the imperfections in the wood and giving it life, creating a unique one-of-a-kind every time.
What do your clients say about your business?
Customers have been very supportive and positive about the products they order. We will discuss their needs and I try my best to exceed their expectations every time. I have had amazing support. We have shipped internationally to Florida, Texas, Nevada, Illinois, and almost all our great Canadian Provinces.
Even NHL super star defensemen Brent Burns has a Red Beard Designs cutting board, and Pink Whitney has even posted one of the boards on Instagram.
What are your plans for business growth?
I have been expanding by working with local retailers in Essex/Kent counties.
You can purchase my products by messaging me through social media (Facebook and IG), calling 519-566-9583, or at the following stores:
I am constantly trying to reach out to different markets and creating new products. I have just started selling BBQ scrapers in the shape of hockey sticks. Anyone who knows me knows I am a hockey enthusiast. My logo represents hockey with a chainsaw to integrate the sport with my passion of woodworking.
How would you describe your products?
My services and products are professional while meeting the requests and needs of my customers. I also do etching, branding and soon will be doing personal engraving. I offer wood burning as a personal touch to any order which is done by another local artist D.W. Art.
What are your thoughts on supporting local businesses?
I think it’s very important to support local. Once the pandemic started and things became less available, the community really showed up to help small businesses as best as they could. Unfortunately some businesses couldn’t survive the economic hit, and it was hard to watch so many have to close.
I continue to support local, and always tag and advertise for anyone I am partnered up with in any way. I’ve tried to keep everything I do local, from having local artist Shane Wright develop and design my logo to having all my decals made by a local company, AM Designs 519.
I have all my T-shirts made and designed by a local business, Merch Runners. I deal with a small wood mill from Chatham called C&M sawmill. As the business has grown I’ve been able to go from working full time to part time at Windsor Regional Hospital making my dream become a reality.
Windsor and Essex County have so many talented amazing people with so much to offer. Great shops offering great products, all locally made. I never really truly appreciated everything this area had to offer. As we move on from the pandemic that has brought so many small businesses to their knees we need to support local more than ever right now.
To contact Red Beard Designs:
Red Beard Designs
Red Beard Designs
Red Beard Designs products can be purchased at these local retailers:
**Coming soon to Raymont’s Berries, Cottam
All photos courtesy of Derrick Wigle
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