NORMAL, Ill. (WMBD) – Some say woodworking goes “against the grain” of a teenager’s hobbies, but from cutting boards to oversized furniture, people will find Alex Sohn cutting back plans for his own small business.
“Everyone in this world is capable of something. I have been working with wood for about a year and a half. When I started working with wood, my projects weren’t very good. I knew I was capable of doing a good project, you just have to think about it, ”said Sohn Woodworks owner Alex Sohn, a 16-year-old Normal Community High School student.
Sohn makes cutting boards, furniture, flags and really anything that involves wood.
Sohn got into woodworking while looking for a good gift to give his girlfriend. “I saw a wooden chest online. I thought, how could I do something like this? So I turned to my dad, and he helped me make the wooden chest, and since then I’ve been doing stuff all the time.
Her father, Jeff Sohn, said: “I look at her projects and they are absolutely beautiful.” While his mom, Shelley Sohn, said, “He’s always been a practical guy, and that doesn’t surprise me, but he does a great job.”
Alex said that every project he does his parents always compliment him, and even when he has a bad project or a hard day in the store, his parents always point out the positives in his job, no matter what.
“It started with a small project, he continued to build on himself,” Shelley said.
Jeff said his son bought all of his gear one piece at a time with his own money from previous projects.
“I would try to make it a hobby, I’m only sixteen, it would be difficult to make a business out of it and live well. If I could and if I had the chance, I totally would because it’s something I love to do, I love being in the store, ”said Alex.
Both of his parents said he exceeded any expectations they would have had for their son.
Asked about buying carpentry from stores, Alex said, “You can go to Walmart or Meijer or any department store or IKEA and buy a piece of furniture, or buy a cutting board, or buy anything and it will be very cheap. But, it will never have that authentic feel of being made by hand.
“The biggest advice I would give anyone is to start. That’s a lot of problems people have at the beginning because they’re reluctant because they’re not selling anything. They don’t do as well as other people they compare themselves to. Stay steady, stay consistent, keep pushing your business, and don’t give up. If you really like it, don’t give up, ”Alex said.