A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Clines Crafted Woodworking: A Kentucky startup handmade furniture business and how it happened

By Dan Clines

For most people, starting a woodworking business can seem like an unrealistic dream because of the expenses involved, but thankfully we have been blessed to be able to overcome those obstacles and start our own successful handmade furniture business in Kentucky, located in Georgetown.

Dan Cline

When starting out with a new business venture it can be difficult to stay focused on the long term. Even in today’s economy, many people are still looking to start their own small businesses, in hopes of turning their passions into profits and having more control over their lives and schedules.

You might not think that Kentucky would be the best place to start an American-made furniture business, but we are going to talk about why we did just that.

We know that we will never be millionaires with our handmade furniture business, but our hope is to work from home and spend more time together as a family.

See how we have navigated our growth so far!

The beginnings:

Our woodshop started from a much simpler place. In fact, it was born of necessity: Our family’s home needed new furniture.

It was when I got to work preparing pieces for my wife and our home that the idea for Clines Crafted Woodworking LLC took form.

Youngest son is starting early in the family business.

As I sought out fine local woods, studied the most influential woodworkers, and honed my techniques, I was sowing the seeds for what would become our family-owned business.

I wanted to make sure the furniture I made for them was the best…

Because our families deserve the best.

They deserve our effort and time; however, we can give it to them. And that’s what went into the founding ethos of Clines Crafted Woodworking LLC when we launched it in 2018.

The challenges:

Starting a handmade furniture business from scratch can be quite daunting. You need to think about getting customers, shipping costs, online presence, social media, and many other facets that you do not have to worry about if you have your store front located locally. Our approach has been very calculated and well thought out with help from professionals and other local business owners.

After several family discussions through 2018 and 2019 we finally decided to make it official and start our LLC in January of 2020 and boy where we in for a ride. Along with the challenges listed above we started right at the beginning of the pandemic. We had already scratched off starting our social-media accounts and had begun gathering support from friends, family, and locals.

Over the past two years, we have made it our mission to source our materials for our pieces from local and ethical sources. Our real wood is sourced from a local lumberyard who gets his lumber from Kentucky and surrounding states like Indiana and Tennessee.

Working on a bed

Slowly we have been making the switch to companies for our paints & stains that are non-toxic and use ethical practices for their products. These businesses, like Rubio Monocoat, use environmentally safe materials that you can feel safe putting around your children, pets, and yourself.

Our most recent task has been accepting the necessity of establishing an ecommerce presence to ensure stability of our small business and to offer a wide range of our handcrafted products to the entire united states. This has been a completely different learning experience from social media, but we have been fortunate to have been successfully growing through this channel as well.

This challenge has led us to expand our handmade wooden products into the home goods and decor categories of the industry and focus more on giving our clients a quality handmade option for more products.

Moving forward

Moving forward, we are committed to finding more ways to support local businesses and hope to work more closely with them in the future to offer more local, made-in-America products for purchase. Our next objective is to find support for expanding our brand’s visibility outside of our region.

Our dream is to eventually employ the people of our town and put into practice a simpler lifestyle of building by hand.

Some may find satisfaction in being able to carry with them the experience of creating their own furniture, not to mention pass it on to their children.

His older son — developing a family work ethic.

Focus on community and quality

Our focus on our local community makes it possible for us to pay close attention to your desires, discover the communities that strengthen us, and encourage and collaborate with our local small businesses. In the process, it has enabled us to better serve you, know your interests, and customize projects for you.

As a trusted purveyor of high-quality custom furniture, home goods, and decor, we never take shortcuts on the way to creating something your family will treasure for years.

In normal circumstances, I polish things up a bit to soften my delivery. There’s a point I want to make, though: If we had to build low-quality goods to earn a living, then Clines Crafted Woodworking LLC simply wouldn’t exist.

While there may be ways to cut corners with cheaper materials or lower-quality techniques, those aren’t the kinds of products we stand by. We put the same energy into our work for others as the work I did for my family to create strong designs that will last.

The finished bed

As a passionate craftsman, I’m pushing myself to exceed your expectations, each and every time.

It is not a person’s name or heritage that drives my interest in furniture, but rather an in-depth study of the materials and construction methods of the great masters that are considered high-quality.

When constructing furniture for my own use as well as our clients, I draw from several different schools of design and refine the high-quality aspects, coming up with furniture that has modernity, classic style, and strong craftsmanship.

Quality is our priority. When it comes to furniture or the other wood products we craft. The techniques, styles, and materials we use at Clines Crafted Woodworking LLC are meant to be the best.

Because that’s what my family deserves. And that’s what your family deserves, too.

Dan Clines is a woodworker and a craftsman and the owner of Clines Crafted Woodworking in Georgetown, Kentucky. His work has been featured on the woodworking network and on Cottagecore Magazine and has been among the top 10 finalists in national competitions. He can be reached at dclines@clinescraftedwroookworking.com

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