No, this isn't my first job, but I did work on this roof with my brotherJosh and co-worker Phil.

When I was twelve I begged my father to go to work with him.  So one summer day he agreed and took me to the job site.  My task was easy enough, I had to clean up the trash and nails that had fallen to the ground from their work.  It was a warm day, but I was happy enough with this task, glad to have something to do and earn some extra pocket money.  The customer was a very nice older woman who was extremely unhappy that my father brought me to the job site at such a young age.  She spent a good amount of time trying to entice me to come inside and have some cookies and watch cartoons in her air conditioned house, telling me I was too young to be working like this.  I agreed to take the cookies, because who doesn’t take cookies when offered, but I politely declined her invitation to come inside and spent the day doing the best I could to clean that yard. This was to be, unofficially, the beginning of my career.

As a teenager, I would work during the summer at jobs that were appropriate enough for my skill and age when available.  Since my father and grandfather had their own remodeling business I would often work with them, but this wasn’t always the case.  I had friends who owned a concession stand at a public pool and I would hone my kitchen skills when they needed me to cook burgers and fried foods.  I was also handy with computers that were becoming more and more popular.  Occasionally, I would help people figure out a new piece of software they purchased but couldn’t quite understand how to use. 

An early deck build I had the pleasure of helping construct. This deck faced a quiet section of woods and during our lunch breaks, if we were quiet enough, would come alive with wildlife.

In fact, I purchased my own Windows 3.1 machine with my earnings and began to get some grand ideas.  My father used a paid bookkeeping service to send all his invoices, keep track of payments, pay employees, etc., so I started researching software that was available to track all of this and more right on your own computer.  At the age of 16, I pitched a bold and risky plan to my father.  I would take care of all of the business bookkeeping and payroll on my computer using some nice software I found and all he would need was an accountant to file quarterly and yearly taxes.  My father was skeptical, but he gave me the opportunity and in a few months I officially became the company secretary. 

When it came time for higher education I was undecided.  I was interested in college, but couldn’t decide on an educational path forward.  Also, my parents would be unable to help financially, although they generously offered free room and board if I stayed within distance of our home. 


I always had a deep satisfaction from working with my hands and seeing the direct result of my craft so with time the choice became apparent.  In the summer of 1995, I joined my father’s business and officially started my career.  I would spend 18 years a part of that business helping it grow and then incorporate to Roy B Kline and Son.  I learned many things along the way not only as a craftsman but as an administrator of a small business. I will never forget and always appreciate the opportunities that my parents gave me and the risks they took in backing my endeavors.  We may not have been very wealthy, but they taught me to use wisely the opportunities and benefits I had at my disposal. 

I did a lot of roofing and gutter work early in my career including custom copper and solder work.

One of the endeavors my parents backed was woodworking.  I started to learn how to work wood in my spare time and loved the look and feel of wood and all its inner beauty.  My father and I built a small workshop and spray booth in his backyard and I began to take the craft very seriously.  Soon I offered my services as part of our remodeling business and picked up a fair amount of side jobs.  I would never make very much money on these side jobs, but I would often tell people I was going to continue to hone my skills and eventually “retire” to woodworking. 


By 2010 I was starting to grow a little weary of the remodeling business and I was beginning to think about a new direction. One of my brothers had returned to the family business full time and it seemed like it would be a good time to plan something new.  I was unsure of what new path I wanted to take and didn’t want to rush into a hasty decision.

One of my first custom cabinets (Top) and TV Built-in (Bottom)

In the spring of 2013 I met Marcelo Melamed who had started a fledgling solid wood furniture business. It was a very small business in a tiny space with only a few pieces for sale.  I saw a great opportunity to grow and expand this business and knew I had the right combination of skills to help Marcelo succeed.  Fortunately, Marcelo quickly realized how much I had to offer for his new business and we soon became business partners and co-owners of Stor Furniture


Together, we grew his tiny venture into a profitable small business of 6 employees with a steady stream of customer orders. I learned so many new and different things about how to run a small production company and craft large quantities of high quality furniture. As Stor Furniture was coming out of the pandemic and adjusting, as many other businesses were, to some new realities it became apparent to me that it was time to make some changes of my own. 

Two Pieces of furniture built with Stor Furniture co-owner and designer Marcelo

Physical labor over the last 30 years had begun to take its toll on my body and it was no longer as easy as it once was to perform demanding physical tasks for 8 hours a day. Even though I loved everything I helped build at Stor Furniture I began to think that it was probably best to move on from Stor and look for a path forward that allowed me to continue my craft but was somewhat more forgiving in its physical demands. So by the end of 2022, I worked with Marcelo to transition myself out of Stor Furniture and wished him the best of luck. Starting in 2023 I started my own business SBCraftsman and started leveraging years of experience in the industry.   


If you’ve made it this far in this story then congratulations are in order.  While it was fairly concise it was still a long story.  What does it all mean exactly you might be wondering? The musings of someone who has spent many years working and then forms their own business isn’t terribly unique in any way.  Neither can I offer any tantalizing tidbit that would “Wow” anyone into hiring me. 


One thought I can leave you with is this.  One thing I have learned about myself over these many years is that I truly enjoy helping others succeed, whether it be in a particular skill, success in business, or adding a special piece or design to their home.  


My goal for SBCraftsman is to continue to bring that enjoyment to myself and that success to my customer or client.



Whether you’re curious about the details of products and services I provide or exactly how we could work together to create your dream project, please don’t hesitate to reach out.