Owner of Currier Woodworks
Located on Live Oak Street in historic downtown Beaufort you’ll find Currier Woodworks, a familiar name for locals here in Eastern North Carolina. Owner Don Currier is well known by many for being a master of his trade in woodworking and has left his mark on hundreds of homes in our area since making the move here in 2004. We were excited at the opportunity to tour the woodshop with don, and even grab an interview to learn more about his unique story in the process.
Upon entering the shop, we were immediately greeted by Don who was eager to show us around his workspace. The smell of fresh wood resonated in the air, and you could see many projects around the shop in various stages of completion, all unique and equally impressive. Don didn’t hesitate to take us through the different machinery located around the space, and even demonstrated just how everything operated for us. From watching him do this, it was clear that he had been practicing these skills for quite some time and knew the machinery like the back of his hand. We enjoyed flipping through old portfolio books and seeing some of his best pieces from the beginning of his career to now. We laughed when he nonchalantly would mention the multiple times, he was featured on HGTV, along with the many magazine entries he’d been included in scattered throughout the pages. It was clear Don was well known for his work far outside of our coastal town. Of course, the question was, how does one get to this point of success and where does it all start? Don’s story was unique, and we enjoyed following along just as much as he enjoyed sharing it with us.
It began in the year 1976 when Don at the age of 18 Don enlisted in the Navy Seabees and was a part of the construction battalion. Before this point you’d be surprised to know he never even thought about picking up a hammer, but at the suggestion of his grandfather who he greatly respected, he decided to go for it. He continued growing his skill set in the CB’s for the next few years until 1979 when he met his wife, who was also in the Navy as well.
His wife’s communication role in the Navy eventually led the couple to Wales. It was here that after Don’s tour of duty in the CB’s he would begin work as an apprentice, working under a master woodworker for the next year and a half. This opportunity only solidified his love for the craft, which he would continue for the next few years to come.
In 1983 Don and his wife decided to move locations yet again upon his wife’s end of tour from the Navy. This time the destination was Cape Cod, the place Don was born and raised. It was here that Don and his wife would buy their first home together and he would begin his job as a part of a building crew framing house, while his wife worked as a florist in Gardens. Although Don was working with the medium he loved, he was not interested in swinging a hammer for the rest of his life nor was he enthralled by the idea of being a contractor. His passion was woodworking- yet he saw great potential in the lumber industry in the area, as its presence was nearly nonexistent. This inspired him to form “Currier Hardwoods” in March of 1993, where he would sell domestic and exotic lumbers. Don worked as the company’s sole employee and after many 70-hour work weeks his hard work paid off. As his reputation grew, his business would soon evolve into more cabinetry work than hardwood sales. His first big project after phasing into woodworking was a large home in Nantucket, Massachusetts.
Don claimed he had “no idea what he was doing” but his attitude from the start was to learn as he went along, the kind of guy that just says, “go for it”. He read every book and magazine to educate himself and was motivated by the sheer passion to be great at something he truly loved doing. He rented a 3000 square foot building to work out of and bought the necessary machinery to get the job done. It wouldn’t be until later that Don would unknowingly look at a magazine in his stocking on Christmas, only to realize the work he did on that Nantucket house was featured inside. Quite possibly the best, and most unexpected, Christmas surprise he could ask for. It was safe to say Don found his niche, and he would continue to build a name for himself in the woodworking industry completing projects for many notable clients over the next few years.
In 2004 Don, his wife and daughter were ready for their next adventure. The harsh winters in Cape Cod had them yearning for warmer weather, so they pulled out a map and got to work. When asked just how they ended up picking the small town of Beaufort, Don said it was completely at random. Again, with the “just go for it” attitude that had always proven to work for him in the past. When entering Beaufort, Don said the Old Beaufort bridge that used to stand above Gallants Channel reminded him of Cape Cod. He also added quite confidently, that moving to Beaufort was the best thing he and his family ever did.
You can now find Don in his woodshop most days right on Live Oak Street, crafting intricate pieces of all kinds for homes all over the area. Don has a team of two other employees, and still puts pride and care into every detail in each of his projects. When asked what word best described his style, Dons answer was simple. “Craftsmanship” he replied with conviction. “That’s what I want to be remembered for. I take pride in my work and treat each project like it would go into my own house”. An admirable attitude that seems to be a rare commodity in today’s world. Getting to know Don and his story was a pleasure, and we look forward to following some of his next projects in the weeks to come. To keep up with Don and his future endeavors, you can visit his website at CurrierWoodworks.com or follow him on Facebook @CurrierWoodworksNC to see his latest ventures.