Tell us your names and a little bit about what you guys do.
Anthony: I’m Anthony DiFabio, full-time high school faculty and co-owner of the Chalet Woodshop.
Sam: I’m Sam Ashford, co-owner of the Chalet Woodshop.
What does the Chalet Woodshop means to you?
The Chalet Woodshop is a way for us to put our heads together and create beautiful, handmade, quality products that are offered for sale at a reasonable price. We always strive to create items that will last that people can use every day at an affordable price.
You guys met through your love of music. What kind of role does music play into the goods you make now?
We are both musicians and songwriters. Music has been a huge part of both of our lives. I think that our desire to create original music translates into what we do in the shop. Every product starts with that creative process which is similar to writing a song.
When did you guys realize that this is something you wanted to pursue?
It happened in the summer of 2014. We realized that we wanted to be able to use our creative talents in a way that not only benefited our own lives, but the lives of others.
How do you guys juggle your other jobs and lives with this passion project?
We have found this to be one of the toughest elements in owning a small business. It can be very difficult at times to balance everything together with family, work, other hobbies, etc.
What has been the hardest part of starting the Chalet Woodshop?
When you own a business like ours, there are no real "rules" at first. When you are the boss it is both liberating and frustrating. Being well-organized and extremely disciplined is a must. There are only two of us, so if something needs to be done, one of us has to do it. Otherwise it doesn't happen.
What has been the most rewarding aspect of your work?
Seeing our products in pictures, in other states, or even other countries is wildly rewarding.
You guys definitely work with your hands. Talk to us about the passion you have behind that.
We are both guitarists. Using our hands is very natural for both of us. There is no greater feeling than admiring your work at the end of the day knowing it was created with your own two hands.
How do you guys stay creative with Chalet?
It can be tough to keep being creative. I think the biggest thing for us is branching out in the community and learning from others. Keeping in touch with the world around us enables us to see needs in the marketplace and meet those needs.
Chalet is now doing some leather goods as well. As far as the goods you guys make, what would you say separates you from anyone else working with leather and wood?
There are many people who make beautiful leather products. We are friends with many of them and everyone has their own approach. We like to keep our products simple and affordable.
What is next for Chalet?
A store-front on the moon.
QUICK FIRE QUESTIONS
How do you take your coffee?
A: Sweet and as close to chocolate milk as possible.
S: Strong and black.
What is your morning ritual?
A: Sleep in as much as possible, grab a morning shake, and out the door or getting up early and taking a jog. Depends on the day.
S: I like to get up and go. I love driving somewhere to grab coffee in the mornings. It allows me to listen to music in the car and start my day running errands or something else productive.
I take my pizza with...
A: Lots of pepperoni and pretzel crust.
How do you unwind?
A: Working with the tools in our shop while listening to music through headphones is one way for me to unwind. I also really enjoy running at the lake. It is a great way to let the mind wander.
S: I love listening to a vinyl record with a good beer, playing video games, or hitting the gun range. Not necessarily in that order.