Creating something that can last a lifetime is how Eddie Thomason, the owner of ET Woodworks, spends his free time. For his nine to five, Eddie works as an account executive for Toshiba, and any other time he can be found spending time with his loved ones and running his own budding custom woodworking business here in Broome County. Though the business only started in late 2020, ET Woodworks has already received hundreds of inquiries and orders for his one-of-a-kind creations from local residents and even customers in other states. For Eddie, however, it all started with family.
Eddie says he has always had a passion for creating things and constructing his ideas with his own hands. This year for the holidays, Eddie wanted to do something unique for his family and create pieces that could be handed down throughout the years. After purchasing his first table saw in October and setting it up in his garage, Eddie started out by putting cutting boards together, his most well-known product to date. After a board he had created for his Aunt in November 2020 went viral in the community group Support Black Business 607, the orders started flooding in.
“My wife is actually the reason the business got started, she was the one who encouraged me to share my work with the Support Black Business 607 group. Within the same day I posted the photo, I had over two hundred likes and more than one hundred comments asking how to buy custom cutting boards and it took off from there.”
Eddie never imagined when he first starting woodworking that it would grow into a business so quickly. The Christmas rush followed his initial post and soon he found himself making cutting boards, stove top covers, headboards, and more. What started out as him just making what his family needed around the house, a new coffee table or an entryway bench, boomed. Eddie also contributes his quick success to working with local realtors to create beautiful and affordable closing gifts that get his foot in the door so that later on those clients would come back to him for a dining room table, shelving, or whatever else they could think of. Customers often reach out to ET Woodworks with a sample photo and a simple message of ‘are you able to do this’ and Eddie always says yes, he is willing to try making anything.
“The cool thing about custom woodworking is I don’t mass produce anything. I get to bring to life people’s visions for their home and simultaneously have the joy of creating something new and different every time.”
The process all starts with that initial conversation between Eddie and the customer, which he says is the most important part. To take the initiative to truly get to know the person beyond just the product that they want and incorporate that information into the customization process is what sets ET Woodworks apart. In addition to the basic questions of favorite colors or types of wood to use, Eddie searches for inspiration in the favorite seasons, hobbies, or even memories of his clients. With the ability to laser engrave anything onto his products, Eddie has made such heartfelt gifts as a stovetop cover displaying a family recipe that can be passed down through the generations.
For Eddie, it’s all about creating that genuine wow factor for his clients and that they are involved every step of the way. From the initial conversation, to updates throughout the crafting process, to pictures of the final result distributed to customers, Eddie’s principal rule to his business is open communication with his clients. For local clients, Eddie and his wife Colleen load up their car with their two young sons and hand deliver their products as a family. One of his favorite parts of the process is when he gets to see his customers unbox his creations as they truly appreciate the craftsmanship and artwork that went into their entirely original piece.
“Having the ability to spend this time with my family, to build a business with them and have my kids see what it is that I love to do and have them be a part of that is why I love Broome County.”
Before living in Broome County, Eddie attended Bryant University in Rhode Island, where he obtained a degree in Business Administration and Entrepreneurship. Always an entrepreneur at heart, which he accredits to the numerous mentors that have helped him, Eddie has shared his expertise and experiences as a podcast host, author, and youth speaker, also having spoken at local conferences such as the Greater Binghamton Chamber of Commerce’s Young Professional Summit. A good life to Eddie is having the flexibility and freedom in his life to work a job he loves, pursue his passions, and most importantly to spend time with his family. Eddie truly believes he has found that here in Broome.
“Having a family, being married with two kids, being able to spend our time together running around at one of our local parks or even having them play in the driveway while I am sanding off projects is truly amazing. My kids getting to see me create something beautiful for somebody else while we are all having fun is truly living the good life.”
Eddie wants to teach his kids the importance of that same freedom and flexibility of time that living in Broome affords him. He also says that the sense of community in Broome County is one of the most impressive things about the area and part of why he loves not only building his business but raising his family here. Through his position at Toshiba, as well as his role as an ambassador for the Greater Binghamton Chamber of Commerce, Eddie feels truly connected with the community.
When Eddie chose to move to Binghamton from Baltimore, it was a chance decision. His position at the time required him to live in a central location where he could travel throughout Upstate New York, to Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. Eddie says he just pointed to a spot on the map in the middle and landed in Binghamton. Now, with the roots he has set and the connections he has made, he is happy to say that Broome County is home. “If somebody is in need, there is a whole community that rallies behind them, that is what I want in my community when I am building my business and especially in raising my family.”
Eddie is looking forward to growing ET Woodworks in the years to come through further diversifying his portfolio and client base and one day moving into a larger space. Visit the ET Woodworks Facebook or Instagram page to check out Eddie’s work and follow his business’ journey.
ET Woodworks is a proud part of the #MadeinBroome program and is a reason why #BroomeisGood.