Richard Spencer is used to putting things back together.
Since 1989, the Shadle Park graduate has been putting his woodworking talents on display building furniture, cabinetry and performing repairs and modifications, which eventually led to a career when he opened up his own business, Spencer Heirlooms & Craft, in 2006.
But after the 2008 economic recession, Spencer was forced to close up shop and was dealt perhaps his toughest repair task; rebuilding his own company.
“I was pretty discouraged,” Spencer said. “I did feel a kind of a sense of loss and failure just because it was something I really enjoyed doing.”
While Spencer continued cabinetry work for Nelson Brothers, Inc. out in the Spokane Business and Industrial Park, the idea of someday reopening his business never left his mind.
“It was in the back of my mind,” Spencer said. “You kind of feel banged up after having to stop something that you started and it kind of takes a toll on your pride.”
And in December 2012, Spencer was given an opportunity to mend his broken pride.
“I really started desiring to start up again in fall 2012,” Spencer said. “I just had been thinking about it, praying about it, definitely talking to my wife about it. And it was finally in December when I was contacted in an email by a former customer asking if I still did cabinets. There were two or three other people that wanted some work done as well and I was like ‘wow I just may need to start up again.’”
That is all Spencer would need as he took a “leap of faith” and “cut the strings” from his employer to embark on the journey of rebuilding his business.
In February of this year, Spencer’s masterpiece was complete.
Along with the simplification of the businesses’ name to SHC Woodworking Co., Spencer made some other changes to ensure that things would be different this time around.
“I’m working more out of a home shop and not really having a major store front or anything,” Spencer said. “I just want to help people with their projects. If they need trim, installs, or cabinets that they’ve purchased installed, I could do that kind of work whereas before I mainly did custom made-to order cabinets and furniture.”
And as someone who understands tough economic times all too well, Spencer is more than willing to accommodate his customer’s needs.
“Sometimes (due to) economic standards not everyone can afford to have custom cabinets or furniture made,” Spencer said. “So if they find those cabinets at a thrift store or if they want to put trim around the windows or do any kind of woodworking that’s finished carpentry, I can do that for them too.”
Since reopening Spencer said that business has been good, explaining that he rarely has a week where he isn’t busy. And as thrilled as Spencer was to get his shop back up and running, it is what he is able to give to others that excites him most.
“Just being able to provide people with my services,” Spencer said when asked what excited him most about reopening. “I’ve enjoyed woodworking for well over 20 years now and just a desire to provide people with good quality craftsmanship.”
SHC Woodworking Co. is located at Spencer’s home in the Cheney area, but he performs the work at his customer’s location. Anyone interested in SHC’s services, which is open 8 a.m.-5 p.m., can contact Spencer by calling his work phone (509) 326-7112, cellphone (509) 290-7508, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.