As the economy continues to struggle towards a recovery, businesses in Clarke County and Berryville begin to emerge and hang out their shingles with high hopes. Michael Budwash’s shingle just happens to be made of wood. The owner of Appalachian Woodworks is staking his claim in Berryville as he opens his new shop in the industrial park on Jack Enders Blvd. to accommodate his growing business.
Launched in 2001, his custom cabinetry and millwork operation is the product of many years of woodworking experience. At the age of 14 Michael started his career shadowing a master carpenter. His hands-on experience immersed him in framing carpentry and eventually transitioned to custom trim. At the age of twenty-three Michael realized he had outgrown the carpentry crew and at that point decided to strike out on his own. His new venture focused on cabinets and custom trim carpentry. His business flourished as he developed a core of satisfied clients, offering diverse millwork projects including residential libraries, kitchens and custom trim work.
In 2002, Michael’s wife, Heidi, joined the operation. At first Heidi worked in an administrative capacity, but later she was able to cultivate her design skills to become an integral part of the production effort as well. In 2008, Heidi graduated with Magna Cum Laude honors from the Kitchen and Bath Design Program from the National Kitchen and Bath Association. Heidi says, “I’m still managing paperwork, but get to balance it out with my personal love for design as well. Aside from being spouses, we connect on a professional level, bringing very different personas and ideas to the table.”
Michael’s passion for his work comes from the hands on workmanship and pride in job well done, “For me, enjoyment comes from crafting a superior product that fits precisely, finishes well and exceeds the client’s expectations. My strongest desire is for the end result to be a finished product that conveys it’s purpose and lasts a lifetime.”
However growing a business in an economy that remains stubbornly depressed takes more than hard work and dedication, it also takes a willingness to take risks. The collapse of new construction has meant that tradesman have all had to reevaluate their approach to business and often times downsize their businesses. But, in the turmoil of a rebounding economy opportunities arise. As the Buwash’s business grew they were pressed for space at their home based shop in Linden, Va. Unable to expand that shop, they looked to an opportunity in Berryville for a larger facility. A sagging economy has meant commercial spaces for lease have become more competitive and this presented them with an opportunity. Heidi described the decision to move saying, “We were experiencing serious growing pains. We reached a crossroad where we had to make the decision to really commit to this gig- we chose to move forward. We love Clarke County and the community of Berryville and were able to find a perfect space for the company, so here we are.”
While the Budwashs are not currently residents of Clarke County, they are considering a move in the future and said they were drawn to Berryville for the Main Street community that it is; along with the wonderful farming community.
Their new location is by appointment only and is located at 409 Jack Enders Blvd. Unit #6 Berryville. Visit their website at www.appalachian-woodworks.com for more information and photos of their work.