The Moss Wood Shop
Local Craftsman Creates Unique Home Decor Items From Driftwood
Sometimes fate opens another door when one closes. Such was the case for Deer Park resident Justin Moss who was laid off from his construction job right before Christmas in 2010. Short on cash, he and his wife Kaylee made picture and mirror frames for Christmas that year from left over weathered cedar fencing that was given to them.
People liked them so much the husband and wife duo decided to start selling their unique handmade wood craft items. They made a few shelves and sold them on Etsy, an e-commerce website focused on handmade and vintage items, and soon they had a steady stream of orders to fill. Moss does the woodworking, while his wife manages the website and handles order fulfillment.
“One of the best childhood memories I have is going outside to my dad’s shop and helping him build one of the many custom wood projects he was working on,” said Moss. “At a young age, my older brother and I were shown the ropes in the wood shop. My dad could build anything... cabinets, instruments, rocking horses, even a wooden ship the size of a small bus in our back yard. Anything he wanted to build, he would, and it would always turn out perfect,” Moss fondly remembered.
“Now I have two young children of my own. I don’t think they are quite ready to use the band saw yet, but my wish is to be able to pass on to them the skills my father showed me,” Moss said.
Today the Moss Wood Shop product line includes shelves and functional pieces created from found driftwood, rustic home decor items handcrafted from unfinished, reclaimed barn wood, and original wire art sculptures inspired by wildlife and nature.
A favorite pastime is collecting driftwood, and the Mosses make it a family affair with their two small children. Last year they collected most of their driftwood from around Lake Roosevelt, and this year they plan to travel to other rivers and lakes throughout the area. They are looking forward to using this opportunity to spend quality time with their children, as well as gathering a good supply of driftwood for the shop.
Driftwood shelves are the most popular product Moss makes. He doesn’t alter the driftwood except as needed to piece them together. No lacquer is used and there is no in- depth cleaning of the wood, as customers like the sand still packed into the little crevices in the wood.
“Growing up in the northwest has given me a love for natural beauty,” said Moss. I want to bring out the truth in the wood that I work with, not cover it in paint to look like a piece of plastic. Nature has a way of painting that can never be done by a man,” he concluded.