It all started out as an idea in 2018 to repurpose a retired oak whisky barrel into a cabinet for my Islay malts. I had seen an advert for a Hogshead and enquired about the dimensions to see whether or not it would fit into my car. It did and I started about the transformation from retired oak whisky barrel into a practical and aesthetically pleasing piece of bespoke furniture which has pride of place in the family kitchen.
If you look at some of the videos in the gallery on the website which has been designed and developed by Owen from Yarm Webcraft, you will be able to get a better understanding of how the repurposing was achieved, what is involved and what the afore mentioned transformation looks like. The initial success spurred me on to volunteer my services to produce the table centre pieces for my daughters forthcoming wedding, which she readily agreed to design and develop with me and again you can judge for yourself how this family partnership turned out. The wedding which took place in Kenmore Scotland was a success both for my daughter Sarah and her now husband Nick and the positive feedback we have received from guests, family and friends who attended, about the wedding pieces.
This acknowledgement that we had produced something practical which was also aesthetically pleasing out of something which had already served its original purpose, that of being part of the process of maturing spirit into whisky was very satisfying. We started to think about whether or not this was a viable business opportunity or just something that would remain a hobby for me, so I started to research what other people had produced and sourcing barrels from other suppliers other than the one which the original barrel had come from and Woody’s Oak Barrel Creations began to take shape.
We set about having a logo designed from rough sketches I had drawn and commissioned a local graphic designer Nick Ball to bring this to fruition, which I suggest he did due to the positive feedback we have received.
The creations have emerged from a mixture of my own ideas and those of both my daughters as well as what I have observed elsewhere which have influenced and enhanced our ideas of what people might appreciate.
We try to enhance the character and rustic appeal of the weathered and charred oak whilst creating aesthetically and tactile pieces for around the home and practical and robust furniture for the outside space.
We launched our new enterprise at a local craft fair on the 2nd November 2019 and were delighted with the response and interaction we had had with the general public, who were very appreciative of the variety and quality of our bespoke items on display.
I hope this has given you an insight into how our family business came about and demonstrated the enthusiasm we have for repurposing retired oak whisky barrels into bespoke, aesthetically pleasing pieces for the home and outside space.