meet matt hobbs

Posted on June 06 2016

with father’s day right around the corner, we wanted to introduce you to some of the coolest dudes and dads we know in our hometown of athens, ga. 
first up in this series we're calling "cool dudes" is matt hobbs, creator of sons of sawdust™, a woodworking studio specializing in custom furniture made from reclaimed wood, co-founded by his brother, ben, and his wife, shayna. on any given day you’ll find matt unleashing creativity in many forms. not only does he design and build furniture, he’s the company’s resident graphic designer, web designer, and jack of all trades. when he’s not at work creating, he’s spending quality time with his wife and two kiddos. v cool dude all around.

read on for our exclusive q+a

how did you get started with sons of sawdust™? 

mh: I built a farm table for our house. we had some friends come over for dinner, that’s why I built the farm table. and not too long after that, ben hurt his knee in a construction accident. in tears he was like 'I don’t know what i’m gonna do for the next few months. I need to do something to be able to pay for my bills.'

I remember looking over at the farm table I had just built, in like a day, and I told ben 'hey, you could build farm tables, I could help you, and we could just do this for a little while until we get back on our feet.'

 so I took a picture of that table, threw it on craigslist, and the next day we had like three people reach out to us that were interested in buying. and I called ben and said 'dude, I think we’re on to something.'

did you always know that this is what you would do with your life?

 mh: when we were kids. we started a business with my grandfather called custom treasures where we would go out and tear down old barns with him, reclaim the wood, and then we would build birdhouses out of the wood. after three or four months being in business, I remember looking at ben and being like 'dude, do you remember when we were kids? we were doing this with pop! we were tearing down old houses and old barns and building birdhouses out of them, remember that?'

 little did we know that twenty years down the road we would be doing this, and almost all the old tools that we started with were his tools.

 mh: I worked a couple corporate jobs before we started this, and it was long hours separated from my family. I didn’t get the chance to spend very much time with my wife and kids. and now, owning your own business, you get to be your own boss. if I need to take the day off, I take the day off, or if shayna and the kids want to come up and hang out, they can come hang out.

I love that my kids are getting to experience life up here. they’re getting to see hard work and the rewards of working hard. we get to teach them how to do stuff. we work hard instead of playing video game, so hopefully it’s building some character. I think when they’re older they’ll look back to this time that they got to come up here and hang out at the wood shop, and it’ll be awesome. I mean this place is magical for me, I can only imagine how magical it is for those guys.

 how is it working in a family-run business?

mh: definitely one of the most rewarding things is getting to be with my wife every day, working with her side-by-side, getting to do projects together. we were doing a video shoot recently, there were thirty people in the room, really huge set, all this stuff going on, and I looked around and i was like 'hey, we’re getting to do this together. none of these other people are here with their husband or wife or significant other, but we are and that’s amazing that we can share this journey together as a husband and wife, and as a family too.'

how will you guys be spending father’s day?

 mh: I’m sure they’ll surprise me. last year we went to the lake. my other brother has a lake house, so we go up there sometimes and relax. it’s nice. theres a huge rock up there that we always like to go to and jump off of, and linden [my son] is brave enough to jump now!