Larry Leonard, 55, LL is the owner of Wooden Creations, which operates out of his Sanford garage. He is currently expanding his wood shop.
Leonard’s business card says: Creative Woodworking. Examples are tables, chairs, desks and benches. Mainly makes cutting boards, charcuterie boards and what he calls “artistic” things for art exhibitions. He sells items at area shows and is expanding into the rest of the state, aiming to be out most of the weekend.
His wife Don helps. They have been married for 19 years. They have three children: Joshua, Elisha, and Jessica, and three grandchildren: Lucas, Raleigh, and Lily.
Leonard is a graduate of Sanford-Meridian High School. He earned an associate’s degree from Delta College and a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Saginaw Valley State University.
How long have you owned your business? I filed my LLC (Limited Liability Company) about a year and a half ago.
What inspired you to own this company? OK, I’ve been into woodworking since 2006. After graduating, I went to North Carolina for a teaching position. Woodworking became my hobby. I taught elementary school for about 10 years before moving back to Michigan in 2016.
What makes this area a great place to do business? It’s nice to be with my grandchildren. There are so many great art exhibitions. It has allowed me to improve my tools and expand what I create. The community has been really helpful.
What are some of your interests and hobbies? It started as my hobby. It really lifts every waking moment.
What local businesses do you work with to help your business thrive? I get most of the wood from Jeff Lewis at Coleman. I sell stuff at Smith’s Flowers and Gifts. He helped a lot. Rugged Den Outfitters in Gladwin sells my stuff too. I just signed up to sell sake at For Arts in Mount Pleasant. Holly Stearns of Stearns Marketing in Beaverton created my website (LLWoodenCreations.com) and launched my business.
Final thoughts you’d like to share with the community? I am definitely grateful to the people who have supported me along the way. Smith encouraged me to expand. The public has encouraged me to create handmade, handcrafted items.