From Honey-Do to Handmade Happiness

From Hobby to Passion: Kerf and Kind
Photo Source: Tomi Ogunleye/Kerf and Kind.

Tomi Ogunleye – Until a few, short years ago, I would never have thought I would one day take on woodworking as a hobby. For one, I didn’t think there was much room for anything else between my career as a healthcare professional and all the other hobbies I had taken up -sports, cooking, etc… Even though I considered myself fairly handy, I typically shied away from bigger projects involving heavy power tools.

A few years ago my wife and I were expecting a baby and I found myself the proud owner of a honey-do list that included installing some board and batten accents in the room that we would become our child’s nursery. I did some research, read some blogs, watched lots of videos and decided to take it on. Thankfully I had some co-workers who lent me some tools to do the job.  Seeing the finished product and how much enjoyment I got out of the process made me realize how much I would enjoy this hobby.

What started there is what I hope to be the beginning of a lifelong craft for me. Confidence grew with each item I finished and with my wife being a kindergarten teacher for more than 10 years, coupled with the age of my children, a lot of the things I made were for our home and for the kids.

Since then I have taken on several other projects like a Big Green Egg table, picture frames, headboards, tables, toys, and more. I’ve found that my greatest enjoyment comes out of building small furniture as well as small child centered crafts and decor for the home. That was one of the main reasons that I decided to start Kerf and Kind. Everything that I make and sell has been made for and part of our family’s daily life and has brought us enjoyment through its use.

I chose the name Kerf & Kind because it captures several aspects of what this means to me. A Kerf is the act of cutting or carving wood or the definition of the cut itself. With all the items we make each kerf is thoughtfully planned out in the hopes of making a beautiful product.

“Kind” has three distinct meanings for us:

  1. We want to identify with the definition of the word kind – having a good or benevolent nature and disposition. We make it a point to donate several items a year to organizations or families in our community.
  2. Kind meaning “of the like” as we make kerfs and other types of cuts and modifications to our medium.
  3. Kind (Ger.) meaning child. Children’s play and learning are the inspiration for a lot of the products we make. As stated earlier, with her 10+ years teaching kindergarten is a non-stop supply of suggestions and ideas for the products I make.

What started as a honey-do list has grown into something that brings great joy to myself and my family. We launched our site with the hope that we could bring that same level of joy to many other families throughout the world through Kerf and Kind’s handmade products. 

Tomi Ogunleye is a husband, dad, and lead completer of the honey-do list. You can find his latest handiwork at Kerf and Kind

Photo Source: Tomi Ogunleye/Kerf and Kind. Used with Permission.