Darren Thompson - A Leap of Faith Turned a Woodworking Hobby into a Profitable Business

My Big Story

Darren Thompson started a reclaimed woodworking business in the Sonoma Wine County, turning a hobby of art and furniture making for his wife, into a trending and sought after business across the country




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Darren Thompson creates furniture and art from salvaged wood he finds in Sonoma County, CA, and nearby counties in the San Francisco Bay Area. His art includes references to the bay area, pop culture, vintage designs, and even business signs throughout his town of Petaluma. Even though he is a local, one-man business, Darren’s furniture and art can be found in homes and businesses throughout the country. In this conversation, Darren shares how he found his way into a woodworking business, his why, how it all works, and everything in between.


Key Takeaways

[1:45] Darren describes his business, Reclaimed Sonoma.
[4:29] How did Darren’s business evolve?
[7:22] Why Darren loves his work.
[8:09] Darren describes the leap of making his hobby a full-time job.
[9:52] Does Darren consider himself an artist?
[11:56] What’s items sell the best?
[13:53] How Darren’s passion for using tools and his hands helped him to transfer from a corporate job to his woodworking career.
[19:00] What has surprised Darren over the past 4 years as his business has expanded?
[22:37] Has finding local wood sources been a challenge?
[25:46] What role does social media play in Darren’s business?
[29:07] Darren shares lessons learned along the way.
[32:14] How Darren has learned to embrace the victories because of what he has learned from the failures.
[35:16] Darren’s in a band – and this is what inspires Darren to play in it.
[39:26] What tasks would Darren farm out if he could, and what aspects of his business does he wish he had more time for?
[46:59] Christopher and Darren discuss art pieces hanging in Darren’s workshop.
[50:13] Where to find Darren on social media.
[52:04] Any thoughts or questions you’d like to share? Send us a message or post a comment on Facebook or tweet us @accidentalinfo using #LivingYourJourney.


Mentioned in This Episode

@accidentalinfo on Twitter
Accidental Information on Facebook
#LivingYourJourney for Tweets
@reclaimedsonoma on Instagram
ReclaimedSonoma on Etsy
Darren Thompson’s Profile on Etsy
Reclaimed Sonoma on Facebook
The Tahoes



“My clients are awesome because I get them at their best. Nobody needs anything that I make.”

“Being able to use tools is just a good life skill. It saves you money and it makes you a problem solver.”

“I surprise myself sometimes — I didn’t know I could do that.”

“Believe in yourself.”

“I try to engage with every single customer. I try to form some small friendship on some small level to make it not feel like work.”

“My intent is to enjoy the time that I’m spending.”



A look inside the shop