About BJ

 From a Simple Hobby to a Growing Business:

The Story Behind BJ’s Wood Creations

Brandon James Wadsworth (otherwise known as BJ) has always enjoyed various hobbies. Whether it’s painting, latch hook, diamond dots, or wood burning, BJ is always ready to try something new.
Woodworking was no different.

BJ first learned how to use the wood lathe about nine years ago. A good friend of the family, Dave Hauck, was the one who first suggested the idea of woodworking to BJ. Before retiring, Dave taught woodworking skills to special needs individuals. He thought that creating with a lathe would be something that BJ would enjoy. So BJ and his dad decided to try it out. They purchased a couple of pen making kits and got started. Before long, they were spending
hours at a time in the workshop creating everything from pens to peppermills.

Because BJ lives in a SASI group home, he was only able to do his woodworking when he went home to visit his parents. However, BJ’s uncle, Peter Zaenglein, learned of BJ’s latest hobby and informed him that he had a lathe that he wasn’t using. BJ could have it if he wanted to set up a workshop at the group home. Lesa Von San, the manager of BJ’s group home, went
to SASI management and got permission to install the lathe in the basement of the group home. She handled the special adjustments in the electrical that had to be made as well as the safety switches that had to be installed. Lesa would also be able to offer BJ assistance with his projects. With both workshops at his disposal, BJ could create whenever he wanted!

Before long, he had made beautiful wood gifts for many family members and friends. Word of his talent spread, and people began asking if they could order items from BJ. This was when Louise, BJ’s mom, had an idea. BJ could sell his work at craft shows. This would provide an outlet for him to sell his work and also give him the opportunity to improve his communication skills.

With lots of planning and guidance from his mom, BJ was signed up for several craft shows. First they attended the Knox Farm Fall Show. In the two days of the show, BJ sold every item he had. Then came the Knox Farm Holiday Show. Once again, BJ sold out of everything. The following year he won 1st place at the Orchard Park Fall Arts and Crafts Show for Multi-medium art work. Then the Roycroft Inn asked him to sell his work at their annual Holiday Arts and Crafts Show.

A small business was born.

His work is now being displayed and sold at Martin's Mercantile in Akron, the Roycroft web page, and the Roycroft Copper Shop. BJ’s brother-in-law is working to build him a website.

BJ is now registered under the Self-Advocacy Program for New York State, and he has hired Dave Hauck to train him in new ways to perfect his product. His dad still assists him in the wood shop but now he is teaching him how to make charcuterie boards. BJ’s products also include pens, peppermills, ice cream scoops, pizza cutters, wine stoppers, and candle sticks.