We had the good fortune of connecting with Alex McGrail and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Alex, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
I see taking risks as a part of the learning process. Taking a risk gets you out of your comfort zone to try something new which can be scary sometimes. If I take a risk on a woodworking project I’ve never done before, there’s a chance I could mess up, waste time, money or even resources. Yet what I’ve learned is; if you’re not taking risks to try something new, you’re never going to grow as a person. My first dining room table had me stressing for weeks before even purchasing the wood because I was afraid of taking the risk of doing something new and potentially failing. Stepping out of my comfort zone has helped me become a better woodworker because I embrace that risk as an opportunity to change myself and learn something new.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I love being able to tell a story through the pieces I create. Using locally sourced wood really helps foster a connection to your community by giving life to something in a new way. Each piece has a story attached to it and I love being able to share that with my clients. It’s been a long journey getting to where I am now; lots of trial and error, risk taking, and learning. Being able to accept that you will fail more times than you will succeed is a humbling experience because you learn more from failure than you do from succeeding. I have people all the time ask me how I got to building all of this stuff and to which I reply, I just started. It took a big risk, lots of learning, but it got me to where I am now. We love giving back to our community in anyway we can whether it be a charity of the month where a percentage of sales goes towards helping someone or simply sharing our knowledge of woodworking with someone. We’re proud that we’re able to create locally made products from locally sourced materials which benefit local charities.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
We’ve only been in Fort Mill, SC for about a year during COVID, but there was a few spots we were able to check out (safely). Best breweries: Model A Brewing Company and Lake Wylie Brewing have been solid spots to grab some beers and enjoy the patio on nice days. Baxter Village has no shortage of spots for a glass or wine (Grapevine), rooftop views (The Lucky Duck), or some fine dining at the Fish Market. Down the road at the Riverwalk, there’s a number of spots to enjoy a drink or meal and take a walk along the river enjoying the fresh air.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Obviously I have give a special shoutout to my wife Joyce for constantly pushing me to be the best person I can be, being my biggest supporter and critic, especially when I’m looking for feedback on a woodworking piece. The local woodworking community has been absolutely amazing and helpful when I’m seeking advice, tips or support!

Instagram: @mcgrailswoodworking

Facebook: facebook.com/mcgrailswoodworking

Image Credits
Taken by Alex McGrail

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