We had the good fortune of connecting with Garrett Goto and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Garrett, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
GMG Woodcrafts is the balance to my full-time job at an international environmental NGO, which tends to require a lot of desk-based research and screen time. Woodworking has always been a hobby of mine that has provided a creative outlet to balance the 40-hour work week and, although I’ve dabbled with a lot of different mediums, I decided a few years back that I wanted to focus on woodworking. The work-woodwork balance is shifting, and now that I’ve launched the business we’ll see how long it is before I take the leap and go full time with GMG Woodcrafts!
What should our readers know about your business?
The business is a new venture which was only launched earlier this year. It’s been a gradual process that initially involved pulses of projects and requests from family and friends. Eventually, I weighed the risks and budgeted enough time and resources to develop a small business while still working full time. It seems counterintuitive, but I try to be as environmentally responsible as I can when I’m woodworking. There are plenty of exotic woods from far-away tropical places that have shady supply chains and drive deforestation of old growth forests. The tropical hardwoods that I do use are reclaimed or from some off-cut pile, but I prefer to pick local woods whenever possible, like Monterey cypress or black oak that was meant to be firewood.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
The best itinerary would involve some spearfishing and ocean foraging. I won’t say where, though.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Half of GMG Woodcrafts is designing and shaping knife handles. I learned the skills from Robb Gray of Graycloud knives up in Seattle a few years ago. He was a phenomenal teacher and invited me to his shop to work on a few of my own projects. He showed me tips and tricks, I even had him walk me through a catalog to figure out what I needed to buy to outfit my shop. I still keep in touch with him to get advice and hone my skills and I definitely wouldn’t have my portfolio without his influence. I’m forever grateful to such a generous human.