Editor's note: It's small business week from May 2-8, so Austonia is highlighting a small business every day this week. Check back tomorrow for the next small business profile.
When you buy one of D'André Woodard's pieces, you're not just buying a custom-made piece of furniture, you're supporting a three-generation legacy.
Growing up with a do-it-yourself-enthusiast carpenter for a father, Woodard was around tools, renovations and creations his whole life. Though he couldn't knock down walls or replace the cabinets in his rental home, he wanted to stay true to the skills he learned as a child.
So, alongside another part-time job, Woodard started building custom furniture in 2016. It started spreading through word of mouth, making custom creations for friends and eventually started to snowball through social media.
"It's been very freeing to kind of take on different projects and try this for my business, my skills and natural affinity," Woodard said.
The business is in his blood, having grown up with a handy father and stories of his grandfather, who made furniture as well. From his own original designs to working with customers to realize their visions, Woodard is a one-man band.
Woodard started living and working in Austin after he graduated from the University of Texas. Woodard said he feels like the people of Austin support him as an artist, giving him an advantage by being in the city, so he tries to pay it forward by sourcing from other local businesses.
"I think Austin just has more attention toward local businesses, so there's a lot of people who appreciate supporting locals as well and appreciate artistic endeavors," Woodard said. "I think it's just a good environment for this industry that I'm working in."
Right now, Woodard's favorite pieces are his custom "Katara'' mid-century modern coffee tables. His prices vary and Woodard prides himself on being able to complete a project that is uniquely suited to the needs of his customers.
"If you have someone that wants to help create something from nothing, that checks all the boxes that you have, you won't have to settle for what everyone else is getting at Ikea," Woodard said.
Once he delivers the furniture, especially with an exceptionally unique piece, Woodard said he likes the idea that something he crafted will last the test of time and become part of something new.
"(My customers are) supporting the continuation of family legacy, you know, keeping this tradition alive," Woodard said. "It's very clear to me that what I made is going to become a very special table, even an heirloom someday. So, seeing that in its final place, the setup in the care (is) very special."
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By Patrick Svitek
Beto O'Rourke caused a dramatic scene on Wednesday when he angrily confronted Gov. Greg Abbott at his news conference about the Uvalde school shooting, yelling, "This is on you."
After Abbott was done giving his initial remarks, O'Rourke approached the stage and told Abbott he was "doing nothing" to combat gun violence. He said the Uvalde massacre, in which a gunman killed 19 children and two adults, was "totally predictable."
Some of the Republican officials onstage with Abbott quickly denounced O'Rourke, telling him to go away. Another man onstage used expletives to criticize O'Rourke for interrupting the event. O'Rourke was eventually escorted away amid the unruly scene.
“I can’t believe that you’re a sick son of a bitch that would come to a deal like this to make a political issue,” Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin told O'Rourke at one point.
Nineteen kids and two adults are dead after a shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas—a small town an hour and a half west of San Antonio—on Tuesday afternoon.
Gov. Greg Abbott said the suspect, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, is believed to have been killed by the police. The Uvalde Police Department said the shooting began at 11:43 a.m. Tuesday.
“What happened in Uvalde is a horrific tragedy that cannot be tolerated in the state of Texas,” Abbott said. “He shot and killed—horrifically, incomprehensibly.”
Texans are grieving for the victims of this senseless crime & for the community of Uvalde.
Cecilia & I mourn this horrific loss & urge all Texans to come together.
I've instructed @TxDPS & Texas Rangers to work with local law enforcement to fully investigate this crime. pic.twitter.com/Yjwi8tDT1v
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) May 24, 2022
According to University Health Hospital officials, a 66-year-old woman and 10-year-old girl arrived in critical condition. Uvalde Memorial Hospital reportedly received 13 children for treatment and two individuals who were already deceased. At the time, it was believed 14 had died in this shooting.
The shooter prompted a lockdown at the elementary school of just under 550 students, with San Antonio Police sending SWAT, and Eagle chopper and Crime Scene Investigators.
According to White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, President Joe Biden has been briefed on the tragedy and “His prayers are with the families impacted by this awful event, and he will speak this evening when he arrives back at the White House.”
At 21 deaths, it is the deadliest school shooting in Texas and one of the deadliest in the U.S. since 26 at Sandy Hook Elementary lost their lives. This is the U.S.'s 213th mass shooting of 2022.