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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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Police have arrested one of two suspects involved in a mass shooting at Austin's Sixth Street in the early morning hours on Saturday, leaving 14 people injured and two in critical condition.
The arrest was made by the Austin Police Department and the Lone Star Fugitive Task Force. One suspect is still at large.
Police started receiving 911 phone calls at 1:24 a.m about a man that fired shots into a large crowd, and responded to a chaotic scene on the 400 block of East Sixth Street. Detectives are surveying video footage captured by bystanders and cameras on the scene to identify the suspect.
The Austin Police Department has narrowed down their search to two male suspects and believes there was "some type of disturbance" between the two parties.
No deaths have been reported. Fourteen victims are receiving treatment in a hospital in stable condition with one treated in an emergency room; two are in critical condition.
According to Interim Police Chief Joseph Chacon, "almost all" of the victims are innocent bystanders but police have not ruled anyone out at this time.
Shooting on 6th Street Austin Texas 6-12-2021 (Aftermath) youtu.be
The shooting occurred on the weekend of the Republic of Texas Motorcycle Rally. With lots of people downtown, police say it was difficult to get EMS in and out of the scene. Police arrived while the scene was still an "active threat," officers "immediately began lifesaving measures" and drove six victims to the hospital in their squad cars, said Chacon, and four were transported in ambulances.
Chacon said that the incident is believed to be isolated, and they optimistic they will be successful in getting the two suspects into custody. Multiple departments, including APD, the FBI, Texas DPS and the ATF, are involved in the investigation.
Austin police are also requesting state troopers for patrol assistance in the coming days. Chacon stressed staffing issues are increasingly making responding to emergency calls "very hard."
"Overall, we remain a safe city," Chacon said. "Also keep in mind when you come downtown, you need to be safety conscious. Be vigilant of your environment and your surroundings."
Today marks the five-year anniversary of the Pulse nightclub shooting in which 49 were killed and 53 wounded in Orlando, Florida. Anyone with information on the shooting is asked to call 911 or 512-472-TIPS.
This story was updated at 2:47 p.m. to include new information and will be updated as more details are revealed.
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Austin police are investigating a homicide in North Austin where a woman was shot and killed, just hours after a mass shooting in Downtown Austin hospitalized 14 people.
APD is working a suspicious death near the 1900 block of W Rundberg Ln. PIO is en route and will update with media staging location. PIO6
— Austin Police Department (@Austin_Police) June 12, 2021
Police originally responded to Ironhorse Flats Apartments, 1900 block of W. Rundberg Lane, at 3:20 p.m. when they found the woman with multiple gunshot wounds. She was transported to a local hospital, where she was pronounced dead at 4:07 p.m.
No one is in custody as of yet but police are speaking with potential witnesses. Officials said they believe this was an isolated incident with no danger to the public but said possible relation to the downtown shooting has not been specifically ruled out.
Officers could not provide a suspect description and the relationship to the victim is still unknown.
This is a developing story that will be updated as details become available.
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