Grandview Furniture-Maker Finds Happiness in Craft

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GRANDVIEW, Mo. -- The level of unemployment in the United States has dominated the lives of Americans across the country over the last several years.

With hundreds of thousands of people in need of a job, one Grandview man decided to quit his, and instead, he started his own business in a field that's almost considered a lost craft.

Sam Unruh, 26, is carving out a new life for himself. The newlywed is also a new father, but that didn't stop him from knocking on wood and deciding to become an independent furniture-maker.

"I did public speaking in college, and then went to seminary and got a master's in theology," Unruh said. "I wanted to teach Christian high-schoolers. I wanted to do something with kids."

Sam struggled to find employment in his chosen field, and ended up working as a property manager. Then, he remembered his love for working with wood. He went out on a limb and turned a hobby into a full-time profession, using his wife's support as encouragement.

"I was a little bit nervous, but  I know he's always been good at making money and creating things," Hayley Unruh said. "I knew I had faith in him and trusted him and that people would love his character and his stuff."

It's apparent just after a few minutes with Sam that he loves working with his hands and he loves the different features each hand picked piece of wood has. He says following his love didn't take away the lingering fears he felt about providing for his family.

"I was thinking, 'I'm not going to provide for my wife. I'm going to lose the mortgage on our house'," Unruh said. "We're going to end up back in a rental, and I'm going to be very embarrassed."

After six months of going it alone, Sam says he's making about 22 pieces a month and his wife says he's happier now.

"We had no idea it would be taking off this much," Hayley Unruh said. "We are really excited and we feel really blessed."

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