Clay’s love for woodworking was instilled early in life by his grandfather, and his natural talent for the craft eventually became his livelihood. With a degree in Architecture from Iowa State University and formal training a 19th century woodworking shop, Clay founded Aronson Woodworks. Passionate about crafting furniture from reclaimed urban lumber, he coordinates with local tree removal companies and the City of Des Moines to salvage Ash trees threatened by the infestation of the Emerald Ash Borer, so that they may be used for a higher purpose than mulch, firewood, or refuse for a landfill. In addition, Clay discovered a new way to finish solid wood furniture called CLAIZE. This revolutionary patented technique is pushing the boundaries of how the design world views natural wood grain. Clay is constantly testing, tweaking, and evolving his processes - whether it's a new way to use solid wood joinery, or introducing new finishes - he is happiest when he has discovered something interesting and unique to offer his clients and the design community.
FOUNDER, MAKER, MASTER CRAFTSMAN
Originally from South Dakota, Shawn is not just another farmboy who knows how to do stuff. In addition to his easy-going nature and keen eye for detail in design, his craftsmanship and skills in the wood shop rival that of Clay's. Shawn keeps things in the shop running smoothly on a daily basis. He's building furniture and finishing pieces right alongside Clay, which gives Clay some time to experiment with new designs and techniques to add to the product line. Shawn's character and dedication to AW is heartfelt, and he's become an integral part of our team. When he's not in the shop, Shawn is taking care of his two Great Danes, one of which is a foster pup, and pursuing his other talent of freelance graphic design.
DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS
With a background in luxury retail, working with such brands as MaxMara, Hugo Boss, and Theory, to name a few, Megan has a keen sense of personalized customer service and style. Exceeding expectations and providing an exceptional experience for clients are what Megan measures her success by. When she's not developing relationships within the design industry, or sending out furniture quotes, or handling shipping logistics, or directing the company's marketing... she's dreaming up crazy awesome designs and finishes with Clay.
DIRECTOR OF SALES
Lisa's bright, authentic personality and devotion to customer relations makes her a natural fit with Aronson Woodworks. Lisa joined us in March 2018 to handle national trade sales and business development activities. A seasoned professional with an MBA in Marketing from Indiana University, and a passion for art and interior design, Lisa has hit the ground running. She has quickly become an ambassador of our Midwestern brand and we are thrilled to have her extend our reach as a personal point of contact in the eastern US. As a transplant from Winnetka, IL and having remodeled her two previous homes in the Midwest, Lisa is no stranger to interior design and remodeling projects. With the help of her architect and interior designer, she completely remodeled her current home in Charlotte, NC, which was featured in the Feb/Mar 2018 issue of Charlotte Home magazine. When she's not out representing Aronson Woodworks, Lisa enjoys creating an inviting home atmosphere for entertaining and hosting charity events as well as spending time with her husband, 2 boys, and 9 year old white golden retriever, Chester.
SALES & BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT | CHARLOTTE, NC
A professional finish carpenter turned furniture craftsman, Brian has a deep appreciation for the personal connection each piece of furniture has with our clients. He loves knowing that each piece is being made specifically for someone, and that no two pieces are exactly alike. When he's not overseeing the shop and paying meticulous attention to the project's details, you'll find this champion cyclist riding throughout Iowa, or cruising on his motorcycle– with his bicycle attached. You don't see things like that every day.
Chris came to us through a mutual friend and quickly carved himself a spot our team. As a musician (guitar & piano), Chris was naturally drawn to the hands-on creative aspects of what we do. As a military veteran, he's ready to tackle whatever we throw at him– whether it's building furniture pieces, finishing them with precision craftsmanship, or even jumping in a truck and driving to the install location to personally see that things go smoothy. In a pinch, he's our guy. Having grown up in the same area as Clay, there's something familiar to him about the nature of our business. Chris loves the specialized work– the hard work of what we do, and that there's something new every day.
Mike and Clay have pretty much worked alongside each other for years but never really knew it. Mike was a remodeling contractor specializing in cabinetry and served many of the same clients as Clay. It was only a matter of time before their two sons, who were classmates, recognized each other at a job site. Clay and Mike saw the writing on the wall (pun intended) and soon Mike came to work for Aronson Woodworks. Since then, Mike has transformed and expanded our slab shop with engineering genius, taking it to an entirely new level. He's been a beast at producing the wide, solid wood slabs that the production crew uses to build furniture. He's quite literally moving mountains of trees, and he's damn good at it.
Brian came to us through a mutual client and has become a staple of our team. As a professional personal trainer and part-time woodworker, Brian has the drive and dedication to see projects through to completion, helping out wherever he's needed along the way. He loves working with his hands and creating something meaningful, and appreciates the challenge of the precision craftsmanship required to make custom furniture.
Murphy greets all who come to the shop, requesting a smile and some pets before they pass. She'll casually walk about the shop inspecting furniture pieces, making sure the humans are all getting along.