After more than two decades of service to the Marine Corps, Larry Owens, owner of Larry’s Woodworkin’, embarked on an exciting journey to turn his craft into a full-time business.

Owens’ passion for exploring the boundaries of woodworking was sparked at a young age, when he and his siblings carved toys out of wood in his dad’s shed.

"I really got interested in woodworking when I was a kid; my two brothers and I would go out to my dad’s shed and make toy guns out of an old 2x4," said Owens. "Just being able to make something with your own hands meant more than going to the store and buying something."

The decision to open Larry’s Woodworkin’ after his retirement in 2013, was fueled by what started as a pastime making custom gifts for service members.

"It started as a hobby doing shadowboxes for Marines leaving the units," said Owens. "In 2011, I knew retirement was coming fast and I better figure out what I’m going to do for a living. In 2011 my wife and I came up with Larry’s Woodworkin’ and after my retirement in 2013, I started doing this full time."

One of the things that Owens enjoys greatly about his business is having the ability to turn his clients’ ideas into a tangible product and creating items that are not readily available on the shelf at your average awards store.

"I focus on the customers’ needs and wants to create something that will hopefully be passed on down through generations of families, to hold and display their loved ones’ accomplishments and cherished items," said Owens. "Mostly from the customers that I work with, I try to take an idea and turn it into something tangible."

The skillful journeyman and Chantilly, Virginia native, is grateful for the things he learned during his service in the Marine Corps and encourages young service members to push forward when things get tough and to learn from their experiences.

"My time in the military always taught me to always push myself farther and be better. It taught me that a little determination goes a long way, when things get tough just dig down a little deeper and push forward and you will get through it," said Owens. "Everyone I ever served with, good, bad or other, each one taught me something to either emulate or make sure I never followed in their footsteps."

For more information about Larry’s Woodworkin’ and his custom-made projects, visit www.larryswoodworkin.com.