CONRAD – Daniel Escobedo wasn’t sure what to name his Montana Made business at first.
“We toyed with a lot of different names. For lack of better, we thought, ‘there’s nothing worse than a rusty lathe, so why not call ourselves Rusty Lathe Wood Design’,” said Escobedo.
Escobedo said his passion for wood design and creation started in January 2016 after he received a small lathe for Christmas from his father.
“Started with a few cups and bowls and then I learned that you could make a pen, so I started making pens and one after the other I think I got better and better at it,” he said.
He and his family kept making pens until they soon had too many to keep, “both my sons are very good with their hands and so starting to make pens seemed like the fun thing to do.”
They then started selling their products online and at places like the Great Falls Farmer’s Market.
“When we went to the farmer’s market, we really made some good sales there and people came in and they loved our pens and they bought them and from then on we kept going,” he said.
Since then, Escobedo has developed his craft into a side business that produces a variety of items made from Montana’s natural landscapes like razors, shavers, brushes and seam rippers.
“There are many people buying gifts and they want that piece of Montana. In fact, just this past weekend we sold some items- a shaving brush that had to be elk and had to be from Montana,” he said.
But the majority of his efforts are still spent helping clients put pen to paper, “we do pens. We do dipping pens, we do fountain pens, we do roller balls, we do ballpoints,” Escobedo said.
Escobedo said he loves making practical items that are beautiful at the same time.
“People still use pens. There’s pen collectors all over the place. There’s people that just, you know, love to have ’em. So that’s part of the excitement and the joy in what we do too,” he said.
Escobedo currently works in law enforcement but said they want to focus solely on Rusty Lathe Wood Design after he retires.
“The fun part of that is going to the shows and traveling and I think that in the future that’s in store for us – is to be able to go to different shows all over the state of Montana and reach out further than what we’re doing now,” he said.
You can find Rusty Lathe Wood Design at the Great Falls Farmer’s Market. For more information visit their Facebook page here.
-Keeley Van Middendorp reporting for MTN News