Highland Teen Streamlines Woodturning Business with Business Gateway Support

10/07/2024

A Highland woodturning business run by an 18-year-old is now able to produce products more streamlined after the business owner accessed specialist start-up support from Business Gateway.

Daniel Stewart began woodturning in 2020, when he was 14 after his granny gifted him a lathe.

He now owns his own business, Daniel Stewart Woodturning.

His skill is entirely self-taught. Daniel learns from videos online and perfects his abilities, bringing a modern twist to a traditional craft.

Woodturning is the process of shaping wood into functional and decorative items using a lathe.

Unlike other forms of woodworking, where tools remain stationary, in woodturning, the wood is mounted on a lathe and rotated while a skilled artisan uses hand-held tools to carve and shape it.

He began his business in 2020 and, based in Garve, now sells bowls and platters made from wood he finds on his estate.

The products are all finished with Danish oil and beeswax, which are both food-safe, so customers can use them however they like. Customers can also commission custom work tailored to their requirements.

Daniel’s business also offers French polishing and furniture restoration services.

Despite a steady stream of sales, Daniel faced limitations due to the equipment he was using. He could not afford an upgrade to more powerful tools that would enable him to work more efficiently.

He approached Business Gateway, which gave him advice and helped him benefit from a Highland Council start-up grant.

The funding allowed him to buy new equipment, meaning he could produce more products and do so more streamlined, saving him time and allowing him to create additional pieces.

Daniel Stewart, founder of Daniel Stewart Woodturning, said: “The support I got from Business Gateway allowed me to purchase equipment I wouldn’t have been able to afford otherwise.

“This has helped streamline my work and allowed me to create new products, as well as working quickly to produce existing products. The Business Gateway team has been supportive.”

Marianne Ross, Business Gateway adviser, said: “Seeing someone as young as Daniel with his passion shows that owning a business is for all ages, no matter how young or old.

“It’s great to see how our support has helped Daniel create new products and bring in more custom to the business.”

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