tph1957 on Apr 13, 2016
Ich warte immer noch auf die Lieferung!
Mark A. responded on Apr 17, 2016
I have been unable to prioritize this order above other older orders and keep this customer satisfied, so I refunded his money and canceled the order
Michael Gannon on Mar 17, 2016
excellent work as always highly recommended
Alex Cooper on Mar 8, 2016
The Tolliker tool is very well-made. Solid, as pictured and nice to use. This is a rare craft, and as a hatmaker, I feel fortunate to have Mark A. Decou as a source for the tools of my trade. Great to work with, even though he is very busy, which I understand. He is in demand for good reason! Thank you for being great from the start of the process to the finish.
American Contemporary Crafts Artisan, Kansas, Flint Hills, Living the Life
I Know.....I've been there....where you may be right now, in a career sitting at a desk, or traveling for work, doing something for someone who doesn't appreciate you.
Maybe worse yet, for someone who asks you on a daily basis to compromise your values, to sacrifice the people and things you most cherish.
You probably knew at an early age what you were born to do with your life, that "thing" was the reason you were created.....that special "thing" that you sacrificed on an altar for something much less important.
Security, High Pay, the big mortgage on the big house you thought would make you happy. You thought you'd feel important, you'd make others envious of your success and the "things" you bought.
But now you know that nobody else cares....they are all out going through the same process just trying to impress you also....didn't you notice?
Do you decide every morning to go out and "do" what you despise, only so you can afford to do something interesting on the Weekends?
Tired of it yet?
Does this all Sound Familiar?
Maybe you've come to the conclusion that you did all of those things, made those sacrifices, saying "yes" when you didn't mean it.
Maybe you have finally come to the conclusion I did in the early 1990's.......
That is sort of my life story.....
I was born to "Craft" things with my hands. I was in my mid-thirties when I realized that the only times in my life where I really enjoyed my work were the times I was doing it with my hands, on something creative.
Everything else is drudgery, and I finally figured that out in 1995. It took me two more years to get all of the ducks-in-a-row to do something about it.
During those two years I paid off debt, sold all of the toys, downsized, and prepared my mind for the journey ahead. Finally in March of 1997 I felt I was ready and I quit my job, cashed out the retirement funds, paid off the house, and determined that I would be a Crafts Artisan.
I didn't have a shop then. Didn't have any tools. Didn't have a portfolio of work to show potential customers, and really didn't know what to build.
Still, I was "FREE".
I quickly set about trying to find my way in the world....alone.....without the corporation oversight and attorneys watching every contract word, without the boss second-guessing my every decision, and without the drudgery.
Freedom is a great thing, but it's not Free.
My dad (former woodshop teacher) said I could borrow his tools until I could buy my own. So I loaded them in my pickup and headed home to work in my 20'x20' attached garage at the end of the cul-de-sac where we lived.
I set up shop in that little space, and started working on crafting things, and learning the business of woodworking and mixed-media artwork.
I was so scared.
Everyone told me that I was nuts, but I couldn't have been stopped at that point.
Within a couple of weeks one of my neighbors commissioned me to build a China Hutch. I was off and running.
Then my other neighbors started to worry about their own property values going down with me at the end of the cul-de-sac doing woodworking with my garage door closed. One of them stirred up the rest with stories of how I would be using a "huge buzz-saw" and make lots of noise. He even called me to tell me that his brother-in-law was an attorney and that they were going to sue me to shut me down.
I hadn't seen that one coming.....nobody cared so much what I did in my garage until it was announced that it was a "for profit" enterprise that might make noise.
So, I had to move.
I ended up on an old dairy farm in the Flint Hills of the Kansas Tall Grass Prairie. My closest neighbors are now deer and turkeys, and they don't care about what I do in my little shop out behind the house.
It's not a long commute, just about a 50 ft. walk most mornings, unless I see something that grabs my attention that I need to investigate. No longer am I sitting in traffic wishing I was doing something else.
Living-the-Life is an often easily stated phrase, but in reality it is filled with hard decisions, sacrifices, while needing to overcome tremendous fears and self-doubts.
Maybe you are at that point, but too afraid to take that step. I've been there.
Somehow, along the way I've learned a lot.
First on the list is that I now know that God Owns it All, that He provides, cares for, and Blesses us. And just as easily He can take it all away.
So, although I would say that I'm the Owner of this enterprise, in reality I understand that I actually work for the Master Woodworker from a little town called Nazareth.
Thanks for checking out my Etsy online store. It's not all that I do, but it's a decent representation of the skills and abilities I have displayed on past work. Nearly everything I build these days is on a Commissioned Basis, and the wait time for a major piece of work can be at least 24 months.
Mark A. DeCou
Profile: I'm a Self-Employed, Crafts Artisan, located on an old farm in the Kansas Flint Hills, taught woodworking by my Father, a former school woodshop teacher.
Accepted payment methods
- Accepts Etsy gift cards