Meet the SHF Masters: Byron Egan
There is awe and wonder within the hands of a carpenter. Shaping true magic out of discarded woods, revealing something spectacular. The feeling of joy as Pinocchio inhaled his first breath, a twinkle dancing in his carved eyes as Geppetto sits back to admire his work, a time withstanding piece of his legacy.
Byron is a daunting man, towering above as he confidently walks about. A cool shirt, khaki shorts that would hang deftly on someone of a smaller stature and steel tipped boots. His handshakes are filled with strength and a sense of respect. A smile curved on his lips as a hefty laugh escapes from his deepened hoarse throat. The son of an accomplished carpenter and cabinet maker, Byron is a stark contrast from his father, who gleams with pride as he speaks of his successor. It’s hard to imagine the young boy from New Castle running around the factory on weekends and gaining skills as early as the age of six, turning a hobby into a soaring business.
Byron glows as he speaks of his marriage, 2 years in and there is a proudness of the achievement whilst his father jests at the waiting of a grandchild. The family business, located at the end of a dusty road, dotted with gravel, hidden behind an expanse of lush grass and wide spread trees in the bloom of summer, lead up to a small factory they have recently purchased, the smell of wood chips and sound of band saws permeate the air, dust floats down as the expanse of workers complete their tasks. Pieces of thick wood and oak are cast around in sporadic piles mixed with the incense of a relaxed atmosphere, allowing him to attend to the nitty gritty details that keep the engine running.
The former professional rugby player left the sport in 2010 after a career ending injury, leaving a passion behind and taking the helm of something that would turn out to be much greater than he could have ever imagined. Growing into what it is today, M & V was relatively small and partnering with SHF had gained traction for a larger output, opening his eyes to the possibilities that lay ahead for them. There is wisdom that is beguiled behind the tentative lisp, well spoken words and gained knowledge. Byron understands the development of not just a work place but also of his staff, a man who works side by side with them and involves them in the decisions that ultimately affect their well-being, something not done by most, revealing a trusting and genteel spirit.
The footpaths we take are a series of choices and options, Byron’s maturity and duty to his family, brought him not only success but purpose in keeping values and an inheritance handed down from artisans who blended practicality with the intrigue of art. It is with soul and the simple trade of carpentry that he has built his own fate.
“Our destiny may be carved from chance, but is ultimately built from our choice.” – Byron Egan, The Woodsmith, M&V