How Drapela Works Got Started

Drapela Works Handcrafted Piggy Bank - Texas Gifts - Gifts from Texas

People often ask me why, and how, I started Drapela Works. Like every good entrepreneurial story, this one starts with a kid and a hustle. Since I can remember I was always hustling, from selling watermelons on the farm to baseball cards in 3rd grade, mini skateboards, duct tape wallets, handmade deer jerky in the 5th grade. I paid for lunch by selling candy as a freshman in high school. I have always believed in selling something tangible that people want.

Drapela Works, True Texas Pride

The Drapela Works Family - El Campo, TX

Growing up on my family animal farm along the coastline in Texas taught me a lot about hard work, persistence, and honesty. It also allowed me to dream big and appreciate the small things in life. Since we couldn’t afford fancy things growing up, we learned to create and give from the heart. I grew up knowing how much joy there is in giving great gifts that last. Thats a big part of the why” of Drapela Works—handcrafting gifts that represent the way I grew up. By using our heart, imagination, and some elbow grease, we create something meaningful and worthwhile.

When I was 15, I started making cutting boards from scraps in my high school wood shop, wanting again to pay for lunch and one day a truck! Then a few years later I made a table for my local county fair that did very well. Creating that beautiful table from raw lumber, I fell in love with working with wood and officially decided at the age of 17 I wanted to become a woodworking entrepreneur.

I started off with the cheapest tools I could find and worked in a horse stall in my parent’s barn. Slowly but surely, I learned my craft making and selling anything I could. As I stayed persistent and continued to create, demand grew so I had to keep growing as well. Thank goodness my family was willing to give me the (literal) space to expand, in a horse barn right on our property! We are definitely a home-grown business.

ManStands - From Inception to Reality

A few years later, during a long drive back from the shop to college (running on no sleep, of course), an idea came to me, a design for a product that would be the perfect gift for the person that has everything else and coincidentally keep that person organized. Something that is practical and can be used daily.

I started with one product—phone docks—and fell in love with the simplicity and organizational ability of this handy little item! That sparked a fire, and I developed more simple, useful products while learning to run and manage a business—and my studies—at the same time. Throughout college I worked every weekend in the shop then would drive back straight to class on Monday morning. Exhausted yet determined, I graduated from college while keeping up with my passion for woodworking.

From My Family to Yours, Thank You.

Drapela Works has been steadily growing since I finished college in 2019 and Im proud to say that we are very much a family business. I would not have the time and space to dream big without my parents, friends, and family helping me day in and day out.  My parents worked so hard to help me with whatever I needed in the early years and grew into critical roles on our team. They allowed me to continue the dream and passion. Our entire team are masters at their craft, and we think of them as family, too.

Over the years, we have had many successes. We have also experienced even more failures and challenges. Owning and operating a business of any size is not easy, and along the way there have been bumps and obstacles. While none of these are fun, we are on a mission to keep improving, so we can continue to craft products that will outlast our lifetimes. We make each and every product with love, right here in Texas, as if we were making it for one of our own. Thank you for coming along with us on the journey!

We can’t wait to share what we’re working on for the coming year. If youre not already, here are a few ways to keep up with Drapela Works:


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