Terry is a full-time husband, father, and small business owner who makes custom wooden toys in Aberdeen, Mississippi. Though he and his family are initially from Oregon and relatively new to the South, his wooden toys have made waves at Mississippi Made and across the state.
He jokes that his craft came out of a necessity, and he began carving to make Christmas gifts for his children. While he says that his first pieces were "less than ideal," he's learned much through trial and error.
Terry says, "It all started when we actually needed some Christmas gifts for the kids. I haven't worked at a formal job for 14 years because I have a lot of different health issues, but I don't sit still for very long. So I carved out some trucks, and they were embarrassingly bad. Then a guy saw me online and asked if I wanted to buy some toy parts. I started making toys in Oregon, which always sold around Christmas. I was doing pretty good there, and people knew who I was and were commissioning work."
Terry's health conditions worsened over the years and became more burdensome financially. He and his wife and family began looking for more affordable places to live and found their dream fixer upper in Aberdeen, Mississippi. Their big move to the South changed everything and allowed the Wood family more space for homeschooling and other activities. It also allowed Terry's woodworking business to grow.
Since then, Terry has been uniquely handcrafting wooden toys like pick-up trucks, helicopters, log trucks, and much more from beginning to end. He is most careful and creative when sourcing his materials, and moving to Mississippi has significantly helped him find quality and pliability materials.
He says, "I've been working here with Superior Artisan Wood, and they usually source trees that have fallen. They have a lot of hardwood material, so I've used black cherry, walnut, and some Hackberry. The little trucks I brought last time to Mississippi Made were partly Hackberry. It gives each toy a lot of character, and it's challenging since I've never used it before."
While his business is still in the building stages since their big move to Mississippi, Terry has big plans for the future. He hopes to launch a website in the next six months and provide his toys year round. Until then, he's learning and perfecting the craft. Most importantly, he feels purpose and joy when creating and providing for his family.
We're so grateful that Terry Wood is a Mississippi artist, and we're honored to support his work at Mississippi Made. Be sure to check out his wooden toys on June 11, 2022!