About Steve Strouse
Born and raised in central PA, I became fascinated by woodworking at a very young age and began building furniture for around the house as early as junior high school. I initially began by largely making custom-made pieces of furniture. In 1993, I decided to turn my long time passion into my full-time job.
Late that same year I was asked to make a set of Shaker-style boxes. I had never tried making one before, but I set off on the task. Shaker boxes soon became the majority of my work because I really enjoyed the entire process from salvaging the trees, to cutting it into lumber, to the steps in making the boxes.
Entering Festivals and Galleries
I entered my first arts festival in 1994, with the People’s Choice Festival in Boalsburg, PA. After a couple of years, I had my work in a number of galleries and began participating in art shows throughout Pennsylvania, as well as a few in Virginia and Maryland. In 1996 I became a juried member of the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen. Over the past couple of years I’ve limited the number of shows and galleries that I participate in. This has allowed me to put a stronger focus on specific projects and galleries.
We have three children: T.J. (34), Erica (32), and Takara (19). Throughout the years, they have all three played a large role in my business. They have each spent countless hours sanding in the shop and stacking lumber outside. They’ve even traveled with me to many arts festivals, a few Shaker Villages and many trips to look at potential trees.
Update: August 2019 – Max will be turning 3 this year at Grange Fair (August 24). He has developed an interest in helping and I look forward to bring him along to shows. This year his sister was able to spend time at Arts Fest. I hope to continue to have both grandkids along for future shows.
March 2019 – This past year, I’ve even been able to recruit our first grandchild, Max (age 2). He has really enjoyed “helping” in the shop, setting up at The Arts Festival and putting together clocks at the Grange Fair. We are hoping his newborn sister will enjoy helping as well.
A little more about our three kids
Our oldest, T.J. is a Penn State graduate and currently lives in Oslo, Norway working as a Middle East adviser for a Norwegian based oil company. He has given my wife and I so many opportunities to travel internationally to visit him as he has lived in multiple countries the past 10 years following graduate school. I’ve been able to visit him in Egypt, Syria, Dubai and now coming up on my third trip to Norway.
Our middle child, Erica is also a Penn State graduate and has recently moved back to Pennsylvania after living out-of-state for the last 10 years. She is now married with two young children and practices Social Work.
Our youngest daughter, Takara has followed in her brother and sisters footsteps and is currently attending Penn State. She is studying to become a Social Worker and hopes to work with the elderly in the future. We are hoping to keep her local, however she seems to enjoy traveling and exploring new places as much as her older siblings.
It’s hard to get away from woodworking, as I still find myself working on projects for the kids (and now grandkids) during my spare time. However, I began restoring vintage motorcycles a few years back and since have found great joy in riding.
In the past decade, I’ve developed an interest in international travel, thanks to our son, T.J. Due to him living abroad for so many years, he’s given me an opportunity that I never thought I’d have. I’ve been able to spend time in Egypt, Syria, Dubai and Norway.