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A Texas transplant uses wood to build a new future | Made in S.A.

A change in career leads to a life's passion for one San Antonio man

SAN ANTONIO — At Gerber Design Co. the uniqueness of the raw materials inspires each piece. 

"The color, the grain. I love it," Gerber Design Co., owner, Joseph Gerber said. 

The evolution of the process is keeping Gerber full of wonder. 

"It was a giant tree ya know, it fell or someone cut down, and milled it down, and then its these pieces of wood that you cut up and turn into something else," Gerber said. "Its just awesome."

The signifies the rebirth of something new, or for Gerber, someone new. 

 "It was just a hobby at first and then recently I decided to do it full time," Gerber said. 

He cut his roots with retail, moved to Texas, then dove into wood making full time. 

"I enjoyed doing it a lot and it was all I was thinking about every day …. so I was just like ya know I'd rather do something I'm really excited about," Gerber said. 

He started with his mosaic art pieces and small furniture. 

"Just being able to create something for someone and then see how excited they are about it in their home, is just  the coolest feeling ever," Gerber said. 

No prior education? That was no problem for this millennial. 

"YouTube, yup everything I know is from YouTube and talking to people," Gerber said.  

Also using social media helped kick start his new career. 

"Surprisingly, social media TikTok has been really big," Gerber said. "I made these plant shelves and they went crazy."

The life he's now built is like the wood he shapes. 

"Life is pretty short and so not everybody gets the opportunity to work for themselves," Gerber said. "You just have to jump in and just make that leap and you just got to do it."

And while there may be a hidden splinter from time to time, the finished product makes it all worth while. 

"Even if I'm not making a ton of money I get to work the hours I want to work, see my wife as much as I want to, and get holidays off," Gerber said. "Those kinds of things, you can't put a price on that."