SAN ANTONIO-- Most evenings you can find Aaron Kartchner inside his garage cutting, sanding and covered in sawdust.
Creating made-to-order rustic furniture.
"Kind of bigger furniture. That's kind of really in right now," Stay at Home Rustics, owner, Aaron Kartchner said.
However, his handcrafted furniture business would not have happened, if not for the birth of Kartchner's first daughter.
"She was extremely premature," Kartchner said.
Arron's wife, Jen, had to be admitted into the hospital at 27 week for severe pre-eclampsia.
"It was terrifying to be like 'oh ok I thought we had 100 more days of this, but we are going into the OR,'” Kartchner said. "I just remember thinking ok, everything needs to be ok."
They delivery was ok, but their daughter would have to stay in the NICU for the next four months.
The battle had just begun.
The family’s newborn suffering brain bleeds and having to survive off of oxygen.
"I just remember the feeling of not knowing what tomorrow was going to bring, but we always had hope and we always had faith that she was going to come home," Mother, Jen Kartchner said.
When it was time for baby Aria Hope to come home, there was a big decision to be made.
"Towards the end of her tenure, we realized that she was going to come home on oxygen so daycare wasn't an option," Kartchner said.
So Aaron would step away from his nine-to-five in order to stay home and care for Aria.
"He took on all the responsibility of having her on oxygen, making sure he stats were where they needed to be," mother, Jen Kartchner said. "He really helped her thrive."
“So when I had down time because babies sleep a lot I kind of started coming into the garage and [tinkering] around,” Kartchner said. "…and just started making stuff that we needed around the house."
Aaron's one-of-a-kind furniture become a part-time gig to being a stay a home dad.
These days he also has a little helper
Of course ever piece has to be "Aria approved,” Aria Kartchner said.
"It's a juggling act, but it's turned into something amazing especially as Aria becomes more involved in the process,” Kartchner said.
With the recent arrival of baby number two, this dad now has a house full of girls.
"Their laughs are just intoxicating. I just love playing with them being with my girls I realize how lucky I am," Kartchner said.
It’s that full time job title of, Dad, which Kartchner says he wouldn't trade for the world.
"I realize how lucky I am. Make a little bit of side money on a business and be at home with my girls,” Kartchner said.
After their journey, Stay at Home Rustics has also made it a point to give back to other families.
All of the merchandise on their website containing the hope logo on it, a portion of the profits go towards organizations that support parents dealing with premature births.
For more information on their story and products follow this link.