I am a carpenter. I love working with my hands. I like that at the end of every workday I can see physical results of my work. For almost 30 years I have had the pleasure to design and build beauty while ensuring sustainable employment for countless craftspeople and other team members.
Growing up in Northbrook, my brothers and I were brought up to work hard. My parents instilled in us the sense that there wasn’t anything we couldn’t do. I feel this is why I’m not afraid of experimentation and taking chances. From the beginning of SSDB, we have always gravitated to craftsmen and contractors and designers that aren’t afraid to try something new or cutting edge.
My education at Loyola Academy and Loyola University taught me that life is not just a selfish endeavor. It’s only good when shared. With my family. With my partners. With my clients.
I married Stacy Hetherington Simpson in 1988 and we have two awesome daughters, Emily and Harper. They are what focuses me. Stacy and I recently moved back to Evanston after 19 years in Northbrook. We love Northbrook. What a great place to come from and raise my own kids. But now that Emily and Harper are out checking out the world outside of Northbrook, Stacy and I were looking for something different.
When I’m not building, I enjoy time woodworking, bicycling, or seeking out live music. I admire people who challenge themselves, challenge me, challenge nature, and challenge the norm…Sam Maloof, George Nakashima and Nancy Simpson. Not necessarily in that order.
The satisfactions of manifesting oneself concretely in the world through manual competence have been known to make a man quiet and easy. They seem to relieve him of the felt need to offer chattering interpretations of himself to vindicate his worth. He can simply point: the building stands, the car now runs, the lights are on. Boasting is what a boy does, because he has no real effect in the world. But the tradesman must reckon with the infallible judgment of reality, where one’s failures or shortcomings cannot be interpreted away. His well-founded pride is far from the gratuitous ‘self-esteem’ that educators would impart to students, as though by magic.
Matthew B. Crawford
Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry Into the Value of Work