The story of Harry & Hio's Woodworking, LLC.
Harry & Hio’s Woodworking was named in honor of Skip’s grandfather (Harry) and his father (Hio). Harry was the owner of Wiley Manufacturing, a woodworking shop in Gardner, Mass that made baby furniture for Thayer Inc. until the late 1950’s. Skip’s dad and uncle Kenny both worked in the shop until they enlisted for military duty during WWII, and Skip spent many hours there as a young boy. Even after the shop closed both Harry and Hio continued to be involved in woodworking at home, and it was from spending time with them that Skip first became interested in woodworking.
After High School and College days, Skip reconnected with woodworking in the 1970’s when, as a new father, the small cape they lived in needed more room for a growing family. After building an addition to this home Skip and family purchased some land in Portland, Ct. and built a larger home there. Skip continued woodworking as a hobby, building furniture and wooden gifts for his family and friends while teaching chemistry at Middlesex Community College in Middletown, Ct. and serving as an officer and Chief of the Portland Volunteer Fire Department.
When Skip retired from 40 years of teaching Chemistry, he decided that his hobby could become a small business and he formed Harry & Hio’s in July of 2009. With his wife Carol-Ann, he has extended his product line to hand turned pens and other wooden items, holiday lawn decorations and gift items, which they sell at various craft fairs, and a growing furniture refinishing business.Skip prefers the simple lines of colonial and shaker furniture but has begun to appreciate more modern design as a result of his wife’s input and support.
The apple never falls far from the tree as both Skip’s son and daughter continue the family tradition of woodworking. Christopher Wiley is lives in Canton, MA and has his own studio and a budding woodworking business out of Ringstrue Studios as well as designs his own board games: Ringstrue Games. My daughter Jennifer is a physical therapist living on Cape Cod but has become an accomplished amateur woodworker while renovating her family’s first home in Belchertown and their present one on the Cape. She and her husband have also started a non-profit organization called The Falk Foundation for Education where they help fund the education for children in the Dominican Republic. Skip’s daughter in-law, Carrie Wiley designed this web site for the business and spends her time consulting for startups in the Boston area under Engaging Users.