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Meet Ken Rizza of Wood Turners Wonders in Lawrenceville

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ken Rizza.

Ken, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I have 27 years on the Mortgage and Real Estate business. I had my own company in South Florida for a long time but fell victim to the Real Estate Bust and Bank failures in 2008. We shut everything down in 2008 and moved to the Atlanta area to lower our overhead and start over. I did some lending with various lenders and banks for a few years but could not get near where I was down south. Besides doing loans I was an avid wood turner and loved making bowls and other items which I sold at a local gallery. I have always been creative and a bit of an inventor also. There were areas in my hobby that feel short by my expectations. One of those areas was the machine lamp used on the wood lathe. It was poor to say the least. I sourced some components overseas and made what I thought was a big improvement. I sent it to the biggest supplier of wood turners products in the country and asked them how they liked it. They told me they wanted 300 of them. The rest as they say is History. I incorporated myself in Oct of 2012. I continued to do mortgage work until such time as my new business was demanding most of my time. My philosophy which I proudly state on my website is “If we can’t enhance your experience as a wood turner or save you money on something you are already using then we simply won’t carry it.” We have quite an array of products now – many of which are proprietary and our sales will hit 7 figures this year. I ship our products all over the world and sell both retail and wholesale. Up to a few months ago I was doing all of this by myself but now have a part time employee and this is still done out of my home.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
My biggest struggle in getting started was lack of capital. We had a charmed life in Florida but took a big hit when things hit the fan. When I received the big lamp order I borrowed money from a child hood friend to get things going but we were profitable from day one because the overhead was nil.

Please tell us about Wood Turners Wonders.
Wood Turners Wonders simply sells products that are used by wood turners. Since I am a wood turner myself I know the frustrations and needs of this hobby or in some cases profession. We are known for our low cost and innovative CBN grinding wheels which are used for sharpening high speed steel tools used by wood turners. We are also well known for our unique machine lamps which are affordable and perfectly designed for their application. We are also known for some of the proprietary and creative products not offered by anyone else. I am most proud of our lamps and our creativity. Customer service and low prices set us apart from anyone else.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
My favorite memory from childhood was all the neat stuff I was able to make in my dad’s shop. My dad had a well drilling company in the north east and had a big shop to repair his equipment. I used to love going in there as a kid and use the tools in there. I believe that was instrumental in my creative development.

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