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Veteran Builds Creative Company

Wood Art USA

Army veteran Fred Engess' appreciation for woodworking began early. Growing up, he built several projects and realized he had a passion for the craftsmanship.

After four years in the army, spending time at Ft. Sill, OK; Ft. Jackson, SC; and Germany, he joined his uncle, also a veteran, producing and selling wood models and handcrafted signs.

"Most of the models are military related — military planes and ships," Engness said. "Because of my background, I knew what a lot of the models were before I got into it."

After several years learning the trade, Engness became sole proprietor in 2012. Since then, he's traveled the country selling models, signs and other wood art at events and shows.

"I travel all over to air shows, state fairs, and big events where there's going to be a lot of people," he said.

As his business grew, Engness added an online storefront in early 2016. In February, he officially took residence in the company's first permanent store, located in The Avenues Mall on Southside Boulevard. The Avenues shoppers can stop by his second-floor storefront, located between JC Penney and Charlotte Russe, to see, touch and purchase quality wood designs, models, gifts and custom crafts. Some of Wood Art USA's most popular crafts are model airplanes, fighter jets and ships, as well as wood plaques, clocks, ornaments and other personalized gifts.

While the shop has wood signs and plaques ready for purchase, it's simple to make a hand-crafted wood gift into something uniquely suited for a friend or loved one.

"We make laser cut wood pieces right here, and can create any design and custom make things," Engness said.

Engness loves working with customers and the community to create custom works of art. And, he plans to do just that by partnering with local artists.

"I want to make this an entire wood art experience. I already have plans to bring local artist Chris Robinson, who creates airbrush wood paintings and have him paint on site in the front of my store. Customers will be able to see the art being created right in front of them [in The Avenues Mall]," Engness said. "I'm open to teaming up with other artists in the area and give customers an opportunity to experience all different types of wood art."

Engness also said his plans don't stop there. He will continue to add to his collection of wood art, models and crafts. He's looking forward to offering customers even more variety, so everyone can find the perfect piece of wood art for their home.

For more information about Wood Art USA, visit woodartusa.com. Stop by Wood Art USA at The Avenues Mall before Father's Day to receive 15% off your purchase when you mention this article. Or, shop online with coupon code "fathers day" for 20% off sitewide!

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Wood Art USA

10300 Southside Boulevard Suite 2500
Jacksonville , FL
United States
Phone: 904-662-6597
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