Alex Traxler was just about to close on a space to house his growing business, Griffen Hollow Studio, when a friend mentioned he should come take a look at sharing a space he had near the south end of The Ohio State University.
“I struck up a conversation asking Andrew Kern if he wanted to split some space with me,” says Traxler. “He mentioned he already had a space and suggested I take a look. The tin ceiling and brick walls were a plus and it seemed like a perfect fit for Griffen Hollow Studio.”
Traxler started to get back into woodworking when his wife, Alex Rose, gave him a wooden necktie.
“I saw an easier way to make them and began to sell those,” he said. “I took on a few projects including some that required me to learn how to use a laser cutting/ engraving machine and before I knew it I was in business.”
That was about two years ago. It was then that he started going to the Columbus Idea Foundry to manufacture his products.
“I loved being able to grow within the Columbus Idea Foundry,” he says. “My reclamation practices and growing client base forced me to find a new location.”
At the Columbus Idea Foundry, Traxler enjoyed connecting with different circles of business owners.
“I also learned an insane amount of knowledge surrounding tools that I have never used before, like the laser system,” he says.
He is excited to join The Detail 1443, a 1,000-square-foot collaborative space at 1443 North High, with three others that will make their shop a go-to for many.
“We are a dream team assembled through happenstance,” he says. “I am excited to show Columbus what we as a collaborative have to offer. We will be the one stop shop for branding any business inside and out.”
Andrew Kern, who had the space, works with brands like Jagermeister, Homage and more. “He is a killer designer and painter,” says Traxler.
Eric Lanese brings a traditional sense of wood crafting. “His style is modern but incorporates the ‘mission’ style of woodworking.”
Dan Linden, owner of Cut Maps, and the producer of the Columbus Cut Map that gained popularity on Columbus Underground, rounds out the group. “Dan wanted to be based out of Columbus,” says Traxler.
Traxler says his grandfather, Phil Traxler, was his biggest mentor.
“He owned popular bars in Columbus 30+ years ago sold them and then bought a tree farm in Northern Kentucky,” he says. “I credit him with my woodworking drive and talent.”
His father-in-law, Chip Santer, offers advice on business related questions and serves as a sounding board for ideas.
Traxler is currently figuring out future plans for Griffen Hollow Studio, while keeping the focus on his passion for being professionally creative while being socially responsible.
“I have an affinity to help Mother Earth but not in a PETA sense,” he says. “I want to reclaim materials, up-cycle old things like furniture and give them new life and purpose.”
Keeping the conversation of upcycling and repurposing at the forefront is important to him. He has great pride in any of the projects made from the original redwood bleachers formerly in Ohio Stadium.
Last year, he also worked with CD102.5 to create tap handles for the Andy Man Ale released before the Andyman-a-thon, an annual fundraising event that benefits CD1025 For the Kids. They were created out of various wood, including wood from the silver maple cut from The Tree Bar, which was Andyman’s old bar, and sold, with the first one raising just over $182.
He also created ornaments, keychains and lapel pins using the old Andyman tree which he donated to CD1025.
Traxler enjoys being his own boss and loves what he is doing.
“If you don’t enjoy what you do then what the hell is the point?” he says. “I am convinced if you take that leap of faith and believe in yourself anything possible.”
Believing in yourself is a key component to being successful, but it also helps to have others rooting for you.
“Alex Rose, my wife, is my number one supporter,” he says. “Without her, Griffen Hollow Studio would not be here today.”
Traxler hopes to grow his business over the next few years to a point where he can offer jobs to others. Had he known that one day he would be running his own business, Traxler may have done a little more preparing.
“A little more direction would have been nice, but maybe not as scary and fun,” he says.
Find out more about Griffen Hollow Studio by visiting GriffenHollowStudio.com.
Do you know of, have, or work in, a creative workspace and would like to be featured in this series? If so, please contact Anne Evans.