CAMBRIDGE - Sheri Legge watched the clock shift after shift for three decades before deciding to chase the dream.
The Cambridge resident retired from the Michelin Tire plant in Waterville four years ago and turned her focus to building The Weathered Nest, her home-based woodworking business.
“It’s like a completely different world. I wake up and I can’t wait to get to the shop. Some nights I’m still in the shop at 10 o’clock because I lose track of time,” she said.
Legge’s company grew out of a long-time love of painting and making craft items. She’s done the craft fair circuit for 20 years, and started designing and building birdhouses 13 years ago. She continually built upon her skill base, constantly striving for bigger and better, as she thought of ideas for new projects.
“I can see it in my head and I can just build it,” she said, adding that she gets a rush from the thought of turning planks of wood into something beautiful.
“The final result is what makes it so exciting to me.”
The Weathered Nest has enjoyed steady growth in the areas of custom-made furniture, home décor and, more than anything else, refinishing. Legge hired one full-time employee and one part-timer to help her complete orders in a timely manner.
“The demand was there, and it just grew without me even really trying,” she said, listing kitchen islands, mantles, beds and nightstands as some popular items.
“It’s been straight out… there are no slow times. There’s always a waitlist no matter what time of year it is.”
Legge would like to see the company expand to the point that she can employ at least two to four employees at a time, but she admits she’s very particular about who she works with. She wants people who share her passion for woodworking, and take pride in their work.
“Quality is everything,” she said.
“I go above and beyond to please my customers and that’s why I have so many recommendations and so many return customers that continue to order from me - and I don’t want to lose that.”
She wholeheartedly believes the word-of-mouth recommendations customers pass along have made it possible for her to pursue her true calling.
“It’s absolutely amazing. I’ve had nothing but extremely high compliments. It’s really rewarding,” said Legge.
“Everyone is just really happy with my work and they get so excited when they see it, and that makes my day. This is my true passion; it’s not a job to me. I just love it.”