Jake Jacobson, Austin Marland, and Dave Bake of World of Wood (formerly, and always in my heart, Albuquerque Exotic Woods) have done great things in teaching me about wood, how to make friends with it, and what's so amazing about it. Lots of people are drawn to and like wood generally, but with the help of these three, I've learned the how and why of it, as well as a lot about how to bring it out for the world to see. I'm sure Jake's pulled splinters out of his hands with more woodworking wisdom than I'll ever have, but it sure is fun chasing it!!
Through the shop, I also met Don Dyer and Micah Nauck, both of whom are enthusiastic and talented woodworkers. When I'm talking and working with these guys, we cannot stem the flow of ideas, both for woodwork and for business. (Business often being the hard part of creative types.) I have a feeling we'll be working together in various ways for many years to come.
I've met some very talented designers and crafters at shows, and I probably ought to just start listing the new ones after shows, but one I'm going to call out here, because I have run into him at so many shows, and who is very patient about me picking his brain about business stuff, and who is into at least as many different creative directions as I am, is Michael Wieclaw, who I know as Metal Mike of Metal the Brand. The way he has focused on and built up his business amazes and inspires me. When he said he'd hired some people to help him, I wanted to shake him and say TELL ME EVERYTHING YOU KNOW. And then I pretty much did.