Crafting a second career from hickory, cherry and oak.
When Dale Watson utters the words, “the customer is always right,” he says it with a conviction that lets you know he takes the statement to heart. More than a cliche it’s simply the way the Watsons do business.
Dale, and wife La Vaughn, established Watson Woodworking six years ago, specializing in custom kitchen cabinetry and custom-made wood furniture. They recently built and moved into a new cabinet shop on US Highway 641 in Gubertsville. The family-owned and operated business is a second career for both, putting Dale’s years of experience in the housing industry and LaVaughn’s business management experience to good use.
After paying his way through college by working in construction, Dale settled into a career with the Kentucky Department of Corrections while he continued working in carpentry, drywall, building, and painting as time allowed. When Dale retired several years ago from his position as warden of the Western Kentucky Correctional Complex with more than two decades of work in corrections, he saw his opportunity to work in budding and carpentry fan-time. LaVaughn, with a Doctorate of Science in Nursing, has taught at Murray State University and operated Watson Medical Management, but she eagerly joined Dale in establishing the woodworking business in 2003.
The business utilizes hardwoods in building custom kitchen cabinetry, including cherry, walnut, maple, hickory, poplar, and red and white oak. Wooden counter tops, entertainment centers, book cases, quilt chests, and conference tables can be crafted as well. Additionally, the Watsons offer services in design and layout of new or remodeled kitchens and baths. “Almost any project you need,” says Dale
He and LaVaughn are assisted by their adult children. Daughters Tracy and Leigh Ann pitch in as needed, as do their husbands, Michael Youngblood and Andy Duncan. The family connection flows to previous generations as well. A painting that hung on the office wall of LaVaughn’s father, Arthur Wright, now hangs on the wall of the new Watson Woodworking shop, serving as a treasured reminder of Arthur and his business savvy. Ml Wright established Wright Businesses which had many divisions, including Business Communications, Long Distance Management (LDM), and Kentucky Data Link (KDL).
Watson Woodworking makes a point to carry a variety of cabinets to accommodate different budgets. “In addition to higher-end selections and custom-made cabinets, we carry less expensive choices for a young couple just starting out,” he says. “We try to educate the customer about their options so they’re in a better position to judge what they want. The most important thing in business is the customer.”