Allan Perkins has over 30 years of woodworking experience. He comes from a line of master "handy-men" that built their own homes and furniture. He enjoys the process of taking a client's vision from a sketch to a finished work of art. "Taking pride in your work" is a motto he truly lives by.
Allan joined the team as head of operations in January 2019. Since then, he has helped build and develop the company and is the lead woodworking instructor. Allan started his career with forest products in woodshop classes he took in middle school, high school, and vocational school. His first job was working for a cabinet company in the woodshop. After a year and a half, he went to work for Coal Cabinet. There, he met George, our shop manager, whom he has been working with for 30 years. When Allan was 25, he started his own cabinet shop, Mountaineer Wood Working. He ran this business for six years, and then sold it to his partner so he could pursue new skills and opportunities.
Allan's father worked in coal mines growing up, but he recalls that his dad could do anything. His garage shop was filled with tools. Allan recalls that his grandfather and dad could build anything. Alongside being a farmer, his grandfather built their house and all of the furniture for it.
"If you wanted something back then, you would teach yourself and make it. Grandpa was a coal miner, and he built his own house with a hand saw, a hammer, and nails. It is in Perkins’ blood, always has been. We are handymen! Myself, my father, my uncles, and now I am watching my nephew as he grows up naturally good at everything he does."
After selling his cabinet business, Allan bought a molder and built a business called Appalachian Millwork. He kept doors open for 20 years before closing up shop to come to WVFPC.
Allan enjoys building bars, entertainment units, and custom designs. He likes to see the customer's vision, get a design on paper, and build it from scratch. He has also worked to restore original millwork and build designs from photos.
"Take pride in what you do," Allan advises new artisans. "It is so much fun to build something from scratch with your hands. Taking pictures and seeing what you built; it gets addicting".
When Allan finally gets home, typically late, he tends to farm chores–taking care of horses, goats, chickens, ducks, guinea fowl, and of course, two best friends: his dogs.