OPENING THE DOOR
Joshua Broussard first began working with wood in a cabinet shop while in high school. Following graduation, he worked as a machinist in the oil and gas industry until 2015. As oil prices plummeted, so did the amount of work his workshop received, and one week before Christmas, he was laid off. Soon after, he started a home renovation business but struggled to find workers following the August 2016 floods. The work would eventually grow too burdensome, and Joshua and Alexis asked themselves: How can we simplify something we love about this business? Instead of renovating the whole house, the pair decided they would tap into Josh’s woodworking background and focus on a niche corner of the renovation market—woodworking.
CROSSING THE THRESHOLD
The husband and wife team founded Baton Rouge Wood Masters in 2017, focusing on restoring residential and commercial wood products. For the Broussards, it’s all about the details. They create custom mixed stains for each job, can replace pieces of a worn door, as well as offer a maintenance program. “It’s a process,” Joshua says, “but it’s so particular that it’s basically an art form.” Even though they do all the work onsite, they clean up every evening, placing the door back on its frame for the night, helping clients feel secure in their home during the project. “We treat these jobs as if its our own house,” Alexis says.
KNOCK ON WOOD
Although he envisioned becoming his own boss when he was younger, as he grew up, Joshua lost that vision and jokes that he was pushed back into it. “Whenever you start to become an entrepreneur, you’re on a big cliff. Some people jump off, take the dive, start flapping their wings and try to succeed. Others get pushed off. I got pushed into it when I got laid off.” The jump has paid off. The Broussards haven’t had to advertise in seven months, and have clients in the some of the wealthiest neighborhoods in the parish, including University and the Club Country Club of Louisiana. In the future, they’d like to bolster their staff and move into doing work for newly constructed developments. They’re also considering expanding the business into Texas, or possibly with franchises. The Broussards are optimistic, saying wood is becoming popular again. “There’s wood everywhere,” Josh says, “and no one does what we do.”