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—Victoria youth making strides in the furniture business
By Lisa Hamilton
When he was just 19-years-old, Kelston Murphy took the risk of branching out on his own into the business of furniture-making with just a handful of tools and his vision for success. The young man, now 20-years-old, has been continuing steadily with an array of well-crafted furniture and pleased customers who continue to boast of his work.
Murphy, who hails from Victoria on the East Coast Demerara (ECD), has named his business ‘Murphy’s Best Quality Furniture’. He told the Village Voice News that his dream is to work his way up to the point where he has all the tools and resources necessary to establish a sustainable business that stands out. As a teen, Murphy hadn’t furniture making in mind as a job he wanted to pursue. In fact, in 2018 he began attending the Government Technical Institute (GTI) to pursue carpentry and masonry but ended up in furniture making.
Soon enough he began enjoying the course and how it allowed him to work with his hands and turn wood into useful items that he or anyone else could use to furnish their house. “That is how I started and I never regretted that I have done that course because now I can reap the benefits. If I had done carpentry, no one would have allowed me to build their house by myself, but now I’m a joiner I’m able to do furniture by myself,” Murphy said.
During his first year at GTI, based on his outstanding performance, the Institute employed him on contract with the Government to build furniture for schools. Throughout his time there he studied and worked. When he graduated at 19-years-old, he continued with the contract until its end and then he began working with an individual in furniture making. However, Murphy found the environment to be limiting. He longed to venture out on his own but lacked the necessary tools to do so.
“I told myself, Kelston, I believe you know enough to start off on your own. I said I know the basics and once I have the basics I can work along and I have that confidence that looking at pictures I would be able to do it,” he recounted. The self-motivation helped him to move forward. With the help of his father who provided him with some start-up hand tools, he branched off on his own. When he completed a piece, he shared it on his social media and a friend helped to advertise his work which brought in several interested persons.
When he began earning, he invested in more tools. Persons would bring him photos of the types of furniture they desired and Murphy would envision it and create it. On other occasions, he would come up with the designs on his own. Though sourcing wood all the way from Georgetown can be difficult at times, Murphy ensures he finds a way. He makes beds, tables, wardrobes and vanities, bedside press, television stands, podiums, chairs, shoe racks, corner pieces and more. “Sometimes I work until midnight. If I do work fast I can be able to finish a center table in a day, if it’s a bed, I can complete a bed in three days. If it’s a wardrobe, I’m going to take about a week. It all depends. I don’t have the amount of tools that it takes to do faster work,” he explained.
The tools Murphy needs to improve what he does include table saw, mortise machine, miter saw and router bits. With these tools, the young man will be able to explore more designs and save time as opposed to working into the dead of night. Despite his challenges, he told the newspaper that he’s determined to press forward. He explained that the mere fact that he could have successfully branched off on his own with so little means that if he remains consistent, his business will grow.
He now encouragess other persons, despite their age, to trust their abilities and God’s guidance in their lives. The 20-year-old said: “Going to GTI there were times I felt like giving up but then I said you can’t come this far to give up…you must not look at where you come from or your education status. As long as you believe in yourself and you know what you want, as long as you go for it, you can make it.” Those interested in Murphy’s business can contact him on 690-5123 or 256-0150.