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Meet Dom Bearwood

Today we’d like to introduce you to Dom Bearwood.

Hi Dom, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
My name is Dom Bearwood. I was born deaf from spinal meningitis from day 3. So, I have been deaf my whole life. I have been working countless jobs including farming and construction from my childhoods time until my 20s. In my late 25s, I was laid off from my job and decided to go back to the trade school at MCTI in Plainwell for the weatherization program (building trade) to get my certification to find a better job. After graduating from the weatherization program, I struggled to find a job dues to my disability. No one thinks that the deaf can work in the construction trade or how communicate with their customers. It was very disappointing. A few months, I was finally hired by a construction business in Allegan. They do weatherization services and construction, but I never knew they also do reclaim and repurpose furniture and home decors. I decided to show them that I can do this by building things because of my experiences in past. That’s where I discovered my new talents. I’m very thankful for them to teach me everything they know. 

I fell in love with work and I realized that my personal talents have a meaning with my hard-woodworking hands. I start off with my very first woodworking project as a hobby was a dining table and I succeed. After I move to Kalamazoo and I never expected to start the business because I was enjoying it as a hobby. But my works do gain their attention. That’s how the Bearwood Reclaimed was born. 

So far, I have built a lot of custom works including tables, home decors, and handyman services. I never felt so happy as I was in past. 

My brainstorming provided many ideas for me to repurpose furniture and home decors including the color of paints. I also can use pallet and barn woods to build in much of everything. I believe in reusing and recycle because everything is a treasure 

I also travel to the shows or events where I can set up my own booth to sell my products, and I also do custom works for my new clients 

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Same as from the other question. 

My disability as deaf was very challenged dues to the discrimination and Ableism 

The job field was very impossible for us to find the job that we love. 

The people don’t think the “Deaf” is the same as hearing people. We are just like you but the only thing different from you is that we can’t hear. 

That’s where I use this motivation to keep me going and never look back. 

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
Our Mission rescue, reuse, and reclaimed as possible!! Our products do make of reused products including barn wood, pallets, salvaged home goods, and many others!!! 

When I got the materials in my hand, I use my sketchbook or whiteboard and sketch the many ideas that I want to build then I make this happens. 

My brainstorming provided many ideas for me to repurpose furniture and home decors including the color of paints. I also can use pallet and barn woods to build in much of everything. I believe in reuse and recycling because everything is a treasure. 

I always feel connected to my reclaimed and salvaged materials because they are thrown away in the trashes or no longer used. It’s just like me because during my childhood and until my late 20s because of lonely and left out dues to my deafness. We deserved to make better and were given second chances. That’s how I was able to succeed to make this magic happen. 

In terms of your work and the industry, what are some of the changes you are expecting to see over the next five to ten years?
-Growing this business to be successful and more exposure to others 

-Teaching our deaf and HOH students the woodworking trade skills 

-plan to hire LGBTQ and disabilities workers and give them training. And let them build on their own creatives. 

-Set up the event where I can reunite the LGBTQ and disabilities artists so they can set up their booth and share their works with the world. They all deserved the attention. 

-I hope to get my own storefront where I can sell my works as well as share the spaces with other builders and artists. 

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