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Lumber JAKKSS: Solid-Wood Fabricators With a Story to Inspire

How Covid Paved the Way to This Family’s (Unknown) Dream

Article by Arliss Veldhuizen

Photography by Empire Photography and Lumber JAKKSS

Originally published in Frederick Lifestyle

Tucked away on a serene acreage is the family behind Frederick’s new Lumber JAKKSS Millworks—named for the family members: Jay, Ashton, Kiernan, Killian, Sloane and Shaye.

Jay Jeffrey’s inclination for woodworking goes back to his childhood. Raised in Bangor, Maine, the trade was a familiar one, and his father, Mike, was often in his home workshop making headway on a project for someone dear to him. Some of Jay’s favorite memories are his father’s version of babysitting: handing him and his younger brother some wood, nails, and a hammer, and letting them have at it. All that observation and “working” side-by-side with his father was enough to spark Jay’s interest and skill in the craft.

But Jay didn’t pursue this interest until later in life, after a few twists and turns to get him here.

Jay graduated from Westfield State University with a degree in Computer Informations and Business Management. Having gained experience in the sports fundraising arena during his college career, he moved to Frederick in 2007 to open up his own business.

By 2011, Jay was helping run the Frederick Indoor Sports Center, where he met Ashton at a special event. After asking her out the same evening, the rest is history. In 2012, they purchased their first home and the location for the family business they’d yet to conceive of.

Fast forward to the arrival of Covid and both of Jay’s businesses were put on hold. The pandemic was not friendly to his field of work; and with two little ones and a newborn on the way, things felt uncertain.

“So at the beginning of Covid-19, we wondered what we were going to do? And by June I was getting antsy, so I built this,” Jay shared as he gestured to the handmade, solid-wood pavilion we were sitting beneath. 

By July of 2019, Jay asked Ashton for permission to buy a Slabber sawmill from New Zealand with the intent to simply procure and slab logs and then sell them. Instead, it transformed into the family-owned, solid wood fabrication business that the Frederick community is coming to know, love, and rely on. 

By December of 2019, the winter weather had forced them to stow away the sawmill altogether, and they started creating charcuterie and cribbage boards. Before they knew it, everyone wanted them. Months later they received a 30-table order for a wedding facility, and they have been on full throttle ever since.

“...the niche we’ve found ourselves in is solid wood fabrication, but everything we do is completely custom,” Jay shared. Handcrafting everything from bourbon cabinets, to live-edge office tables, to bulk orders of bar tables, to name-engraved cutting boards, The Jeffreys and their skilled team thrive on providing beautiful, custom-made products created from local, high-quality solid wood. Still, the quality and beauty of their creations aren’t all that set them apart. They’re involved from the heart with every project they take on, committed to making sure it’s even better than what the client had dreamed of.

“We separate ourselves...we’re gonna ask them what they like,” Jay explained—and he’s committed to letting each client share their vision, and then makes suggestions throughout the process that are in line with the vision yet enhance the finished product. 

The Jeffreys responded to the pandemic with hope and creativity, and it paved the way for their dream. Almost three years later, their family of six has a thriving small business that is expanding quickly. Be sure to order your custom-made gift now (aka "Christmas in July") so that you will have it in time for the holiday season!