For the love of wood.
It’s an adage as old as the forests: Find something you love and do it well. Well we did, and we are, and we couldn’t be happier. What started out as a way to pass time in retirement blossomed into a family business, leveraging the diverse passions and talents of a father and two sons. Finding common ground in the extraordinary wood native to the Northeastern Ohio area where they were raised, each member of the team brings a unique perspective and skill set to the proverbial table, forging the foundation a company rooted in hard work and a quality products.
Dwain Hicks, VP of Operations
A seasoned veteran in the hardwood manufacturing industry, Dwain spent his early career as President of LJ Smith Incorporated, one of the world’s leading producers of hardwood stair parts, from 1976 to 1994. 25 years later, he finds himself in familiar territory, trading oak ballusters and newel posts for solid slabs of walnut and ebonized maple. With the addition of his sons, Jon and Phil, Dwain adds to his legacy in the hardwood business, operating on the same principles of high quality and excellent customer service.
While he’s not in the shop or spending time with his five children or eight grandchildren, Dwain and his wife enjoy relaxing at home in Northeastern Ohio with their dog, Henry.
Jon Hicks, VP of Brand & Design
All his life, Jon has had a passion and penchant for making things look great. After studying Design at Syracuse and Ohio State University, he moved to California where he worked as an Art Director for The Walt Disney Company for 12 years and later founded and ran his own design firm, Dean Rath Creative Marketing in San Francisco. Given his background and secret obsession with furniture design, it wasn’t a hard sell to recruit him to build a furniture brand and product line from the ground up. Throw in some of the most beautiful raw materials available and he was hooked.
Still rooted in the Bay Area with his wife and two children, Jon oversees every touchpoint of the Created™ brand as well as the design of each product within it, from conception through production.
Phil Hicks, VP of Sales
It’s fair to say that Phil has been selling things since the time he could talk. Always hustling, always chasing the next deal, Phil cut his teeth in the car business, working his way up from used cars sales to General Manager of Germain Mercedes-Benz in Columbus, Ohio. But like his brother before him, he couldn’t resist the allure of the gorgeous wood slabs and the challenges and opportunities they presented, and joined the team in 2017 to head up the sales department. A self-proclaimed “people person”, Phil enjoys the everyday interactions with customers, the Created™ staff, and the network of sales reps he’s assembled throughout the US.
Phil lives in Columbus, Ohio with his wife and their three “children”, who wear collars and bark when they want something.
Arlin “Hootie” Schlabach, Lead Craftsman
Known as Arlin by very few, Hootie is a hopeless wood addict and only needed one look at Created’s raw slab inventory to be persuaded to head up the production team in charge of building anything and everything. A gifted problem-solver, Hootie’s attention to detail and perfectionist nature is ideally suited for the construction of Created’s one-of-a-kind pieces.
In his spare time, he spins extraordinary bowls from wood burls, plays an unhealthy amount of golf, and hunts mushrooms with his wife, Jen. (Don’t bother asking him for his favorite spots.)
Justin Stokes, Production Manager
Having come full circle from Ohio to Denver, CO and back to Ohio again, "Stokes" (more on that later) has more management and woodworking experience than most men twice his age. If there's a question he usually has the answer, and one way or another finds a way to get Created's products out the door on time and on budget.
He lists his hobbies as hiking, fishing, biking, woodworking (that's when we knew we had our man) and spending time with his wife and two children.
Jessica Hughes, Office Manager
Jessica’s list of skills and responsibilities is a long one at Created where she manages everything from the books to shipping to customer service. Her cool calm demeanor is an invaluable asset to the company, constantly being tested and honed by her two teenage boys. In her "free" time, she's usually busy keeping up with their sports schedules (and is no slouch in a number of sports herself), and is active in dog rescue.
Jessica lives with her family in Dover, Ohio.
Justin Carl, Craftsman
We didn’t find "Carl" (two Justins in the same shop gets confusing) – he found us – and we’re glad he did. Having recently relocated to Northeastern Ohio, he wanted a career in the woodworking business and took a chance on dropping in to see if we needed an extra hand (silly question.) With a infectiously good attitude and work ethic, it didn’t take him long to cement his place as an indispensible member of Created’s production team.
While he’s not at work, he's an accomplished and well-traveled skateboarder and videographer. So far all prototypes for live edge decks have proved too heavy, but he’s working on it.
Nick Shaw, Craftsman
Nick has a passion for his work and it shows. Having over 20 years of construction experience prior to joining the team, Nick is a rock solid, can-do guy who can be counted on to tackle any challenge and boost morale doing it.
Nick lives with his wife and two kids who keep him plenty busy while Created doesn’t.