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13- ear old Gavilan Peak Elementary student in Anthem, Arizona turned a hobby into a way to earn extra money during the holidays. This young entrepreneur recently made a staple in the Anthem community by creating holiday Christmas trees made from leftover wood palettes around the valley.
Ian DeGrandchamp is only in 8th grade but started his passion for woodworking in early February of 2020 when he helped his father, Brian DeGrandchamp build a “Catio” (an outdoor patio enclosure for their cats). When Ian finished, he looked at his father with pride and said, “Dad, I could do this for a job,” said Ian. He has been helping his father with many projects over the years but Ian reached a turning point and wanted to pursue learning more about it. Ian is inspired by watching YouTube videos to learn about all kinds of wood, tools, finishing process, welding and more. Ian takes a lot of pride in being able to earn extra money. So much so, that even his mother believed he could do it. Towards the end of last year, his mother saw a post of an item that could be fixed up on one of the buy/sell groups. She bought the item to see if Ian could fix it up. She was right! Not only did he fix it up, his family went out and collected palettes so he could make more, then posted his final products on different buy/sell groups in the north valley. “We had no idea they would become that popular,” said his father. In fact, Ian made more than 50 Christmas trees between Thanksgiving weekend and December 19th. They went palette hunting just to keep up with the orders.
The pandemic allowed Ian to really perfect his craft. He learned exactly how a business owner would run his own company. He learned about time-management, turnaround times for each project, and was adamant in delivering the final product in time to his clients. His father said he was very “hands-on” in every decision-making process.
You can also check out his NEW Facebook page where he sells his finished projects. He is looking to collaborate with his sister (Elise, age 11) on doing some more creative additions to his work in 2021 (think cute wooden signs!!)
Ian’s father said that Ian loves "doing" just about anything. Last year, they even had a family friend who spent time teaching them how to weld so that's something he's enjoyed learning how to do.
FAVORITE STORE? Well, you can guess that Home Depot is Ian’s favorite store, so he insists on a trip there several times per week. At the end of the day, he is a teenager with goals and the high school years ahead of him. In his downtime, he also likes to play video games with his friends, spends time with his pets (specifically, his guinea pig, Gilbert and cat, Donut) and his family. Ian has also been very involved in his church youth group, to the extent allowed him this past year, and has volunteered at church for the last several years.
"I like to be able to make stuff that I have designed, and use my imagination."
- Ian DeGrandchamp