NORMAL, Ill. (WMBD) — Some say woodworking goes “against the grain” of hobbies for a teenager, but from cutting boards to full sized-furniture, people will find Alex Sohn whittling away on projects for his own small business.

“Everyone in this world is capable of something. I have been woodworking for about a year and a half. When I started woodworking, my projects were not very good. I knew that I was capable of making a good project, you just have to put your mind to it,” said the owner of Sohn Woodworks, Alex Sohn, who is a 16-year-old Normal Community High School student.

Sohn makes cutting boards, furniture, flags, and really anything that involves wood.

Sohn got into woodworking when he was looking for a good gift to give his girlfriend. “I saw online a wood chest. I thought, how could I make something like this? So I turned to my dad, and he helped me make the wood chest, and ever since then, I’ve been making stuff all the time.”

His dad, Jeff Sohn, said, “I look at his projects and they are absolutely stunning.” While his mother, Shelley Sohn, said, “He’s always been a hands-on kind of guy, and this doesn’t surprise me, but he does such a great job.”

Alex said every project he makes, his parents always compliment it, and even when he has a bad project or a rough day in the shop, his parents always point out the positives of his work, no matter what it is.

“It started with one small project, it’s continued to build upon itself,” said Shelley.

Jeff said his son bought all of his equipment one piece at a time with his own money made from previous projects.

“I would try and keep it more of a hobby, I’m only sixteen years old, it’d be hard to turn it into a business and make a good living off of it. If I could and had the opportunity, I totally would because this is something I love to do, I love being in the shop,” said Alex.

Both his parents said he has exceeded any expectations they would have had for their son.

When asked about purchasing woodworking items in stores, Alex said, “You can go to Walmart or Meijer or any big store or IKEA and buy a piece of furniture, or buy a cutting board, or buy anything and it’ll be super cheap. But, it’ll never have that authentic feel of being handmade.”

“The biggest piece of advice I’d give someone is just get started. That’s a lot of problems people have when getting started because they’re reluctant because they’re not selling anything. They’re not as successful as other people they compare themselves to. Stay steady, stay consistent, keep pushing your stuff, and don’t give up on it. If you really enjoy it, just don’t give up on it,” said Alex.