Elam & Brothers
Elam and his brothers own a company that was initially started by his grandfather. We have watched this third generation craftsman grow in his artisanship for years now, just as his father did before him. In fact, even though Dad has retired, he still works a few days a week for his son, just to keep his hand in it.
Elam is in his mid-thirties, is married, and has five children ranging from grade school age to baby. He has a number of family members who assist him full-time in his workshop, as well as other Amish employees. All their inventory is hand-made or made on equipment powered by diesel. No electricity! Most of his inventory is made to order, and he does many custom jobs for us. He once built a wall unit for one of our clients that was so large, he forgot to measure if it would fit in the tractor trailer! The height fit-- by two inches. Now we know to be more careful with extra-large dimensions.
Elam tells us he loves what he's doing. He loves having his siblings and father work beside him, and he loves striving to make products that his customers feel proud to own.
Elam's guilty pleasures? First, hockey. He even played in a hockey league before he joined the Amish church (they believe in adult baptism.) He asserts that was the hardest thing to give up, laughing that if Amish men were allowed to play in hockey leagues, their wives could be sick and the children hungry at home, and the men would still be out playing hockey!
Another guilty pleasure? Breakfast. He loves a hearty Amish breakfast of pancakes, scrapple, eggs and bacon. And he's got a sweet tooth. He loves a dessert called Vanilla pie, which is a cousin to the famous Shoo-Fly pie. He claims, "I could sit down and eat two of them!" (We're pretty sure he means whole pies, not pieces.)