Harry & Hio’s Woodworking was named in honor of Skip’s grandfather (Harry) and his father (Hio). Harry was the owner of Wiley Manufacturing, a woodworking shop in Gardner, Mass that made baby furniture for Thayer Inc. until the late 1950’s. Skip’s dad and uncle Kenny both worked in the shop until they enlisted for military duty during WWII, and Skip spent many hours there as a young boy. Even after the shop closed both Harry and Hio continued to be involved in woodworking at home, and it was from spending time with them that Skip first became interested in woodworking.
After High School and College days, Skip reconnected with woodworking in the 1970’s when, as a new father, the small cape they lived in needed more room for a growing family. After building an addition to this home Skip and family purchased some land in Portland, Ct. and built a larger home there. Skip continued woodworking as a hobby, building furniture and wooden gifts for his family and friends while teaching chemistry at Middlesex Community College in Middletown, Ct. and serving as an officer and Chief of the Portland Volunteer Fire Department.
When Skip retired from 40 years of teaching Chemistry, he decided that his hobby could become a small business and he formed Harry & Hio’s in July of 2009. With his wife Carol-Ann, he has extended his product line to hand turned pens and other wooden items, holiday lawn decorations and gift items, which they sell at various craft fairs, and a growing furniture refinishing business.Skip prefers the simple lines of colonial and shaker furniture but has begun to appreciate more modern design as a result of his wife’s input and support.