My name is Balazs Moldovan and welcome to the Hungarian Workshop.
I was born in Miskolc, Hungary in 1986 and my family and I moved to California in 1996. When I was little, I always enjoyed being creative with Legos and building blocks. My parents thought I had a real knack for building, so they kept buying me more and more, until I had two huge buckets filled. I could play with them for hours, which made them happy since I was quiet for most of the day, ha ha.
When I was 10 years old, I started taking an interest in my dad’s tools, and since he was a contractor, he had a lot of them. Sure enough, when I reached high school and wood shop class became available, I was the first one to sign up. That is where the love for woodworking started. Later down the road in 2001 we moved to Las Vegas where I started working with my dad in the summers. We remodeled houses therefore I had to learn it all – from electrical, plumbing, framing, tiling to pretty much everything. However, my favorite was when we had to build and install kitchen cabinets.
After I graduated high school, I joined the carpenters union where I learned more woodworking skills. Unfortunately the company I started working for only worked with metal, but the money was great and I wasn’t opposed to learning new things, so I stayed with them for a few years. At the end of 2009, I was laid off like a lot of people in construction. With no new projects starting up things looked kind of hopeless. Work was hard to find in the union but at least I still had classes at the apprenticeship hall to keep me busy. One of my classes that season was fine woodworking, which was just what I needed at the time. It was in that class where I reconnected with woodworking and was able to build some outdoor furniture for the first time.
My first designs were made from redwood. The standard Adirondack chairs with a matching coffee table, end tables and ottomans. I started selling at farmer’s markets and a local store. After a few months business really started to pick up and I no longer needed to go back to construction. Even with business booming, I did realize that Las Vegas wasn’t the ideal location for an outdoor furniture company. After a few visits to San Diego I knew we found our new home. I continued building my furniture and started selling on Etsy. It was there online where I was discovered and contacted by Stone Brewing Company. They gave me my first barrel to turn into a chair like the ones I was already making. It was a tricky transition at first but I loved the challenge. During this time I was running my business from a co-op workshop called Maker’s Place. While I was making my first ever barrel chair, the San Diego Union Tribune was doing a tour on the co-op shop and they ended up taking a few photos and doing a small section on me making the chair. Talk about right place at the right time!
Shortly after, I invested in having my own website created which really started helping with sales. From there on my business grew and grew until I needed a shop of my own. With the successful website up and running and Stone keeping me busy, my skills and craft got sharpened. More and more design started coming to me and old ones got perfected.
Thank you for visiting and I hope you enjoy my website and creations.
Barrel Chair #1 (I still have it)