Sep. 26—Brian and Kelly Robinson stay busy creating unique items customized with lasers in the basement of their historic Rossville home. But they will soon move "the laser lair" to a renovated Main Street store front.
Kelly, a retired cargo plane pilot, and Brian, a Hamilton Police Department lieutenant, tapped into their creative side to form High Main Laserworks months ago. Now the plan is to move to the former Little Wood Shop on Main building.
The structure, built in 1924, is a recognizable building near the intersection of Main and Eaton/Millville avenues that was home to a master wood worker, Seldon D. Brown, until his unexpected death in December. The Robinsons bought the building in August.
Like the 150-year-old house where the Robinsons live, Kelly said renovation of the wood shop building renovation is a labor of love. The projects include one of Kelly's passions: architecture.
"We are preserving pieces of history," she said.
Brian said their historic home is one that first caught his eye when he began patrolling Hamilton streets 25 years ago. And the wood shop has been a city landmark with its colorful tile entrance.
The Robinsons began using the laser machine to etch and engrave items for unique gifts, but it didn't become a business until they honed their skills. Now they have now outgrown the basement space.
"I don't think we ever expected to stay in the basement, but we wanted to learn the machine and learn to do things well first and really embrace it," Kelly said.
They are now making and personalizing pieces for a range of gifts and keepsakes, including one-of-a kind cutting boards, bourbon barrel signs, tumblers, pens, journals, stones, drink glasses and even an urn for a beloved pet.
The remodel of the Main Street location is ongoing, and the Robinsons are hopeful to be in the new location this year with plans for a storefront and a workshop.
Some of Brown's tools were kept and will be part of Laser Works. The Robinsons view their business and a good marriage between the old and new.
"People refer to it as the personalization business. It is not so much that," Brian said. "We refer to it as an emotionalization business. We take that common product or item and we add emotional value to it. It is unique to that person."