Ethan Monroe isn’t your typical businessman, but his products have been on back order since the day he opened for business.
Monroe is an 11-year-old student in the 5th grade. He was inspired by a school economics project that he completed in the 4th grade. He spent the rest of the year studying designs, business plans and materials for his products.
“We had to make a product and think about how we would sell it, and that’s what got me interested,” Monroe said. “First, I wanted to start and build playhouses, but my dad said, ‘Let’s start out with picnic tables,’ since they’re a little bit easier.”
He started production on April 9, and sold his first table on April 12 to family-friends Kirby and Kate Claxon.
When asked about his building process he said, “My dad got on a carpenter’s website and we found the plans, and then we went to Lowe’s to get the wood. We cut the wood to the right sizes, and then we build the legs, next we work on the tops. After that, we put on the supports and then add the benches.”
Ethan started building full size picnic tables for adults, and then expanded his line to include kids picnic tables as well. The tables are made of treated lumber and the customers can take their tables home to stain and paint them to their liking.
“I always try to support small local businesses, especially start-ups. Who knows, this could be a million-dollar company someday. It’s great quality handmade table,” said satisfied customer Kirby Claxon.
His father, Chad Monroe, is a local business owner and is proud that his son is showing initiative and pursuing his interests.
“Ethan does about 90 percent of the work himself, I wasn’t surprised when he came home and said he wanted to build the tables. He spent a year planning, and he had to do a business plan. We’re using this as an opportunity to teach him about business. He made his first sale the same day I made my first official sale 22 years ago, and we’re very proud of him, ” Chad Monroe said.
For now, Ethan plans to continue in the picnic table business with new designs, and in the future he aims to become a construction engineer.
“I want to build houses,” Ethan said, “I decided to start my business now so people will know who I am and they’ll know my work.”
Chad Monroe started a Facebook page for Ethan’s work, search “Ethan Chad Monroe Construction,” to see photos of his work, place orders and follow his progress.
Reach Ciara Conley at 740-353-3101, ext. 1932.