Monteon “Monty” Jones transformed his after-work side project into a fulltime business, offering a stylish alternative to traditional wired dog kennels.
Jones, a Nashville native who has lived in Rutherford County for about seven years, is the owner of Wooden Goody’s. He said he got his start in woodworking with no carpentry background. He would wrap up his work day selling cars at Two Rivers Ford in Mt. Juliet and collect free wood pallets to practice his self-taught craft.
Watching YouTube tutorials led to building home bars, coffee tables, wine racks and other pieces of furniture that he would then sell on Facebook. The idea to step into the doggie furnishing business came after he built a cage for one of his own four-legged friends.
“I made a dog cage, and everybody liked it, so it just kept growing,” said Jones over the buzz of a circular saw in the backroom woodshop area of his storefront. “The more stuff I posted on Facebook, the more people would ask me to build stuff, but the dog stuff really just took off.”
Jones, a long-time dog owner, has two pets of his own, a Chihuahua named Lucky and a Bocker (beagle-cocker spaniel mix) named CoCo.
The other animal furnishings he’s built include dog gates and beds, feeding stations and the occasional “hidden litter box” for feline pet parents to purchase. The goal is to create pieces that are multi-functional that can fit in with the other furniture in a homeowner’s space.
“I can make a kennel into a buffet table, a night stand, a dresser, a coffee table, or anything like that,” said Jones, whose most complex project to date has been a heavy, 15-foot-wide kennel.
While he’s taken on several custom orders over the years, he said he’s aiming to shift his focus and fully lean into the kennel side of the with a range of standard sizes.
In his five years of building experience, Jones has transitioned away from relying on pallet wood to construct his creations. Now he solely uses commercial-grade Southern yellow pine.
He’s got the building process down to a sawdusty science. Jones said an average kennel can be completed, start to finish, in about eight hours. Each one starts with pre-cutting the wood and building the rectangular frames for the top, bottom and sides of each kennel.
Pocket holes are then drilled to help join the pieces together, “like LEGOS,” he said. Additional holes are added to insert the steel reinforcing bars that form the fencing portion of the kennel.
Customers have the ability to pick a single, double or triple door kennel to accommodate their pets and have the ability to select the paint color of the final product.
“Whatever Home Depot and Lowe’s sells, I can do,” said Jones, who said receives anywhere from 1-10 orders per week. He also occasionally uses a torching technique that shows off the wood grain for a more rustic look.
More recently, he’s taken on a few extra sets of hands to help fulfill the orders being placed. Sekwon “Kwon” Park has been on board for the last few weeks, sawing wood and building side panels.
Park said he has no previous background in carpentry but has been able to pick up several woodworking skills since working under Jones’ instruction.
“He showed me the way. He showed me the dos and don’ts,” said Park, who said his favorite part of the process is seeing all of the individual pieces come together to make the finished product. “I might mess up a few times, but in the end it’s just … he shows me new ways how to perfect my craft.”
Jones said he tends to lead by example when it comes to teaching, walking each member of his crew step-by-step through the building process with safety being the first priority.
His customers have the option to have purchases delivered or shipped via freight service nationwide. Facebook has been the business’ biggest form of promotion along with word of mouth from satisfied shoppers.
As he continues getting settled into his shop, he hopes to clear out more space in the front area to create a showroom for customers to browse his kennel creations. His long-term goal is to expand the business for a more efficient shopping experience.
“I plan on having like a big warehouse to where people can come in and just pick out their kennel and take it home the same day,” said Jones. “The goal is to get rid of that wiry cage.”