My father, Allan Sylvia, Jr and I, Jeri Sylvia, recognized that while everyone would love an ideal outdoor entertaining area, very few family yards can boast the space needed to house it. As a pair, we seized upon the opportunity to provide a radical solution to this problem... a park bench that converts into a picnic table!
While the picnic table was perfect for entertaining, barbecuing and outdoor dining, being able to fold the table back up into a bench was perfect for saving space as well as providing a gorgeous area to admire mother nature's bountiful beauty.
Armed with just a little wood working experience and even less money, our little father-daughter team began working and reworking plans to draft our very first test bench.
After drilling a lot of misplaced holes and scribbled out erroneous cut lines, we were able to use all of that experience to hand craft a gorgeous bench with all the sturdiness one could dream of. As our bench started to take shape, our neighbors started to take notice. Word of mouth was spreading like wild fire and orders were placed before the first bench was even completed!
What we thought would be a fun side project turned into a business overnight!
Soon the question of a company name started being tossed around. The bench was unique, so should the name be. We wanted the name to encompass our family, wood and our heritage... what a tall order! The surname Sylvia means "Of the forest" in Portuguese and Celtic Knots are very prominent in Scottish traditions and knots are also connected to wood and woodworking, so combining a little of all of these facets, Knot of the Forest was founded 2015.
Jeri soon got to work on creating the business logo and branding aspects, while Allan used his woodworking skills to create two new sizes of benches, one that was child sized and a larger sized table for those with extra space and larger families.
Taking our business to the public has been the biggest and most rewarding part of this adventure yet. Our Knot of the Forest benches have been a hit at events around LA and Orange County. It has afforded us the opportunity to showcase our benches while meeting and speaking with appreciative customers and generating sales with positive feedback.
Our benches have been called magical, and that seems fitting to us, as this whole process has been a magical ride for us as well.
Now that my daughter has identical twin baby girls, I have the privilege of continuing this endeavor alone. So now, I have started making wooden push-pull toys/collectibles and garden features.
(Note): The reason all this came about is because I am a U.S. Navy veteran of 23 years. During that time I was subjected to asbestos and have survived cancer twice.
Due to the cancers, I could not continue working as an electrician so my daughter got me started in woodworking.