Schumacher, of Joliet, decided to develop his woodworking hobby after losing his job. Now that hobby is a viable, green business.
After much trial and error, Schumacher found a way to turn old blocks of wood into finely crafted pens. His company, Allegory, uses only reclaimed wood.
"All of the woods that we use are either reclaimed or salvaged. None of them come from fresh-cut lumber. We also plant a tree with the National Forest Foundation for every five pens we sell," Schumacher said.
The former marketing executive started tinkering with the idea last year after the technology company that he and his wife worked for closed -- leaving them both unemployed.
" It was a shock, honestly, to think about going from office jobs and the sense of stability at least that that gives you to a company that's all our own, run out of our house," Jessica Schumacher said.
The Schumachers also recruited an old college pal -- who left his job as a video game tester.
"When he started mentioning the idea of doing these wooden pens that he was doing with his dad, I really fell in love with the idea. And he actually invited me out to the studio to make some of my own and that was it hook, line and sinker. I've been completely head over heels for the whole project ever since then," Steve Elmore said.
Schumacher says customers have been head over heels, too. Not only for the pens, but for the stories behind the ancient and historical wood the company uses.
Schumacher says creating art from salvaged wood taps into his earliest notions to protect the planet.
"It really goes back to the Boy Scouts for me. Leave the campground better than the way you found it," Schumacher said.
The oldest wood that Allegory uses is called ancient kauri that is 50,000 years old was buried underground in New Zealand for all that time. Allegory pens are only available online at allegorypens.com