We had the good fortune of connecting with Char Miller-King and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Char, what’s the most difficult decision you’ve ever had to make?
The most difficult decision I had to make was to leave my high-powered in-demand job to pursue something unknown. I worked in corporate America for 15 years, climbing the corporate ladder. Dedicated to being a leading professional in facilities and event management was my goal, working long hours and spending a significant amount of time away from my growing family was becoming normal but exhausting.
For many years I knew that I was created to make, however, making was not a lucrative career. Making was the one thing that made my soul happy. I knew that I had to take a leap of faith. I left my corporate job without a real plan in place, without savings, without an end goal, just to make. It took several years for this decision to pay off. Thank God that it did! I am fulfilled, my own boss, and have the opportunity to make every day!
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am a maker, my primary medium is wood. I love to teach others about exploring the possibilities of creating things with wood through the use of power and hand tools. Creating things from wood is likely one of the oldest forms of art, seemingly primarily done by men, but there is a rich history of women’s role in the birth of power tools, design, and creating stunning works of art. You can learn more about this in the book I am featured in, “Joinery, Joists and Gender: A History of Woodworking for the 21st Century” by Deidre Visser.
While accessibility and acceptance in the world of woodworking is changing, it still has a ways to go. I am proud to be a forerunner and a trailblazer as an African-American woodshop teacher, married and mother of four who quit her day job to follow her dreams. That excites me! I have a platform to encourage young girls and others. I am usually the only one that looks like me in a room. It was difficult at first as I was made to feel different or not good enough. I decided that I would not allow anyone to make me feel inferior.
I want to let everyone know, that despite, your gender, your race, your lifestyle, or background you are more than a conqueror. You are able to accomplish your goals. Stay on the path you know you are supposed to be on and your hearts desires will be fulfilled.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
My favorite places in the city are the arts and culture scene of Atlanta. There are so many hidden gems. I like taking walks on the Beltine and visiting the museums of Atlanta. The food is probably my favorite. Food halls are popping up everywhere and offer some of the most diverse choices in food. And a good staycation is always good. Some of the best hotels are the W and the Loews Hotel. My favorite place for dessert is the Sugar Factory.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
First, I owe my success to God. Through trial and tribulation, he set me on the right path to live my purpose. I come from a hands-on creator family. My father made a living making furniture and home decor from mirror, my uncle is a carpenter and all the women in my life are very crafty. My mother always supported every endeavor I explored no matter how far off the beaten path it was.
There is no way I could jet-set across the country teaching woodworking and creating content without the support of my husband and my four children. Woodworking and teaching are not typical roles for women, let alone a woman of color. Explaining what I do, as a career sometimes is misunderstood. My family has stood by me through the ebbs and flows.