Sat | Sep 26, 2020

13-y-o nailing family business - Third-generation bedmaker making strides in trade with dad, granddad

Published:Wednesday | December 18, 2019 | 12:27 AMJason Cross/Gleaner Writer
Lanzel McCarthy III sanding down a bed frame yesterday under the supervision of his grandfather, Lanzel McCarthy I, at their woodwork operation along Matthews Lane in downtown Kingston.
Lanzel McCarthy III sanding down a bed frame yesterday under the supervision of his grandfather, Lanzel McCarthy I, at their woodwork operation along Matthews Lane in downtown Kingston.

Thirteen-year-old Lanzel McCarthy III is already a budding entrepreneur. Following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, he is one of a few youngsters of Matthews Lane in downtown Kingston manufacturing and selling beds.

His grandfather, Lanzel McCarthy I, who is an inspiration to the lad and his dad, Lanzel McCarthy II, has been making furniture and doing various forms of woodwork for more than two decades, and recognised the benefits of involving the younger generation in the craft.

It was just February that McCarthy III delved into the field, and since then, he has been mastering the craft.

“I make and wrap beds and sell them for $5,000, and I am 13 going on 14,” said the Cumberland High School student, who will celebrate his birthday this weekend.

The teen is proud of the foundation his seniors have been laying for him, and has produced more than 100 beds since he began 10 months ago. In addition, he has been sanding down and filling holes in dozens more.

“My grandfather has a [writing] board at home and he taught us how to work and everything,” he told The Gleaner. “I go to school, come back home, and help him. I would go to football training, then come back home to bathe, before going back out in the night to help him fill these holes.

SKY IS THE LIMIT

“From February till now, mi gone over 100. Every day my father is here showing me how everything must go. If I don’t set things right, he would come and nail it down for me,” McCarthy III explained.

The boy’s father, McCarthy II, said the sky is the limit for his son. He told The Gleaner that a lot of money can be made from the business, but admitted that his son will have to find creative ways to overcome various challenges. Still, he is not worried about his son’s future.

“Money make out of it, but we deal strictly with private customers. The stores buy from us and sell it back for big prices when we do the real work,” McCarthy II said.

Those big bucks, he said, could be falling into the hands of the tradesmen if shoddy work done by others in the woodwork business had not put a blot on the industry’s reputation.

“When the people dem come order a job from the tradesman, dem shuffle up pon di people dem and take too long with the jobs, so people rather go to the stores.”

jason.cross@gleanerjm.com