We're excited to highlight John Furniss as our November Chompian of the Month. John is known as "The Blind Woodsman", an entrepreneur and inspiration to the Chomps community. Read a bit more about who John is and his incredible journey below.
Can you tell us about yourself - what you do, a bit about your story, etc.?
I am a blind woodworker living in the Pacific Northwest. I lost my sight at age 16 from a suicide attempt and struggled with drug addiction for many years. When I found woodworking in my early 20’s, my entire life changed. My teacher was also blind and taught me adaptive skills in the wood shop. For a few years I rebuilt pianos and moved onto woodworking professionally about five years ago. I met my wife Anni and now business partner nine years ago and we live with our fur kid, Pickle, in SW Washington. Anni is also an artist and we love collaborating on projects. I use my experiences and struggles with mental health and addiction to advocate on social media. I have over 1.1 million followers on social media and love sharing my life with my online community!
What’s your best tip on how to stay positive?
The knowledge that change is inevitable can be a relief; if something upsets you know that it’s just temporary. Also, try to laugh at yourself instead of getting frustrated.
What's your workout routine?
I don’t have one outside the wood shop, it is a very physical job. I’m stronger now than I’ve ever been. I even wear weights on my arms while using the lathe to help build muscle.
How do you consider yourself a “game changer?” This is 100% open to your interpretation!
Because of my stubborn nature, giving up is just not in me. I hope that inspires others to not give up as well. You can always find a way.
What's the best thing you do for your personal health every day (mental or physical)?
Woodworking is great for me both mentally and physically. I get out to my wood shop, turn on my music and my lathe and I’m in my “creation cocoon.” There is nothing like it!
What is your favorite Chomps product?
Salt and Pepper Venison and Sea Salt Beef
How does Chomps fuel your lifestyle?
I eat one everyday in the wood shop and have a good supply of them out there at all times.