Matthew Peech Combines his love of woodworking with social media to reach the masses
Photos by: Lea Ann Leach Photography
When the pandemic hit, after accepting a challenge from his kids, Matthew Peech began making TikTok videos to teach carpentry in quick segments. But soon he expanded into more advanced videos on his YouTube channel.
The popularity of those videos, now with 454,000 followers, has allowed Peech to turn his woodworking tutorials into a full-time gig.
His videos were noticed by the likes of famed workwear company Carhartt, who took note of the bib overalls he wears in the videos, and asked Peech to create a piece of art to hang in their Detroit headquarters.
For the logo on the piece, Peech wanted to source the material locally and connect the work to the community. Using pine from a local rickhouse and poplar wood from Indiana, along with saw blades from his family’s defunct sawmill, he worked with their design person to decide the size of the iconic “C.”
“They were sending ideas on how I could do it, but I didn’t like that,” he said. “‘I am more than honored to do this but here is what I am thinking.’”
He shared ideas about the past and incorporated Carhartt’s original logo from the 1800s with the current logo. He also wanted to use the train depot combination and tie it in with train cars.
Carhartt loved the idea.
“If [a visitor] read the plaque next to it then it would be a lightbulb moment,” he said.
Beginning in April of 2023 and finishing at the beginning of August, Peech used the rickhouse barrel wood’s shape to create a basketweave and raised the Carhartt logo with sawblade metal.
“Everyone loves it,” he said. “I really kept it a secret except for those coming in and out of the shop. When I posted it to my personal page, he received local, positive feedback, especially since few knew what he did as a “maker” who now has a piece hanging at Carhartt headquarters.
Recently, Carhartt contacted him to create a 90-second video telling the story of his bibs that he took with him to Detroit – the same bibs he has had since he was a teenager.
“This has been the most challenging video I’ve created,” Peech said. “It’s the biggest file I have with all of the edits.”
For the video, Peech is doing a voiceover telling the story of what this one set of bibs has been through in his life.
“It’s still art, but it’s my original words,” said Peech, an idea that appealed to him because it has meaning. “They liked my style and wanted my words to come across – and the emotion.”
Peech will release the video on his social media when Carhartt approves.
Also on his project list is an upcycled project for a nine-season cabin TV show. Using 1920s tobacco carts from the family sawmill, he is in the process of tearing down and creating a coffee table incorporating the cast iron from the cart and the wood.
“I love doing reclaimed projects,” he said. “It was left open to my ideas for upcycling.”
Peech works every day in his shop creating, and he said that his workload depends on the pressure he puts on himself.
That pressure prompted Peech to launch an official website and learn digital platforms.
“It’s a company, it’s a brand,” he said. “I am reaching a lot and teaching a lot, so that’s good.”
On weekends, Peech doesn’t record his digital content, and this is when friends and family stop by his shop to see his creations. At the beginning of November, Peech said many who live in Hartford, where he lives, did not know what he did because he didn’t put much on his personal social media.
By the end of the month, after news articles ran in Owensboro and Ohio County, Peech said those that didn’t know, now do.
“I’ve been busy working with different companies and putting out content,” he said. “It’s a vicious cycle.”
Peech said that many of his “crazy” pieces are more well-known than the Carhartt logo piece.
And those pieces started with challenges from friends and family much like his social media endeavor.
“I had a friend show me a picture and I thought ‘I could do that,’” he said.
Soon, he had created “The Mad Hatter,” “Down the Rabbit Hole” and “The Black Widow,” all of which he refers to as passion projects that pushed his limits.
Stories accompany many of his pieces on his Instagram page and the pinned bench, “A Minute Past Midnight” is one of his artistic pieces.
“Those pieces went around the world,” he said. “That’s why I put the Carhartt on my personal page. It’s the first art piece they asked me to do.”
Peech’s passion is teaching, and he hopes to continue with this endeavor while helping others. Peech shares a life lesson or story at the end of his videos that goes beyond woodworking and learning a dying trade.
“I use woodworking to teach about believing in yourself, but I am really talking about life,” he said. “Those deathbed wishes of wanting to do something more – I will not be one of those.”
Peech is proud of his digital content, his Carhartt piece and proud to represent his community.
“If anyone wants to learn, I am there to teach,” he said. “Every day is different, and you never know, but it keeps it interesting. It’s wild to wrap my brain around.”
To learn more about Peech, visit YouTube or his webpage at matthewpeech.com. OL