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“It’s a refl ection of his artistic ability,” Copeland says. “We couldn’t have thought of anything like this. I was totally blown away.” Imel studies older antique pieces because he fi nds the scales and propor- tions were often without fault. Sourcing inspiration in the craftsmen of the past, he designs furniture that has a “timeless look” rather than overcom- pensating with details that may not work well together. Shelley Goetz, interior designer and Northeast Oklahoma Electric


Cooperative member, has worked with Imel for more than 30 years. She says he is her “go-to” craftsman for any level of detail, from matching fur- niture in antique photos to creating whimsical pieces for residential design. “He is light years beyond most people who do woodworking,” Goetz


says. “I love calling Ben and starting a project and then ending the process with a one-of-a-kind piece that is nothing short of spectacular.”


Success Defi ned Looking back to the beginning of his business, Imel says he is glad he


was the only one at the time who had to deal with the discomfort of a startup. To keep overhead costs down, he didn’t use an air conditioner and even cut his own fi rewood. “It was so important to try to make a go of this, it was my choice to live a real Spartan life to ensure I gave it the best chance possible.” Since those days, his work has been featured both regionally and nation-


ally. While continuing to work with clients, Imel also shares the accumula- tion of his experiences with design students as a guest lecturer at the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University. After decades in business, he says he has realized a different defi nition of success.


“Success for me is not so much about the income, but it’s more being able to answer the question, ‘Are you still able to do it?’ I love what I do, and as long as I can continue creating, it will remain a perfect fi t for me.” Imel credits faith and family for making the fi t possible. He says he has been blessed by marrying his wife, Elaine, together raising their two children, and now having his fi rst grandson.


“God has given me this ability to work, and I want my work to honor him by doing my best,” Imel says. “Jesus was a carpenter, and I feel a special kinship every time I get out a wood plane, knowing he did the same.” A familiar bell resonates from the corner of the room. The pivotal grand- father clock invites the master craftsman to return to the task at hand. “The choice lies within each one of us, whether to create or destroy,” Imel


says, picking up his tools. “For the craftsman, the choice is clear and the time is short; the shop beckons him to create.”


Custom Crafted Products


“If you can dream it, we can build it,” Imel says of his wide array of product offerings. See below for a sample of some of his regular work. For more information, visit www.imelwoodworks.com or call 405-356-2505.


✓ Conference Tables ✓ Reception Desks ✓ Credenzas ✓ Case Goods ✓ Entertainment Centers


✓ Beds ✓ Coffee Tables ✓ Sofa Tables ✓ Dining Tables ✓ Chairs ✓ Buffets


✓ Benches ✓ Cabinetry ✓ Podiums ✓ Decoys ✓ Cradles ✓ Goblets


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