Growing up in rural Montana offered Diamond K Woodworks owner Dustin Kendall a life submerged with a passion and respect for nature as well as the mindset that hard work and dedication is crucial when it comes to thriving in life. Beginning on the family Ranch as a young boy, the workload truly never ended. Dustin spent his days alongside his dad building fences, constructing buildings, feeding animals, and digging miles worth of earth to irrigate the land.
Not only committed to his family’s ranch and hard work, Dustin was also an avid skier. In fact, his skiing talents were so much so that he was sponsored as a professional skier, competed in the Junior Olympics, and attended a high school in NY for Olympiad Training where he honed his skills. More than once, he was hand-selected to compete in the World Cup races where he went on to rank 18th in the country. If you look, you can even catch Dustin’s skiing skills in national magazines and in several skiing movies!
During his career, his points were maintained at such a level that he remained a sanctioned skier by FIS World Cup (the international ski federation). He then went on to win the grand nationals and compete in the very first X games in Vermont. Shortly after his last World Cup race, he had the opportunity to spend many winters as an alpine Ski Racing head coach and mountain guide.
Not in the shop alone, Dustin is helped by the incredibly multi-faceted Jessica. When she’s not keeping things at the shop running smoothly or busy cultivating Diamond K’s shop culture with her sense of humor and fun, she’s busy being a powerhouse of a mom to 3 amazing girls- Aria 5, Ella 6, and Nakiah 14.
Diamond K and the Urban Wood Network
When Jessica joined the team in 2018, she knew that there had to be a community with the same sustainability ideals and principles as Diamond K. In her search for such a community, she came across the Urban Salvage and Reclaimed Wood’s website, now known as the Urban Wood Network. After reading what the core goals and practices of the Urban Wood Network were, she knew she had found the community that they had been looking for. She filled out the member application, and they were soon contacted by Jennifer Alger, who welcomed them into the UWN and introduced them to others with the same values as themselves.
In keeping with their strong belief in sustainability, every log that Diamond K acquires is free from deforestation or clear-cutting, as they only acquire logs that have naturally reached the end of their lives. They also “rescue” barn wood from demolition companies that would send it to the landfill. With their Woodland Mills Portable Sawmill they typically mill salvaged old growth Redwood, Cedar, or Douglas Fir- wood types that have durability and beauty not seen often.
In addition to their sustainable shop practices, Diamond K also gives back to the UWN community. Last summer, they donated a week of their time, labor, and equipment at a commune near Columbia, California that had lost seven buildings during the forest fires. This commune had limited funds for rebuilding but an abundance of land, and during the week that the DK crew were there, they were able to mill enough lumber for them to start rebuilding and continuing their journey of teaching self-sustainable feeding and growing.
Final Thoughts from the Diamond K Team
Diamond K hopes to, along with the UWN, continue practicing and spreading sustainability efforts. “The effects and affects of humans the last 150 years on our planet is astounding. We have destroyed so much of her. If each of us can join together, then one day Betty White and our children can stand a fighting chance in reclaiming that abundance.”
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