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Izzy Swan

Izzy Swan is a woodworker, and a popular YouTuber.

He has 917K subscribers on his eponymous YouTube channel.

Izzy is also an inventor, engineer, and artist.


Izzy Swan was born on 19 March 1973; he hails from Greenville, South Carolina, United States.

His father was a Vietnam veteran; and his mother, Karen Swan, was a Former Sergeant at Michigan Department of Public Safety.

Izzy’s grandfather, Walter Swan, was an author; some of his books are: ‘The old timer’s cookbook: Desert recipes,’ “me ‘n Henry”, ‘Me ‘n Mama,’ etc.

A fifth-generation craftsman-

Izzy’s father and grandfather were woodworkers, and he grew up around them watching woodworking; Izzy is a fifth-generation craftsman.

While growing up, he wasn’t interested in woodworking, but he was made to woodwork, and at that time, he cut many dovetails by hand; and learnt woodworking through trial and error.

At 14, Izzy became a professional woodworker, he started off with just a hammer, handsaw, and a drill; and started making arbors out of soft maple limbs which he cut out of the woods; he also started making little benches.

He started selling his products, and a year into professional woodworking, he started earning more than his mother, who at that time was working as a prison guard.

Work over education-

Izzy quit high school and his babysitting job which he hated, to build log homes for someone in Greenville, Michigan; he built log homes for a couple of years.

Then, he returned to school, and studied for a General Educational Diploma, and also did a few courses.

In 1993, Izzy joined Arizona State University to study Construction Management, but he dropped out in 1995.

Falling in love with woodworking-

Initially, Izzy was producing fine furniture; while building log homes, he stumbled upon rustic furniture, particularly, Adirondack style furniture.

He started loving rustic furniture, after observing that producing rustic furniture allows for freedom and creativity, and isn’t restrictive as it has fewer rules, and brings in the natural world indoors along with its imperfections.

Thanks to this, Izzy fell in love with woodworking, and started designing and producing a lot of rustic furniture.

Even though he doesn’t have any formal background training in woodworking, he learnt a lot about woodworking by being an avid reader and being curious.

His inspirations-

As Izzy is a history buff, he has been inspired by the work of George Nakashima, an American woodworker, architect, and furniture maker born on 24 May 1905.

His other inspirations are Sam Maloof, a famous chair maker, and rustic artists, Barney Bellinger, and Randy Holden; in the mechanical world, he is influenced by Whitworth.

Starting a rustic furniture company-

Thanks to Izzy’s love for rustic furniture, he started a rustic furniture manufacturing company; working here taught him a lot of mechanical ability.

Initially, he started making high-end furniture with twig, birch bark, and mosaic designs, and as these were high-end furniture, they weren’t selling in many numbers.

At that time, Izzy got married, and decided to shift his focus to the mass production of furniture.

Thanks to his proficiency in designing, he showcased his designs to a few businesses, and as the businesses got interested in his designs, his business instantly became successful.

Izzy started building a lot of equipment in order to fasten the furniture manufacturing process.

He also built rustic furniture for a couple of celebrities in upstate New York.

By 2008, Izzy became very skilled at designing and building equipment, and realised that he liked building equipment more than building the furniture; so, he quit his business in 2008, and started doing process and production consulting for a variety of furniture manufacturers.

He is so skilled that he could make all the equipment that he ever produced by hand.

YouTube as a socialising tool-

On 11 May 2008, Izzy started his eponymous YouTube channel to showcase the furniture that he was designing for furniture companies; later, he took down these videos, and moved to Charleston, South Carolina.

In Charleston, as there weren’t woodworkers in his area to interact with, he started feeling bored; one of his friends suggested he publish woodworking videos onto his YouTube channel as this would help him find, and interact with other woodworkers; and he started working on his channel.

On 20 March 2013, Izzy published his first woodworking video, ‘Woodworking tips blade cleaning sharpening’; the comments on this video inspired him to continue publishing videos.

At that time, as he had a lot of free time, he started watching a lot of YouTube videos, and observed the lack of DIY videos on woodworking equipment; as he had years of experience with woodworking equipment, he started publishing interesting DIY videos, and this helped in the success of his channel.

At that time, Izzy was inspired by many YouTubers: Steve Ramsey, Marc Spagnuolo of The Wood Whisperer, Laney Shaughnessy, and Matt Vanderlist.

A successful YouTuber-

As of November 2023, Izzy has 917K subscribers on his YouTube channel; and 168K followers on Instagram.

He earns from advertisements on his videos, affiliate marketing, and sponsorships.

Izzy owns ‘Smart Future’ which works on smart cities, energy sourcing, atmospheric water condensers, etc.; he also works on product development with some engineering groups.

He also occasionally does video editing and voice over work for some companies and collects royalties on his furniture designs.

Izzy is a co-founder of ‘Makers Playground’ and has a website.

In February 2023, he retired by shutting down the production side of his business to focus on producing videos, and educational undertakings.


Izzy suffered a car accident, his six vertebrae got crushed, and he developed complications from it.

He was a power lifter for many years, and this also caused problems.

For around two decades, Izzy was suffering from spondylolisthesis, a spinal condition which causes lower back pain, and due to this, he had to be on a wheelchair.

In one of his 2019 YouTube videos, he stated that he was suffering from a grade 5 spondylolisthesis; he underwent a surgery on 14 January 2020 in which his L4-S1 were fused, and he made a recovery, and has been able to walk without any assistance.

Personal life-

Izzy was married to Danielle, and he has children.

He has been in a relationship with Maggie Ergle; they are engaged.

Izzy’s hobbies besides woodworking are metalworking, fishing, agriculture, and reading; he is also interested in the future of energy and water.

So, how are you inspired by the success story of Izzy Swan?

Share with me in the comment section below.

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Hello folks, I'm Naveen Reddy.
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