He may be 53, but this builder/maker out of Virginia has the energy of a 6-year-old kid at Disneyland. But that’s a side effect of having a job that you love. Coming from humble beginnings, Ruben was forced to learn how to make things instead of buying them. Whether it was tinkering with bikes, making go-karts or building dog houses, Ruben was always working on something. What began as a hobby soon turned into a passion that now pays the bills.
Ruben worked in factories for 30 years, where he became an expert woodworker, fabricator and maintenance man. The money was solid, but the day-to-day grind took a toll on him. One day he literally bumped his head on a machine, which acted as a wake-up call. He needed to work for himself. Ruben turned his vision into a reality within a year and became a self-employed maker. Being a self-employed maker allows Ruben to let his artistic side shine. He is known for creating marine sculptures, furniture out of reclaimed materials, and tools to make his work easier. Never satisfied, Ruben is constantly trying to acquire new skills. Blacksmithing and woodturning are the crafts he’s currently trying to master. You’re never too old to learn.