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Perseverance lands WV woodworking business on ‘Property Brothers’ show

Doug Gerwig said when he sets his sights on a goal, he does whatever it takes to make it to the top.

That attitude, along with hard work and determination, is what landed Gerwig and Bobby Gunnoe, co-owners of G2 Handwerker Designs, a place on the show “Property Brothers: Forever Home” on HGTV.

“Tell me I can’t do something, and then give me a little bit of time,” Gerwig said. “I will figure out a way to do it.”

Gerwig and Gunnoe started the woodworking business at the start of 2020 in Summersville, West Virginia. Soon after, Gerwig started reaching out to various shows and hosts on the Food Network, such as restaurateur Guy Fieri and chef Bobby Flay, offering to create a custom cutting board for free to use on the shows.  

A response from the Food Network never came, but Gerwig and Gunnoe did not let it deter them. Instead, they pitched their products to the Forever Home series. It did not take long to get a response, with network approval following closely behind.

Gerwig and Gunnoe have since designed three unique pieces for the show, including a black walnut dining table, a red oak dining table and a wooden stage. In return for the handmade pieces they provide to the show, their work is advertised to millions of viewers.

“Another beautiful thing is they actually get to keep the furniture,” Gunnoe said. “On a lot of these shows you see, they rent the furniture and then they take it back out. They don’t do that on this show, which is great.”

The projects they have put together for the show have taken anywhere from 10 to 150 hours to complete. To avoid any possible mishaps during the transportation process, they have driven across the country twice to deliver the pieces.

When Gunnoe and Gerwig saw the hours of work displayed on television for the first time, they agreed the feeling was indescribable. 

“You couldn’t help but have that sheepish, child-like grin on your face when you saw it come up on the screen,” Gerwig said. 

Running the business may sound like a full-time job, but it is actually only a side-gig for both of them. When they are not in the shop, Gerwig works full-time as a general contractor, and Gunnoe as a nursing supervisor at the Summersville Regional Medical Center. 

With one working in the health care industry and the other in construction, their paths were unlikely to cross, but they met when their daughters attended school together. 

The idea of starting a business together was sparked when Gerwig and his father gifted a hand-made wooden shadow box to hold Gunnoe’s Purple Heart he earned during his time in the airborne infantry. The intricate design of the box sparked a conversation between the two about their love for woodworking. 

Although their business was started relatively recently, Gerwig and Gunnoe both have a long history in woodworking. 

Gunnoe grew up in southern West Virginia, where he said he was always taught to do things himself. This included using woodworking to build many of the things his family needed.

“I’ve always had an interest and always had a love for just the beauty of and the intricacy of wood,” Gunnoe said. “Everything you make is unique, every grain is different.” 

Gerwig said his family has been able to trace their history back hundreds of years, including about 200 years of history in the United States. He said his family tree is made up of generation upon generation of cabinet builders and furniture makers. 

Growing up, Gerwig was not particularly interested in woodworking, but he said most of his free time was spent learning about it from his father. 

“If I wasn’t in school and I wasn’t playing baseball, he took me to work and taught me what I needed to know,” he said. 

Gunnoe said having their work featured on the show has opened several doors for their company, including the opportunity to work with well-known interior design companies such as  Mark Epstein Design in New York City. Although they have accomplished a lot over the past year, Gerwig and Gunnoe’s time in the spotlight is not over, as the network has already signed them on for another season of the show. 

“We may build five things or we may build nothing, but that’s fine,” Gunnoe said. “It’s opened a lot of doors for us.”