“This is what I gotta do.”

I’m Nick Landriault, a craftsman woodworker, designer and builder with a background in engineering and manufacturing. My mom was also an artist, designer and builder. She loved woodworking. And the story of Built for Life starts with her.

In 2016, my mom was diagnosed with cancer. She was only 59 years old but would live only another 10 months. She needed around-the-clock care. Those intense months of caring for her were life changing. It became very clear, very quickly, what was important in life and what wasn’t.

After she passed, I knew I needed to make a change. I wanted to spend my time doing something I love and having a positive impact on the world. I tried a couple different things before focusing in on what made me happy: woodworking.

There’s a thrill that comes from working with my hands to create something of beauty, to get it just right. The journey of taking a raw, natural material such as wood and skillfully crafting it into a highly personalized piece of art is exhilarating.

So I focused on my passion, building a complete workshop and deepening my experience in woodcraft. And one day, I saw an opportunity to put those skills to a greater purpose: the West Island Cancer Wellness Centre (an institution that was very supportive of my mom and family during that difficult time) needed 15 new beds for their wellness retreat up north. I donated my labour and raised the money to cover the material costs. I knew instantly that this was where I could make a difference.

The idea behind Built for Life Woodworking is simple: Create beauty in the world. Spread love. Improve life. That’s why 25% of the proceeds from every piece made in my workshop goes to charity.

Woodworking has helped me to grieve my mom. I think about her every time I’m in my workshop; her inspiration is in every project I do. She would love to see what I’m doing. I would love to show her.