Woodworking with heart

Woodworking with heart

Working out of his basement and garage in Loyalsock Township, Josh Mozug, owner and driving force behind Mozug Custom Woodworking, creates wooden masterpieces for companies, couples, kids, musicians and, recently, Dwell Orphan Care, a local organization that’s mission and values closely align with Mozug’s.

“(Woodworking) was a way to stay afloat at the roughest time period of my life, and it’s turned into my full-time gig,” said Mozug, who has been churning out nonprofit and brand promotional items, as well as personalized anniversary signs, name puzzles, CD cases, limited-edition band merchandise, magnets, coasters and engraved wooden nickels, just to name a few, since 2015.

Driving through residential Loyalsock after the sun sets, one can hear the faint hum of an industrial exhaust fan or two venting Mozug’s freshly engraved projects.

Despite their sizes, neither exhaust is very loud, and night affords Mozug time to work on his craft after a long day of preparation, said Mozug.

“Being a night owl is very convenient … so the work itself doesn’t conflict with family time very often,” said Mozug. Though his woodworking is often intricate and sometimes tedious, he does not allow his successful business to get in the way of spending time with the people he cares about.

It’s not all late nights at his laser engraver for Mozug, though. In addition to his business, Mozug is a work-from-home father to his 7-month-old daughter, Evelyn. And on top of that, Mozug frequently hosts concerts in his house for local and traveling bands, all of which see him as a dear friend, said Mozug.

“I really believe that people matter … so anything that brings people together, whether it’s a house show concert or a game night — I really care about people and their stories,” said Mozug.

This love of people, paired with his artistic skills, has given Mozug the opportunity to partner with Dwell Orphan Care, a Williamsport-based nonprofit founded to support foster and adoptive families in Lycoming County. Dwell Orphan Care works to ensure that every child has a safe, loving forever home in which to dwell, said Mozug.

The organization actively and passionately shows their commitment to children by hosting care groups for foster and adoptive moms, gifting birthday boxes to Lycoming County children, putting together and donating family care packages, awarding adoption scholarships and providing trauma informed training opportunities, said Mozug.

Though the idea for Dwell Orphan Care has been in founder Jennifer Lake’s mind for a year and a half, the organization’s physical launch happened in January 2019. In their short time, Dwell has already assisted one family that adopted two boys by providing a care package, said Lake.

Dwell Orphan Care’s mission not only speaks to Mozug, it hits close to home — and reminds him of his welcoming parents and his childhood.

“(My parents) were actively opening their home to invite people who didn’t have that strong family dynamic to join us for meals and to experience life together,” said Mozug. Attending any of the get-togethers Mozug hosts, one can see his parents’ generosity is still strong in him — people of all backgrounds talking, laughing, sharing meals and bonding over homegrown music and poetry.

Mozug also attributes his desire to do things himself and to problem-solve to his parents.

“My dad has been handy with house repairs as long as I can remember,” said Mozug. In a way, Mozug is continuing his parents’ self-sufficient and helpful legacy every day by reaching out to those in need.

“Over the years, I’ve wanted to get involved with an organization caring for orphaned children,” said Mozug, who got his opportunity from a Dwell Orphan Care birthday boxes Facebook post, looking for local businesses to contribute.

“It was just the type of partnership I was looking for,” said Mozug. “I’ll be making items … collaborating with several artists who will be contributing graphics to be engraved and cut out,” said Mozug.

Mozug is looking forward to this opportunity and seeing his Excel spreadsheet of proposed designs come to life.

“There’s something particularly gratifying about making something tangible. I love the fact that I can continually alter my creative process to be more efficient and make a better product,” said Mozug.

Lake and Dwell are excited to be working with Mozug.

“His heart for the foster and adoptive population is so evident — love that he’s using his gift and talents to bless other people in that way,” said Lake.

“It’s my hope to help make each child’s birthday special by reminding them that they are important, that they are thought about, that they matter,” said Mozug.