Helicopter pilot's woodworking hobby whirrs into family business
May 17, 2013
KILLEEN, Texas -- For one Soldier, a woodworking hobby has branched into a family customized crafts business with the motto, "You imagine it, we make it."
The "B" in B&K Pens and Crafts is for the 166th Aviation Brigade's Chief Warrant Officer 4 Bill Noyer, while the "K" is for his 21-year-old son Kyle.
After 28 years serving the Army, the aviation materiel officer plans to hang his hat and join Kyle and his other 11-year-old son Billy full time, while hoping to expand their business outside of their home garage.
Bill and his sons seem like jacks-of-all-trades.
"It's in the blood," he said.
A visit to the Noyer family's business website shows the hidden secret of its inception: "We are a family-owned business that started in the summer of 2008 because my son didn't want to cut grass, because it was so 'overdone.'"
With a grandfather as a retired cabinetmaker, and a father who seemingly "could fix anything," Bill grew up doing woodwork from a very early age.
The Black Hawk helicopter pilot also strives to balance the demands of an Army eight- to 10-hour work-day against his duties as Youth Pastor at his church.
While a loving and doting father to six children and a working wife, he also manages putting in two or three hours each night, as well as weekends, to create and refine wood projects.
The large garage that is his woodshop holds a prized laser engraver, a job previously outsourced. Walls and countertops contain the tools of the trade that make his custom woodwork and various other crafts come to life.
The family pride rests on quality, so the art design phase is the most tedious.
"The woodwork is the easy part," he said. "The graphics are more of a challenge." So, graphics is where sons Kyle and Billy step in to help design the crisp and artistic images their business is quickly becoming known for.
"The level of detail we get from the laser makes the effort worthwhile," they both assured.
They laser will engrave just about anything. Bill and Kyle can spout off materials and items left and right that the laser will penetrate, like guns, knives, cell phone cases, dog tags, lighters, key chains, mugs, desk plaques, granite, delicate ornaments, and of course wood, just to name a few.
"The list is never ending," said Kyle.
His largest clientele to date is his own 166th Aviation Brigade. In fact, Bill has created the Brigade standard for plaques, and his colleagues are his loyal customers having him design emblems with their First Army patch and brigade motto, "Wings of the West."
Word-of-mouth and facebook have become the strongest advertising avenues, and he hopes to eventually support both military and non-military with custom gift ideas.