Veteran Feature: Hunter Haisten

Written by: Brady Drake

Haisten Wood Working
Years of service: 8 and counting
Branch: United States Air Force

What is your story?

I am from Wetumpka, Alabama. I am a military brat — my father was a 24-year Master Sergeant in the United States Air Force. I have lived in Florida, Guam, Alabama and Alaska.

I joined the United States Air Force in 2014 and was stationed in Fairbanks, Alaska for three years. I am still serving, but in 2017, I moved to Grand Forks, North Dakota and started Haisten Wood Working.

What led you to military service?

My father inspired me and I had a strong desire to serve my country and the local community.

What inspires your art?

My family and my love to serve my community/county with a quality product that will last Woodworking brings me peace and challenges my mind to bring new ideas to processes.

What special techniques do you see?

Epoxy and a multitude of hand tools. We also use laser and CNC machines.

How did you learn to Woodwork?

I taught myself everything that I know about woodworking. In doing this as a hobby and business, I have gained a lot of input from my mentor Mr. Joe Travis, Owner of Sawdust Designs.

What skills that you learned in your military service do you use most in your business career?

Effective communication, how to find a way through adversity, keys to financial stability, marketing, the drive for self-improvement in all projects and jobs and a desire to support and advertise for local veteran groups to support awareness.

Would you have been able to start a business without your military experience?

Yes, I love to woodwork and create things with my hands. My motto has always been. “why buy it when I can build it.”

What words of encouragement do you have for a fellow veteran nervous about taking the plunge into entrepreneurship — or maybe a veteran who started a business and is struggling?

Keep pushing forward and find the reason why you do what you do on a daily basis, focus and be persistent. the market may not move the way you wanted it to but provide a service or a product that cannot be beaten by any competitor.

Many veterans struggle with finding a sense of purpose when reintegrating into the civilian world. How can getting involved in the business community help with that reintegration process?

Reach out to other local veteran groups and advertise your interest to the community. There’s always someone looking to try a new hobby or find something that is new and challenging incorporate new people into your life and absorb all new ideas, stay flexible and true to your passion.

What are some things you would’ve done differently with your business career if given a second chance?

I’d be more open to new ideas and projects and not be scared to try something challenging. I’d try to better take constructive criticism and appreciate all the little compliments I have gotten on my work rather than focusing on the smallest unnoticed flaws.

Facebook: /haistenwoodworking
Instagram: haisten_woodworking

Share This Article
Brady is the Editorial Director at Spotlight Media in Fargo, ND.