After a Devastating Fire, ‘the Black Lumberjack’ Forges Ahead

While he now has a staff of four, his business began as a one-man show.

“Mount Vernon is a predominantly black neighborhood, and with black culture, sometimes the strangest things earn you a nickname, so the people became familiar with me and started calling me ‘the black lumberjack,’” Mr. Rising said.

The nickname initially was a concern, but when Mr. Rising realized he could market it, he bought the domain, printed the web address on shirts and hired an artist to paint the name on a shipping container in the yard he works out of in Hartsdale, northeast of Yonkers.

The yard, at least for now, has been Mr. Rising’s makeshift work space since Jan. 30, when a fire tore through the warehouse where his shop was. The warehouse was part of the Alexander Smith and Sons Carpet Mills complex, which housed workshops for artists, woodworkers and cabinet makers.


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