North

9-year-old Whitehorse entrepreneur uses power tools to make rustic cheeseboards and pencil holders

Liam Gishler wanted money to buy a rifle and a quad, so he picked up his power tools and started his own business. 'He's a total entrepreneur,' says his mom.

Liam Gishler sent off his last product of the batch today. But he says he's not stopping

Liam Gishler got his first tool belt at age five. He recently started using the 'big deal' chop saw under his mother's supervision. (submitted by Ellen Thomas)

Do you remember the junior block king of Whitehorse?

Turns out Huxley Briggs, the little block-making entrepreneur, provided the inspiration for his close buddy, Liam Gishler, to pick up his power tools and start his own business.

Nine-year-old Liam makes rustic pencil crayon holders, wooden candle holders and cheese boards.

Liam at a Christmas bazaar, selling his woodwork. He said he wants to save up to buy a rifle to compete in a biathlon. (submitted by Ellen Thomas)

He's always been a businessman, says his mother Ellen Thomas. His first business was selling candy to his friends from an old Apple computer box. He made $50 from that.

"After that, he had concessions stands made out of some ice towers we used to have, and he made $400 that season. He's a total entrepreneur."

The two young businessmen live just down the street from each other.

"Huxley's probably my best friend," says Liam. The boys do a lot of fishing and hunting together in Huxley's "new, big boat" says Liam.

Using tool kits since the age of 5 

The family transformed an old office in the house into a woodworking space.

"It's Liam's workshop," says Ellen, a mother of five, who says Liam is the most handy out of all her kids.

Liam was inspired by his friend Huxley Briggs who runs his own block-making business just down the street. (submitted by Ellen Thomas)

Liam first picked up a tool when he was five years old.

"We gave him his first tool belt when he was five. It was a hammer and screwdriver set. And he would go off and we used to give him this huge log and he would spend hours hammering nails into this huge log," says Ellen. "He was really good at it."

Eventually, Liam moved on to drills and electric screwdrivers. Then most recently, he says he got to try his "big deal" machine.

"I just got to use the chop saw," he enthused.

Ellen says she's not worried about him in the workshop, especially under her supervision.

Liam's creativity 'is awesome,' says his mother, Ellen Thomson. (submitted by Ellen Thomas)

"Liam's always been good with his head and has refined motor skills," she says. "He's very cautious."

She says she wouldn't let her other children use the tools, even when they are the same age as Liam when he first started.

"He's dyslexic, so he has a hard time with reading and writing. But he comes in the shop, and his creativity is awesome."

Saving up for a gun and a quad

Liam's into biathlon — an Olympic winter sport that combines cross-country skiing and rifle shooting at targets around 50 metres away.

It's been a year since he started and now Liam wants to buy his own .22 semi-automatic rifle to compete.  

"I said that he could do that as long as he saved up the money himself," says Ellen. "And so he did. He got working away."

Some of Liam's creations for sale. (submitted by Ellen Thomas)

He's already made enough for the rifle. Now Liam said he's saving up for a quad.

Liam sells his creations through a Whitehorse classifieds page on Facebook.

And his products are a hot commodity, says his mom. He's made $258 so far this season and sent off his last product in the mail today.

"That's not the last. I'm still making them," says Liam.

with files from Dave White

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