New Stadium District woodworking studio hits inclusivity nail on the head


In 2018, Megan Shannon left her job as a special-education paraprofessional at Okemos Public Schools to pursue woodworking full time.

“I left the public school system, but then I really started to miss it,” she said. “I decided I was going to put the two together and teach woodworking.”

Two years ago, the lifelong Michigander began hosting classes at her home workshop in Holt. She named her one-woman business Tiny Bit of Wood.

“Within the first year, I had 300 people take my classes,” she said. “It became kind of apparent that it was going to work and be something people were interested in, so I decided I needed to move to a brick-and-mortar, which was a very intense process.”

In February, she began teaching limited weekend courses from her new, 3,056-square-foot retail shop and woodworking studio at 507 E. Shiawassee St., formerly Riverfront Cycle bike shop. The business celebrated its official grand opening last Thursday (April 4).

“When I started woodworking in 2012, it was just me by myself building stuff in a barn. It was lonely. I decided that if I didn’t really feel comfortable in the woodworking community, a lot of other people probably didn’t as well, so I opened this space for them and for me,” she said.

Her diverse course catalog includes skill-based lessons on topics like the basics of power tools and simple wood-cutting techniques, as well as project-based classes like spoon carving, birdhouse making and furniture repair. Courses are available for three age ranges: 5 to 10, 10 to 16 and “everyone else.”

“The part I’m most passionate about is offering hand-tool classes for marginalized communities. People who may not normally feel comfortable entering the field of woodworking have a place here,” Shannon said.

As far as the courses go, Shannon doesn’t have a specific suggestion on where to start.

“I would tell people to try any of them. They’re all geared toward beginners,” she said. “I recently had a grandma take a class with her grandson. She was in her 80s, but for the entire class, she was just out here enjoying herself. She ended up cutting one of the best hand-cut dovetails I’ve ever seen anyone cut on a first try. Everyone was jealous of her.”

Once things settle, Shannon plans to get back to building furniture to sell in the shop. In the meantime, she’ll have her hands full as she establishes Tiny Bit of Wood as a go-to spot for beginners to hone their skills in a craft they may not have had an opportunity to learn otherwise.

“I can’t get over the sheer diversity of people in my classes. Everyone looks different from bench to bench, and it’s fantastic,” she said. “People love it, I love it, and it’s been just as helpful for me and my mental health as it is for the community.”

Tiny Bit of Wood

507 E. Shiawassee St., Lansing

11 a.m.-6 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday

To register for classes, visit


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