Gift Cuyahoga Valley Woodworks 

Bring the Outdoors in with a Gift From Cuyahoga Valley Woodworks

Realtors Nikki Alden and Jason Weitzel are turning their love of the outdoors into beautiful, handcrafted wooden items for your home.

By Jenna Spooner and Julie Cajigas

Inspiration comes from unexpected places. 


Jason Weitzel’s came on a trip down to West Virginia to visit an old friend who milled the lumber from his trees. 

Weitzel saw the scraps and had an ah-ha moment.

“I asked him if I could take some of the live end edge that he wasn't using,” Weitzel said.
“I took them home and made a shelf, made a bench and started making people stuff for Christmas.” 


It was Weitzel’s fiancé, Nikki Alden, who saw the potential in his artistry.


“Then, Nikki suggested that we see if we can sell it,” he said.


The couple has their own story too. Cuyahoga Valley Woodworks isn’t their day job.


Alden has been a realtor for over 18 years and Weitzel recently left another career to join her.  They needed a way to help support Weitzel’s transition to a commission-based income and Alden’s suggestion seemed like a good fit.


Now, they are co-owners of downtown Akron’s Cuyahoga Valley Woodworks.


The Cuyahoga Valley Woodworks mission is to share their love of nature and help you bring the outdoors into your home with their handcrafted gifts and home decor. Both are avid outdoors people, hence the name “Cuyahoga Valley” after the region where the couple can be found hiking, biking, and kayaking regularly.


“What sets us apart is our high-quality wood,” Weitzel said. “While most of our wood is found at sawmills locally, we also love finding pieces at flea markets and sawmills in our travels - most of our wood has a story.”


In between hand crafting and selling hardwood (along with their day jobs in realty), Alden and Weitzel will be getting married this summer.


The business has brought them a deep sense of satisfaction.


“You really get out of it what you put into it,” Alden said. “It really just hits differently,” 


If the person on your list loves the outdoors, rustic décor, hardwood or supporting local artists, consider one of the following gifts, our favorites from the shop.


A Great Bottle

If someone on your list this spring is a fan of a good vintage or brew, Cuyahoga Valley Woodworks offers several options.


Perfect for picnics at Blossom Music Center or a romantic night out under the stars, they offer a unique portable wine caddy. If you’d prefer to have yours by the fire at home, they also offer wall mounted display with snow lodge vibes.


If local breweries are their favorite, consider a wall mounted bottle opener that collects the caps in a mason jar below.


Green Thumb

If your giftee has a green thumb, choose one of Cuyahoga Valley Woodworks’ one-of-a-kind plant hangers, prop stations or wooden pots. 


Our pick is one of their plant hangers that can be utilized to bring the outdoors in or to add some architectural vibes to your outdoor space.  


For the best selection of planters, you’ll have to venture a little way out of downtown Akron to Flourish Plant Market in Kent, where they feature their botanical creations.


Culinary Creative

For the chef in your family, gift a cutting board with a lapis lazuli inset. According to their website, “Our cutting boards are always hand cut from one solid piece of some of the finest hard woods and grains and finished with food safe Walrus Oil.”


Or, if your mom, dad, or grad is into the trend, a charcuterie board will be used over and over for entertaining family and friends and remind them of you each time they use it.


Interior Designer

Their shop also features bar tops, shelves, bookshelves, coffee and end tables, and more. Each piece highlights the natural beauty of the piece of wood used to create it.


Graduates will soon be ditching the inflatable furniture and dorm digs and setting up their “grown up” space. A beautiful, hardwood side table or set of shelves with upcycled hardware will stand out in their new place and their memory.


If the mom or dad you’re shopping for are from the baby boomer generation, owning furniture crafted of hardwood was often seen as more than just a luxury – it was symbolic of success and having arrived. 


Bring them that warm feeling of growing into their own with a gift of a hardwood table or bar top.


In downtown Akron, Weitzel and Alden’s artistry is available at their primary location inside of Northside Marketplace at 21 Furnace St. Their work is also available in Highland Square’s All Paths Merge, Kent’s Flourish Plant MKT, and at The Hidden Pocket in Stow.

Visit their website to see which product selections are featured in each of their locations or to reach out for something custom.


Connect with Cuyahoga Valley Woodworks on Instagram or Facebook for craft show and other announcements and events.


The ZipsGuide team also would like to say: “Congratulations on your upcoming nuptials Jason and Nikki! It’s wonderful to see you grow in your business, in realty and with one another in Akron.”

All photos courtesy of Cuyahoga Valley Woodworks.

(Above) Nikki Alden and Jason Weitzel from their realty website. (Below) A wine display/caddy.

(Above) a bottle opener that catches the bottle tops for you.  (Below) The plant wall at Flourish Plant Market in Kent.

(Above) a large charcuterie board for your favorite chef. (Below) A custom designed cooler cart that was purchased by a chef.

To reach content author Jenna Spooner,  email her here.

Downtown Akron Partnership Announces Downtown Dollars E-Gift Card Program > read more here.