Some people retire and vow to take it easy. Others retire and end up working more than ever.
Shel Myeroff of Bainbridge Township is one of the latter.
Myeroff, founder of Direct Recruiters in Solon, retired six months ago after 38 years with the technology recruiting company. Not one to sit still, he immediately forged a second career where he’s working 50 to 60 hours per week at his new business, Chagrin Valley Custom Furniture in Warrensville Heights.
“Don’t retire – it won’t work,” he said. “You can still be partly retired and have a great little career. Have a passion, have a goal, have a hobby – have something you do with passion, where you want to be better at it every day. That’s what I do and that’s what keeps me healthy. Reinvent yourself, that’s the key. Don’t stop moving.”
Myeroff began laying the groundwork for life after retirement 20 years ago after wandering into a woodworking shop while his wife shopped at a nearby store.
“I came out a new man,” he said. “When I saw all the nice things that I could make woodworking, I said, ‘I’m going to do this.’”
Today, the 64-year-old and his three employees craft each custom piece of rustic wooden furniture by hand. He described his furniture as being completely different from anything that can be found in a store.
“It’s very personal,” Myeroff said. “I’m really involved with (the customers) and their lives. How do they want to feel about this furniture? What do they want it to look like? What do they want other people to see? It’s a very emotional thing for a lot of people.”
Myeroff said his specialties are sliding interior barn doors, which range in price from $1,300 to $1,800 per door. Made from reclaimed, century-old barn wood, he said the doors take about a week to make while other pieces can take anywhere from 30 to 90 days.
While his two careers are different, Myeroff said a similarity is they both incorporate something he loves – teaching. He said he enjoys training employees to be better at their jobs and teaching customers about furniture making.
“In my recruiting firm, I trained tens and twenties and maybe hundreds of people on how to have productive lives, be a great employee and make money,” Myeroff said. “I love to teach. Here at (Chagrin Valley Custom Furniture), I get to teach.”
Tess Kazdin is the Violet Spevack Editorial Intern at the Cleveland Jewish News