Sarah Grinter, the “S.G.” in S.G. Woodworks, was born in Niskayuna, New York and moved to Virginia, with her parents, in 1980. Her mother, an English teacher and personal mentor, always encouraged Sarah's artistic endeavors. Her father, a retired mechanical engineer, nurtured her problem solving skills, ingenuity, and interest in exploring abandoned buildings. Their support and influence led Sarah to pursue a Bachelors of Fine Arts with a focus in furniture construction from Richmond's Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU).
During her college years, she studied under many well known woodworkers, attending workshops at the prestigious Peters Valley School of Craft in Layton, NJ. In those days, she was often seen in the alleys around campus, picking up discarded furniture in order to bring them back to life, a passtime she still enjoys today.
After working in a local upholstery shop for four years, she was encouraged to start her own furniture restoration company. Coming from a long line of Sicilian business owners, this idea seemed only natural and thus S.G. Woodworks came to be. Originally established in a spare bedroom of the house she shares with her musician/schoolteacher husband, S.G. Woodworks quickly out grew the limited space of the bedroom. The company relocated to a carriage house in Oregon Hill in 2006, and moved to Fulton Hill in 2010. In 2017, SGW expanded to a storefront in Lakeside.
As an ever-learning craftsman, Sarah continually seeks growth opportunities: learning new furniture restoration techniques and studying other artists' processes. She enjoys spending her spare time goofing off with her two year old daughter, drawing designs for furniture and clothing, paddling on the James River with her hubby, and trying out new recipes with friends.
Erin Till, co-owner of S.G. Woodworks, comes from an eclectic and worldly background. As the only child of eccentric, entrepreneurial parents from Dallas, TX; Erin grew up traveling the world, spending time in some of the world's most renowned museums and cultural centers. In her childhood, she lived in Prague and later Paris where she graduated from the American School of Paris.
This early exposure to art and culture ignited a spark of creativity that has been the common thread in her adult life. Erin produced her first published work in her teens, an article for Elle Girl Magazine. She returned to the states and attended the University of California at Irvine to earn her Bachelor's of Arts in English Literature. She worked for several years at Quinn's Auction Galleries in Falls Church, Virginia as a Senior Sales Associate specializing in modern furniture, textiles, and luxury accessories. She has also attended the renowned Venice Biennale where she gained exposure to what was happening at the very top of the contemporary art world.
Love drew Erin to the Richmond area in 2014. In April of that year, she began working with Sarah Grinter. What began as a work-trade agreement for studio space, quickly grew into a business partnership. As Erin shared the space with Sarah, she was impressed by Sarah's technical knowledge and skill. Sarah's passion for restoring beautiful and beloved pieces fit perfectly with Erin's love of history and material culture. They began collaborating on a few projects here and there and found that they worked well together. In 2016, Erin was brought on board as a partner at S.G. Woodworks.
When Erin is not in the studio, she serves on the board of RVA Makers, collects Scandinanvian modern furniture, and hosts listening parties. Occasionally, she is seen on her bike late at night on the streets of Richmond, lit up like a firework.