Ali and Maya
Ali Khushub Collection.
I grew up in Paducah, KY, cutting tobacco, stripping corn, raising dogs, building doghouses, pretty much anything that has to do with running a farm. I also spent a lot of time in foster care, which drives me to give back.
My wife, Maya, grew up in Louisville taking care of her disabled veteran father. Because of that they were the poorest family on the block. To pitch in, she was a full-time high school student with a full-time job at Steak ‘n Shake.
We met in 2013 when we were living in the same neighborhood. We both have a deep commitment to our community and our neighbors. Together we volunteer for a variety of causes, including affordable housing issues, and are always available to our neighbors in need. We’re proud that we have gotten four young people in our neighborhood back in school.
We balance each other out. Where I’m really intense, driven and outgoing, she’s more focused, organized and detail-oriented. What we have in common is that we love fashion and we love the earth. We also both come from families that do hands-on work.
This dream started when we were in school for Historic Restoration and Preservation at the Samuel Plato Academy, a part of Jefferson Community and Technical College. We saw how much wood was being thrown away and had this idea that we could put our all into. We restored buildings and SAVED everything we could. Thus the Ali Khushub Collection was conceived.
We started off making chessboards and cutting boards and quickly moved to the fashion scene, using equipment provided by our school.
As we branch out on our own, we will be going to historic building sites either being restored to their original integrity or deconstructed to their demise, and pulling the wood that would have gone to the dumpster. We will use historic woods to make hats with wooden brims, sunglasses, earrings, bow-ties, watches, rings, cuff links and more, all out of historic buildings either being restored or unfortunately torn down or deconstructed and lost.
What we do is a lot of hard work and time consuming, but worth every minute.
We take the wood and clean it and cut it to usable wood. Once that process is done we will use a CAD program that has all of our designs partnered with a CNC machine to cut out our final project. Then we will box the products up and send them with a picture of the house or building it came from with a brief history behind it, with the picture frame also made from the same historic site. Our community college is providing work space and guidance as we grow.
We started this business out of passion for history, our obsession with art, and our training and knowledge in the field of historic restoration and preservation. With your help we will be able to get what we need and reach the goals we have set, save trees, reduce waste, preserve history, and give someone something everybody will be asking them about.
This loan will enable us to buy a “makership” at LVL1 – Louisville’s hackerspace. There we can use CAD and CNC tools 24/7 and get support from experts.
We’ll also buy the equipment we need to deconstruct buildings and salvage wood. This is a representative list:
Makerspace membership ($50/mo. for 1 year) $600
Gas-powered portable generator $300
Self-retracting lifeline $150
Magnetic sweeper $60
Moisture meter $25
Half mask respirators $50
Nail Kicker nail remover $500
Posthole digger $200
Wrench set $80
Wrecker bar $100
Wrecker’s adze $100
Miscellaneous supplies (Tyvek suits, level, padlock, tie down straps, work lamps, plastic buckets, tarps, crowbars, dust pan, bolt cutter, etc.)
With this equipment we can turn free salvaged wood from historic homes into fashionable accessories. It will be our lifeline, the fuel that runs our company!
A loan of $5,000 helps me to buy the equipment we need to salvage historic wood and launch our line of wooden accessories.