How a Woodworking Hobby Helps This Entrepreneur Be a Better Businessman

Patrick Robinson, CEO of Paskho, finds problem-solving inspiration in the art of building.

3 min read

This story appears in the September 2019 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

As the founder of travel-clothing company Paskho, I travel a lot for work. You name the far-flung city, I’ve been there. I encounter a lot of long, sleepless nights in hotel rooms, but instead of using that extra time to pore over new clothing concepts or designs, I’m online, buying woodworking tools. 

My passion for woodworking started when I was young. Growing up in Fullerton, Calif., I liked building those wood-and-glue model airplanes, boats, and homes. I worked really hard to adapt them to make them into whatever my imagination came up with, not just what the instructions told me to do. 

My dad noticed that I had a knack for problem solving and started asking me to help him with renovation projects around the house. From there, I began creating things for myself: surfboards, benches. The scope of the projects kept evolving along with my skills and curiosity.

Today, when I’m not at the Paskho office in Manhattan, I’m at my home in upstate New York. It’s an old converted barn with a lower-level space where horses or tractors were kept decades ago. But now, it’s my workshop.

When you step inside, you’re hit with the smell of sawdust from fresh-cut mahogany I’m using to build a 1930s Runabout Barrel Back Boat. It’s surrounded by my cherished collection of handsaws and planes, mostly from a company in Maine called Lie-Nielsen Toolworks.

When I’m working in that space, I always think back to a lesson from my dad: “An opportunity will present itself.” It was his way of teaching me that in life and in work, things will never go the way you planned them. But if you keep an open mind, the solution will come to you. 

Building something from wood involves an incredible amount of problem solving, and through the years, it’s taught me patience, and a willingness to think outside the box. Now that’s how I process the world — and it’s how I run my company. Whether the task at hand is a boat or a business, I know that if I can envision it, I can build it.