Restart: Darryl Patterson


As the world moves toward recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, we asked people in our community about a time they started over or started again.  How did they recover and re-energize themselves in those situations? Over the next several weeks, we will share the stories of their #restart.

Darryl Patterson, Owner, d. patterson design studio

Restart: Darryl Patterson

I worked for the Food and Drug Administration from 1983 to 2000. In 2000, I left the government to take a stab at running professionally.

Shortly after my 39th birthday, I was hit by a Metro bus in D.C. and fractured my hip and severed my index finger. My doctor recommended that I take up something to prevent hand atrophy, and I took up woodworking.

A few years later, friends of mine who own Middle Kingdom Porcelain asked me to go up to New York and help them at the NYNow show. From 2005 to 2012, I went up to help them at the shows twice a year. I really liked interacting with the people. It was a wonderful contrast to bureaucratic work.

“I never intended to be in this business. It was by luck of having this accident.”

I was still doing woodworking, and in 2012, they asked me to bring my cutting boards. I said absolutely not. But they asked me again and I brought my cutting boards. The rest is history.

Restart: Darryl Patterson

I never intended to be in this business. It was by luck of having this accident—it was triumph over tragedy. I eventually went back to the FDA as my day job, but I will be retiring from the government in a few years and hope to do this full time. I couldn’t ever sing a victim song.

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