DECEMBER BUSINESS: Royal Ironworks
Royal Ironworks began as a hobby.
Richard Queen was living in California, working in sales and marketing, a single parent who needed a job that would accommodate his family responsibilities. He’d been attracted to ironwork for a while—the process of creating something unique—and it led him to an apprenticeship with one of the most renowned blacksmiths on the West Coast.
“People would see things I’d made and tell me, ‘That’s great, you should sell it,’” he recalls. “One day I just decided to do it.”
He began Royal Ironworks in California in 1999, and continued after relocating to Oklahoma in 2008. From his shop in Edmond, Queen and his crew create and manufacture ornamental iron for new home construction, historical restoration and other projects throughout Oklahoma. He specializes in staircase rails, gates, and at this time of year, fireplace doors are a large segment of his market.
One of the most important aspects of Queen’s business is that each piece is custom designed and built. Everything he creates is distinctive.
“We make everything custom,” he says. “A lot of people can build staircase rails, but very few of them have the ability to custom-create unique things. A lady brought me a picture of some iron work she’d seen in Europe and asked, ‘Can you do this?’ I told her I could. That’s not something you can get out of a catalogue.”
Royal Ironworks serves not only homeowners, but also builders and interior designers. Queen’s work has been featured on HGTV’s “Bath and Kitchen Expo” and in Architectural Digest.
With new home construction still on the rise in Oklahoma, Queen’s business is thriving. He takes pride in offering one-of-a-kind designs and quality service and construction to both residential and commercial clients. But for Queen, the most satisfying part of the hobby that evolved into his life’s work is being able to point to something physical, something tangible, that he created and that is completely original.
“It’s a great feeling to go back and point to a project you worked on and say, ‘I made that,’” he observes. “I love being able to build things that will make people happy.”
For more information about Royal Ironworks, call 471-3470, or visit www.royalironworks.com.