Tommy Lyon’s handcrafted cedar walls don’t close him—they’re a bridge.

From unemployment in the oil and gas world, Lyon took a step into something new.

“This really saved me,” Lyon says. “Kind of a way to express myself. Couldn’t really do that in oil and gas.”

Lyon lost his job as an engineering tech where he worked on tools for a drilling company.

“We used to have so much, and now it’s just all gone,” he says.

Like thousands of others in Houston, Lyon needed a new plan to provide for his wife and two daughters. So he became a one-man business: Southern Cedar Accents, where he builds custom paneling for any room.

“People are just doing what they have to do to survive. You can’t just sit back,” Lyon says.

And business is good.

“If this keeps going the way it’s going, then I might have found a new career,” he says.