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Meet Terrence O’Rourke of TKO Structure in West Los Angeles

Today we’d like to introduce you to Terrence O’Rourke.

Terrence, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I was first introduced to woodworking through my grandfather, an avid hobbyist who let me help with his various weekend projects in his garage/wood shop. Although the projects were simple, and the tasks I was allowed to perform were basic and rudimentary, it instilled in me a love of working with my hands. I later enrolled in shop classes in middle school where I learned formal applications and techniques of various crafts.

Eventually, I studied at Otis LA and then graduated from Parsons NYC with a degree in design.

I moved back to LA a few years later, and opened my first wood shop in the Brewery Arts complex, near downtown.

Much of the inspiration for my early work came from my love of the Arts & Crafts Movement, with its unabashed adherence to solid design and workmanship. Masters of the style, Gustav Stickley and Greene & Greene were of particular influence.

I began by making small pieces of furniture, concentrating on joinery techniques that would add structural integrity as well as beauty.

One day, a client requested an entry gate to their home. It later caught the eye of their landscape designer. This led to more exterior woodworking projects. Eventually, I got my contractor’s license so that I could undertake ever larger and more architecturally challenging constructions. Thus, TKO Structures was born in 2007.

My current shop now incorporates steel work, along with woodwork, and is located in West LA.

There is an innate reward from being at the heart of a process in which an assortment of materials is designed and then forged into a handsome, functioning and pleasurable addition to someone’s life and surroundings

It is to that end, that I am compelled. To follow a simple philosophy that states; the secret to enjoying your work is a dedication to excellence. For, by doing something well, is to bring joy to others as well as to oneself.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I think the old English proverb; “A smooth sea, never made a skillful sailor’’ is apt in much of life, and my business journey is no exception.

I started this business as a side venture really, more as a hobby as I wanted to make pieces of furniture/furnishings for myself. But in doing so, I started to take on small custom requests and then eventually put pieces on consignment in some stores. Eventually it morphed into a real business. but I had no road map or mentor to show me the best way to grow and/or how to avoid pitfalls. Needless to say, a lot of ‘trial and error’ ensued. But, with a determination to persevere, I’ve managed to learn from many of my mistakes, and as a result, I believe it has made me smarter, more confident and more creative.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
We’re a Design + Build outfit. We take projects from concept through design and planning all the way to final on-site installation. In so doing, we’ve managed to carve out a solid niche in the Los Angeles home improvement market focusing on elements of landscape architecture; specifically, arbors and pergolas, fences, gates, decks, etc.

Being specialists in outdoor construction has allowed us a better understand of the unique challenges structures are put under when constantly exposed to the elements. This knowledge has allowed us to hone the details of our unique craft and ultimately provide a better product.

I was also an early adopter to the internet, and created my first website during a slow period. It proved to be a smart move. About two months after the launch, we got a request for a bid. We interviewed for and then won a prestigious contract to design and build a one-of-a-kind rooftop deck for Rios Clementi Hale Studios for the estate of Stewart and Lynda Resnick on Sunset Blvd.

To this day, we are still pretty much first page on any Google search for the type of work we do in Los Angeles.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
T.K. O’Rourke

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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