Meet Your Makers.
Tidewater was founded by two neighbors with a love for high quality craftsmanship and the love of duck hunting. Jonathan Lavezzo and Brian Smith live two doors down from each other, in a old neighborhood on the banks of the ancient (and super ducky) Nansemond River in Suffolk, VA. When they aren't fishing for Striper and Redfish, they are in the Tidewater Workshop, turning out some of the best looking (and sounding) calls in the industry.
Jonathan has been working with wood and burl professionally for over 20 years, from old fashioned Tobacco Pipes to Custom Fly Rod Reel Seats, to Custom Knive Scales.
Jonathan started out in the industry after spending weekends with his grandfather, helping him fix up his 150 year old home in historic Georgetown, DC. Those were the good old days, and opened Jonathans eyes to his natural talents and inspired him to get into the industry after high school.
Through college, Jonathan ran a small scale fence company that refurbished and built new fences, including decorative trellis features he would cut with his scroll saw. Many saw the quality of his work, and before he knew it, Jonathan had a full crew of his friends working for him building and painting fences in his home town of Fairfax, VA.
Not much later, Jonathan started a full scale construction and remodeling company that specialized in custom hardwood flooring, built ins, custom tile work, and general remodeling. He specialized in older homes, because he understood old construction from the years he worked with his grandfather.
Jonathan then met a guy at a local bar one night back in the early 2000's who made tobacco pipes out of briar burl, and Jonathan was instantly hooked. This was when Moonshine Pipe Company was born. Working daily with his construction and remodeling company, then coming home and working on tobacco pipes until the wee hours of the morning was not uncommon. Soon after, Jonathan found him self jumping feet first into the tobacco pipe industry and quickly grew to the point where he could no longer keep up with the demand. Jonathan then found a company in Nashville, TN called Briarworks to help him with his production on a larger scale, and later ended up selling Moonshine Pipe Company to them. Years later, Briarworks still manufactures Moonshine Brand Pipes and continues to champion the brand into the next generation.
Jonathan had always been an avid fly fisherman, and had made custom fly rods for his friends for years before then diving head first into the industry by creating Moonshine Rod Company with his brother Nick Lavezzo. Jonathan took his deep knowledge of burl and lathe work and began creating reel seat and cork grip designs that quickly gained a lot of attention within the fly fishing industry. Starting small at first, Jonathan hand turned every single reel seat and wrapped every rod in his small shop (glorified shed) and enjoyed every minute of it. Moonshine quickly developed a cult like following which helped the brand break through the "rich guys sport" and outdated rods that were currently on the market, and revive the sport with a "blue collar" look and feel. Instead of marketing to the same old industry, they set out to create a new one that provided high quality fly fishing rods at affordable prices. He and his brother were able to do this by keeping the brand true to its roots, and putting quality before quantity on every rod they made. Moonshine Rod Company is now a staple in the industry and continues to be a very popular "little guy" brand among the fly fishing community.
Jonathan eventually settled in Suffolk, VA, just steps to the Nansemond river that runs into the Chesapeake Bay. Tidewater Company is Jonathans dream venture, giving him a creative outlet to craft some of the prettiest darn game calls you'll ever lay your eyes on. These days, if he isn't fishing the Chesapeake, or spending time with his kids and wife, you can find him in the Tidewater Workshop covered in lathe dust with a smile on his face. You can look forward to a growing list of offerings by Tidewater, and you can count on each and every creation to be made with the highest level of quality and craftsmanship available. All products are made in small batches, with many one of a kind creations that are made by hand, here in the USA... The way it should be.