Dad to Amber & Erin. Husband to Tatiana. Home cook. Sugar Land craftsman, sculptor and painter. Owner and president–Houston Honey Do.
FROM THE HORSES’ MOUTH
“When I was a kid, I wanted to work with my hands. My dad would take me to construction sites to pick through the debris pile for useful pieces of wood. In our backyard, on the patio, I had an on-going project of different shapes and pieces affixed together, with masking tape mending it all. I knew way back then that I need to be creative. And I eventually learned that I needed my own venue for creative expression–it just took an extra 20 years to figure it out.
Enter college. A degree was supposed to be the answer to, well, everything, when you grew up middle-lower-class. 8 years of higher-education spread over a 12 year span with four degrees to mark my progress–the last of which, an MBA in 2003–would be the accomplishments that would ensure my place in the landscape of working American. Money and happiness were on the horizon.
And yet, I didn’t fit. I used to joke with my mother when I was in my teens that I was born in the wrong century. I was a generalist in a specialized world; where do I belong? I eventually created the venue and venture, that place for myself, first as a metal fabricator and sculpture several decades ago [Earthtones by d.p.Etlinger] and now with a home repair service–Houston Honey Do.”
A BIT OF BACKGROUND
A native Texan, originally from the tiny Texas town of Moulton–d.p. spent most of his youth and college years in Victoria, TX. With the “BIG CITY” calling his name in the late 90’s, d.p. moved to Houston in 1998.
Rather than big city dreams–the experience was more like an endless struggle–not quite what he had hoped for or expected! Persistence being one of his better traits, though maybe not wisdom, he opted for self employment, as a sculptor, in the Fall of 2001, after losing a job while in the midst of graduate school.
Darren established Earthtones by d.p.Etlinger–Sculpture |Functional Metal Art | Metal Furniture & Accessories as a means for creative expression and a means to an end! From 2001-2005, he lived and operated from his warehouse studio located in the 5th ward, just on the outskirts of downtown Houston (near the current St. Arnold’s Brewery). In 2005, struggling as most do as an artist, d.p. left the studio life and began, again, doing other gigs in search of his next venture.
Tired of waiting to see if a contract job would turn into an “employee” relationship with a Houston based manufacturer of oil exploration cables, d.p. ventured out on his own once more, officially opening Houston Honey Do in the Fall of 2007–first as a DBA and then as an LLC under the name Handy Honey, LLC in 2009.
He has since owned and operated Houston Honey Do.
CAREER & WORK EXPERIENCE
From grocery carry-out to insurance sales representative; manufacturing project coordinator to book seller; and lean-implementation coordinator to inventory manager–Darren has accrued a breadth of experience that is wholly unexpected in his short lifetime–a range of experience that serves his customers well.
On September 11, 2011, Tatiana Manrique and Darren were married in Villa de Leyva, Colombia [yes, the ten year anniversary; and no, it wasn’t on purpose]. Photos from the wedding are posted HERE.
They have two lovely young girls, Amber Lucia (2012) and Erin Emilia (2016). They reside in Sugar Land, Texas.