The Wiles opened their cabinet shop in early 1969 at the present location across from the Highland High School. Kenneth Wiles worked for Chuck Holden in the early 1960s, a time when Cherokee Village was just beginning and the housing market was great in the area. Many northerners were retiring and leaving the hassle of the big city for the peace and tranquility of the Ozarks. Holden's Lumber was one of the primary suppliers of building materials for contractors in the area and while working for Holdens, Wiles learned to build cabinets. After he built his first set, Wiles knew it was something he loved and also discovered he would like to be his own boss. This love for building cabinets slowly evolved into the reputable business that he and his son's, Richard and Robert, own as a partnership, over 40 years later.
Wiles wife Mary said she thinks that main thing that has kept them in business throughout the years is the quality of their work. She said her husband is a perfectionist. She said there are times when he could have made more money, but she said, if he ever misquoted a job to a customer, he would not go up on the price. His pride in his workmanship is something that Wiles has passed on to his sons. She said her husband worked hard night and day to have the successful business. She said in the 1970s they added on a warehouse to their wood shop to hold their growing post form top business. She said these custom tops are something they specialize in, because they keep many in stock.
Wiles' sons graduated in 1982, then Richard went into the Army and Robert to the Navy. After serving their country, the boys came back to Highland and worked with their dad as partners in the cabinet shop. She said now they do most of the work in the shop, but she doesn't see Kenneth letting go very easily.
Wiles said their business had humble beginnings but they were very blessed during the tornado of 2008. She said the building was barely damaged despite the massive damage to nearby homes and businesses.
Wiles laughed as she compared the birch cabinets with butcher block tops of the early years in business to the modern "pieces of furniture" of today. She said there are so many options for cabinets. Without a doubt the quality and craftsmanship makes Wiles one of the most reputable cabinet makers in the area.
This family owned business has survived four decades and the wood working skills Kenneth Wiles taught his sons will be a part of many homes in the area for decades to come.