About Artur Moreira
Artur Moreira was born approximately 5,000 miles away in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais. Minas Gerais means “general mines” in Portuguese and it is in this vast mountainous mining region that Artur’s father, a miner worker, met his mother, a farmer’s daughter, while building a railroad for a large mining company. His parents settled in the town of Nova Era and built a house where Artur and his four siblings would be raised. With a large family to influence him, including thirty-four first cousins, Artur had two early inspirations in life – helping people in need and seeing the world. Artur’s early recollections of seeing relatives returning to Brazil from the USA and Europe left him pouring through the family’s encyclopedia, reading any book he could find on other countries, studying maps and dreaming of seeing the world. Separately, seeing his aunt, a nun in Minas Gerais, helping the poor and needy, set an example to forge values that live with him today. At age sixteen, the travel bug hatched with Artur leaving home without telling his parents and joining a traveling carnival. Setting up and operating amusement park rides throughout Brazil, Artur worked the carnival circuit covering cities and towns throughout Brazil’s 3.2 million square miles. After two years on the carnival road and enough of the Tilt-A-Whirl, with enough money saved up, Artur left Brazil for the first time at age eighteen and traveled to London where, upon landing he spoke no English and found work washing dishes and cleaning. After a two-year stay in London, now fluent in spoken English, Artur returned home to Nova Era in 1996 but he knew he would not be home for good. With the draw of the world and yearn to explore, in 1997, at the age of twenty-one, Artur Moreira landed in the USA initially staying with a relative in Elizabeth, NJ. Through contacts in the community, Artur found work installing vinyl siding working six days for $240 per week and experiencing what it was like to work outside during a typical cold New Jersey winter. The siding work continued for two years until a series of unfortunate events landed Artur homeless and living on the streets of Newark, NJ in 1999. Passing days by drinking alcohol and at a definite low point, Artur found that not only was he without a home, but one night his tools that allowed him to earn meager wages were stolen when he slept. To add insult to injury, someone also decided to urinate on Artur as he slept that same night. With his dreams disappearing, and the dire situation of no shelter, no job and no tools, Artur struggled with this daunting position never envisioning himself homeless as he came from a good middle class family in Brazil and left behind opportunities for a more structured career path and formal education. After a deep self-reflection Artur became reinvigorated and more determined than ever to make it in America with a mindset that he could never turn back. After sleeping in a parking lot for more than forty days, Artur met a local church pastor who took a chance and offered him three very-needed essentials – food, a shower and hope. Clean shaven and washed, Artur worked his way down Newark’s Ferry Street stopping at Portuguese restaurants seeking any type of employment from cleaning to dishwashing. Explaining his situation to one particular compassionate restaurant owner, Artur’s luck changed where the restaurant owner connected him to a local landlord who he thought might offer him a chance. Knocking on the landlord’s door unannounced, Artur explained his situation to the landlord that he had no money, but, if given shelter for two weeks, he would be able to pay her rent. The landlord, also a Brazilian immigrant, took a chance and let him stay. For the next two weeks, Artur worked any odd job he could and honored his word to his new landlord. By September 1999, Artur was able to re-purchase basic carpentry tools and had business cards printed that offered his services for trim carpentry. While continuing odd jobs, dishwashing and cleaning, and pursuing trim carpentry jobs Artur met a Greek-American general contractor, who like the pastor and landlord, took a chance and gave the recently homeless, unincorporated Artur Moreira a shot at some trim carpentry. With that start, Artur began an American woodworking career and never looked back. For the next two years, the business grew to a level where in 2001 Artur incorporated NJ Woodwork, signed a lease at 122 Pacific Street and equipped the present day 1,800 square foot cabinet shop. In 2005 after years of steady business growth, Arthur’s other childhood inspiration – helping those in need – took root. Since then Artur has had a philosophy and action plan for worldwide charitable endeavors.