My best advice to you if you are trying to produce a very nice, finished product is to enlist a cabinet man, not just a run of the mill carpenter. Being a cabinet maker myself I shudder every time I see a cabinet/furniture made by todays carpenters. A finish carpenter though is a some what different story. Hardwoods can also be a pain if you don't have some really good lumber to start with and someone that knows how to work with it.
My biggest recommendation though, since working with hardwoods can get expensive in a hurry, take your time designing them on paper first. Since you're going after a custom stand, ALL aspects of it are up to you. The height should be restricted to around where the tweeter would be at ear level with the speaker on top (for smaller speakers, my stands usually wind up being around 30 inches tall). But the base, feet, wire chases, these are all up to your own designs. Stability isn't really a problem if you keep the center of gravity in mind. The base will almost ALWAYS be the same size as the top pedestal or larger. You can also do things like weight the base internally/on the bottom too. There's no real design to keep it up right if you run straight into it though.