Week of Inspiration :: Day 3 :: A one woman powerhouse

Photo credits: Ann Wood Handmade
I'll probably eat my own words in the future, but since the beginning of twigs & honey until now, I've felt that it was important for myself to keep the business smaller in scale. And by that, I mean that I felt that it was important for me to create each piece. As many of you know, I've loved the work of Ann Wood Handmade. I was in awe of her work while planning our wedding and completely taken by her little birds. As time went on, I continued reading her blog and it was wonderful to get a glimpse of the behind-the-scenes work. She was so inspiring. Ann has such a talent for creating unique, one of a kind pieces. I would love to pick her brain one day! Even though she had so much more demand for her pieces than there was enough time in the day for her to sew, she continued to handcraft each and every single piece. There was something magical about this to me and I've made it a point to follow in her lead. I actually have 3 of her birds now (which were not easy to come by!), and it really means something to me to know that this fantastic woman on the other side of the continent hand cut and hand sewed these birds, two of which sat on our wedding cake and made it into Portland Bride & Groom magazine. As I read her blog, I took mental notes and have even had a couple email exchanges with her. She is nothing short of the sweetest lady around and was ultra supportive of me when I had mentioned the idea of starting twigs & honey. After time went on with twigs & honey, I felt like so many of the topics she wrote about, I went through with the biz.

On top of her talents, I personally believe she is very budget friendly. If you own one of her birds, you know the craftsmanship that goes into each and every bird. Every stich is just perfect and each tiny little eye is placed just so. I remember Matt used to think I was just doing my crazy girly girl thing when I shelled out for her birds... but after creating things by hand and really knowing all the work that goes into every handmade piece, I totally understand her price points and actually think she is very affordable (trust me... you might think they are high, but if you work for yourself for a year, they'll seem like a steal!). For every handmade item you see, there is a ton of work behind it. Whether it is driving to the supply shop, listing pieces on the web, or packing up a box for shipping, the piece itself is not the only place where time is invested. And when you work for yourself and get sick, forget about the sick leave pay or vacation pay... or personal business leave days! You really need to account for everything. And don't forget those website fees and taxes!! Ugh.. taxes (more to come on taxes in later posts!). Where am I going with this? I mean to say that I was inspired by Ann Wood to keep prices as budget friendly as possible while still providing high quality, one of a kind pieces, that were handmade by my own hands and to be enjoyed by those I am working with. Whew! Needless to say, Ann Wood... you are awesome!

One of Ann Wood's lovely ships.

Photo credits: Ann Wood Handmade
Just a disclaimer... I want to say that having employees and others making your designs is completely fine. :) I just found it personally important to handmake and hand sew all my pieces. I may be eating my foot later down the road when I need the help, but for now, I'd like to make everything for everyone else to cherish. Thank you Ann Wood for the inspiration!

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