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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

An idea, a business, a log cabin mailbox

The recession and lack of available meaningful work hit us, just like it did so many other Americans.

It was in 2012 that my husband, Carl, told me what we could do.  He showed me photos of furniture he had crafted for a log cabin he built on his own in upstate New York.  It was in his earlier life, before me. There were photos of a rustic clock, a pie safe, a coffee table, a magazine rack.  "We can make these and sell them!" he said excitedly.

I wasn't sure what my part was going to be in all of this.  I could barely hammer a nail.  "What do I do?"

He didn't really know either.  But he made rustic clocks and plaques and we sold some out of our garage and to friends.

And then, we discovered Etsy.

Thanks to Etsy, and the other places where we sell our carved wooden items, we are making a living.  Like any new business, it has not been easy.  We struggle.  That's an understatement.  But we also work together to create customer service and products people can use in their homes or give as gifts.  We have loads of heart warming stories to share about our experiences.

Our recent accomplishment and surprise comes at Reader's Digest.  One of our log cabin mailboxes is featured at a Made in USA section of their online store with a link to our Etsy shop. This adorable log cabin looks like it's made of  Lincoln Logs, but actually, it's not. Each log is crafted. The shingles are real roof shingles.  Carl cuts the wood, sands it, and builds each cabin around a standard US-regulated mailbox. After the cabin is built, my part is staining the whole thing, and painting the windows and doors. It's a messy job, but I have lots of T-shirts that handle the mess well.

We have sold over 25 of our mailboxes since December 2013.  We even offer one with a green metal roof. Log cabin owners love our mailboxes. Recently, a customer asked if we could place his house number on the chimney and as you can see, we have. Now we offer house numbers carved and painted on our log cabins.

"More beautiful than in the photos!" one of our customers exclaimed when he received his mailbox.

And I, as the photographer, would have to agree.

See our other products at our Etsy shop, Carved By Heart.

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