What started out as “just something for me to do” after I retired last year has morphed into something quite different. How does one go from propogating plants, turning them into planter creations to be sold at the local Fort Erie Racetrack Farmers Market to using reclaimed wooden skids to make rustic wood signs?
Well, lets see. Towards the end of the market season in late October I added fall planters to my collection of succulent planters. This led to crafting an upside-down tomato cage into a rustic front porch decoration. Which, in turn led to making Christmas Trees out of cages using grapevine and decomesh. Which led to making wreaths.
Someone spotted all this new product on the last day of the season and invited me to exhibit at a Craft Show in Welland. I was hesitant at first, because I didn’t really want to drive out of town in the middle of winter. We have to use a trailer as well as the back of the vehicle to cart all this stuff back and forth and who knows what the weather will be like on any given day in this part of the world.
My husband Pat talked me into it, so I threw myself into making as much product as possible. This was a big two-day show with about a hundred vendors and I’d heard it had a great turnout. We ended up having a very successful weekend, so naturally I figured why not do some more shows?
I stayed local with the next two shows, which were small but my “trees” were selling like hotcakes! I had stopped making succulent planters because i was running out of succulents. The few that I had left at the end of October I brought into the house. At this point, some 4 months later they are a sorry looking lot I can tell you. But at least they’re not dead.
We had been making long planter boxes out of skids all along, but I thought they were too big and clunky. Pat disagreed, you know how guys always think bigger is better. Takes a good woman to convince them that is not always the case! (yes that is some tongue-in-cheek humour, I think I’ve got away with it). Anyways, I got him to make me some scaled down ones using a different design and I made outdoor Christmas planters. Taking this one step further, I started painting the boxes, then after a visit to Michaels Craft Store, I spotted some stencils, bought some decent brushes and started decorating the boxes.
Nearly there, bear with me. My daughter-in-law Katie saw that I was quite gung-ho about the painting and asked if I could make her a sign for her laundry room!
And there you have it, one thing led to another and now I’m producing about 5 signs a day with a lot of support from my family, including my new facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/plantsandcrafts/
MEET THE TEAM
Jen: Founder and head creative person
Pat: Director of Acquisitions, in other words scouring the Town for pallets and turning them into sign boards.
Rich: Head of IT Infrastructure
Katie, Bryan and Becky: Marcomms Team
This guy: Department Head/Communications
Who says that the “cottage industry” is dead?