My history with woodworking began back in 2002 when I created my then girlfriend, now wife, a hope chest for her 21st birthday. From there, I worked on honing my woodworking skills by making different types of furniture, such as end tables, shelves, bed frames, cabinets, etc. In 2006, after my nephew was born, my sister was looking for alternatives to the typical plastic toys and I was up for the challenge. I started making wooden toy phones, cars, trucks, planes, and trains, and Grow with the Grain was born.
As time went on, my wife (Kerri) and I had a family of our own and woodworking took a backseat. As our boys, Henry & Will, became more independent over time, we have been able to successfully find a working balance. In fact, this is truly a family business - we all contribute in some way or another whether it's with creating, designing, or putting together items and/or getting the items packed and ready to be shipped!
Grow with the Grain evolved from making wood toys to finding our niche in wood jewelry and accessories. Hence, the need for a name change in 2017, to Hart Wood Co. People often ask us why we chose the name Hart Wood Co., well to be honest, we wanted to do Heart Wood, but that name was already taken! It might sound cliché, but our family really does put a lot of heart into each piece we make.
I work with just about every wood type you can think of and I am always looking for more. I am inspired by the unique grain patterns and I like to showcase them in the most simplistic ways. I am full of the handmade spirit and I want to make everything! The engineer in me forces me to analyze every challenge until I find a solution. My shop will continue to grow as I am inspired by new challenges. Keep checking back in as we continue to add more items!
In the spring of 2018, our family moved from Wisconsin to Arizona as a relocation for Bret's full-time engineering job. In Wisconsin, I was a teacher; I taught 2nd Grade for 14 years! I decided that this move was the perfect opportunity for me to try something new, "career-wise."
I have always been a "maker" and enjoy trying new things, such as sewing, painting, cooking, graphic design, jewelry making, etc. Since I wasn't quite sure what my new job would be in Arizona, Bret recruited me to help out with his Etsy shop. At first, I was very apprehensive and didn't think I'd want to do any woodworking. However, I have really enjoyed expanding our shop by designing and adding new items since I started in July 2018.
Learning how to use the drum sander, belt sander, table saw, band saw, drill press, planer, wood router, laser engraver, and more, has made me feel empowered! I am proud to say that I am the woman who designs and/or makes our shop's badge reels, ring boxes, earrings, key chains, ornaments, pet tags, wood combs, baby milestone markers, bookmarks, gift tags, and more! I hope to keep letting my creativity flow and continue adding new items to our shop!