The Etsy Blog

Quit Your Day Job: Chris and Laura of The Wood Garden

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

marymary

Tell us about your previous working situation and how you discovered Etsy.
Chris worked in a variety of dead-end industrial jobs for about 10 years before getting into woodworking. It started out merely as a hobby — he made wooden trucks for our son, who was very small at the time. He soon realized that he loved creating things with his hands and wondered if we could use this hobby to make a bit of extra income.

After finding little success with local craft shows, we discovered Etsy — in fact, we were doing a Google search for wooden jewelry one day and stumbled upon an Etsy shop. We loved the idea of a world-wide market for handmade goods and decided to open a shop ourselves, selling safe and natural wooden toys. Chris would make the toys, and I would do all the customer service, marketing, and photography. Sales were very slow for the first six months or so, but have steadily grown over time. We’ve been on Etsy for over two years now, and for about the past eight months we’ve been living exclusively off this business.

How did you prepare to transition into full-time Etsy selling, knowing you’d need to support a family of six?
We didn’t prepare for this — the decision was basically made for us when Chris was laid off from his last industrial job back in September of 2010. With three children (and a new baby on the way), we were really disappointed. However, the timing was perfect because the Christmas shopping season was just about to start. Our shop’s sales went through the roof in October and November — I remember one day when we had 22 orders! We realized then that it might be possible to support ourselves with Etsy alone. We were making more money in those busy months than Chris had been making at his previous job as a forklift driver, so we just went with the flow. After the Christmas rush was over, we started advertising to keep the sales coming.

We have never had a very high income, so our needs were already simple — we haven’t had to adjust our lifestyle. We only drive one car (which is 15 years old), we cook all of our meals at home from scratch, and we buy used clothing. So the modest income of our shop is able to cover all of our basic needs.

What’s been your most popular item or line to date?
Our items which are for babies (rattles, teething rings, and bowls and spoons) sell better than our toys for older children. I think this is because these items are safe and environmentally friendly baby shower gifts.

What is your favorite part of the woodworking process?
I love taking the finished toy and rubbing our homemade, organic beeswax polish into it. The color and grain of the wood suddenly appear more intense and beautiful. Natural wood is so lovely!

What are your best marketing tips?
We’ve been doing some advertising online, which has been helpful in finding new customers. But to be honest, for most of the time our business was growing, we didn’t advertise at all. We simply had a good product that people wanted at a fair price and we made sure we presented our toys and dishes nicely in the shop. All of our initial customers found us directly through Etsy. We don’t even have a Facebook page, use Twitter or anything like that. Many of our shoppers are repeat customers, which is one of the reasons our sales keep growing.

So my marketing tips would be:

  1. Make a product that people want.
  2. Make your shop look professional.
  3. Make your customers happy so they come back!

If you have those three things in place, I don’t think it’s really possible to fail.

What have you found to be an unsuccessful promotion?
A few times we’ve done giveaways on blogs that brought us zero sales. That isn’t to say that promoting on blogs isn’t a good idea — but if the blog doesn’t have a large readership who is also your target audience, it probably isn’t worth it. It’s very important, we’ve learned, to focus on your desired customer base when advertising. Casting your net wide isn’t really a good idea.

Made any business mistakes you regret?
We are pretty laid back people most of the time, but it isn’t always beneficial to be laid back where your business is concerned. We now wish that we had been more on top of bookkeeping when we started. We pretty much left all of it until it was time to do annual taxes, and then the amount of work was overwhelming and stressful. Our receipts weren’t even organized! I highly recommend getting a good bookkeeping program or setting up your own spreadsheet when you first open your shop. Record every sale and expense as it happens and file away every receipt properly so you won’t have to play catch up later.

What’s the hardest part about running your own business?
The fact that you never get a break! When running an Etsy shop, there is no such thing as a weekend off. During the busy holiday season, we were working so hard, seven days a week, that we both got pretty burned out. On the other hand, at this time of year when things are quieter, we can take a day off any time we wish and take our children out for a picnic. It’s also pretty hard, of course, that there is no regular paycheck. Some people would probably feel really nervous about the unpredictability, but we have grown to like the sense of adventure this brings. Maybe this is one place where being laid back is an asset!

What is the biggest challenge you face during your daily schedule?
It’s really a challenge to juggle child care, housework, and my business responsibilities. I want to give my full attention to everything, but of course it isn’t possible. Ultimately, my children come first, so there are days when I leave a few packages unwrapped until the following day so I can take my kids to the park or read them a bedtime story. The work will always be there, but children grow up so fast, and I don’t want to miss any more special moments with them than I have to.

Chris also finds it challenging to stay focused on work while being at home. If he comes in from his workshop (which is our garage) to get something to eat or drink, he gets stuck here for an hour because the children or I need his help with something, and then the work schedule he’s made for the day is messed up. The reverse is also true — although our family’s needs take our attention away from the business, sometimes when sales are brisk it’s easy to let work take over our lives and neglect housework, exercise, and family time. It’s hard to achieve a balance. I think in the future I may schedule regular working hours and “off” times to make things easier.

What do you enjoy most about not having a day job?
So much! It’s really nice that Chris no longer has to commute — it saves time and money. We love being able to make our own schedule, and it has been enjoyable beyond words for us to be together all the time. Since our children are homeschooled, all six of us are here at home together during the day. It feels right for us to be together, living, working, learning, and now the kids are getting old enough that they can sometimes help with the business too.

What are the advantages and challenges of working with your significant other?
There have been some tense moments over the years when we just couldn’t agree. Eventually, we found everything went much more smoothly if we each controlled certain areas of the business, instead of both of us having an equal say in everything. For example, I decide where we advertise and what our ad will look like, but Chris decides when we should invest in a new tool or how much wood we should buy. Overall, it’s been magical for us to get to do this together.

Do you have any specific words of advice for parents considering a similar path?
Try to involve your kids in your work whenever possible; make the business a family affair. They’ll love to feel so important and useful, and this also provides a way for you to spend more time with them when you are busy. If you have a baby, invest in a baby carrier so you can wear your baby around the house while you work. Wearing my 7-week-old in her wrap is the only way I accomplish work during the day!

What goals do you have in store for the future of your business?
We hope that sales will continue to grow so that we can keep doing the work that we have come to love and believe in. Our dream is to someday own a piece of land in the country where we can have a family homestead and a nice big workshop. If we are really lucky, maybe we’ll have our own wood lot, so we can cut our own wood, making our business even more local and sustainable. We can picture our children helping us with the business and the work we want to do with our hands: growing food, raising animals, sewing, crafts, food preserving. We see our Etsy business as a crucial part of the family-based, handmade life we want to live.

Anything else you would like to share?
Owning our own business is a heck of a lot of work, and the pay is not nearly as much as many other jobs, but it is so rewarding and satisfying to be able to support ourselves. We have a greater measure of control over our lives than we would if either of us were working a traditional 9-5 job. The job market is so uncertain these days, and we feel owning our own business has given us a feeling of security that we never had before. We’re so glad we found Etsy!

If anyone is interested in our family’s journey toward a simpler, more self-sufficient life, please follow along on our blog.

 

Thanks for sharing your story, Chris and Laura. Check out their work in the Seller’s Items below.

 Previous Quit Your Day Job posts

  • LabyrinthLeather

    LabyrinthLeather says:

    This is so awesome - Congrats guys, you are inspiring :)

    3 years ago

  • woolies

    woolies says:

    AWESOME shop - as a fellow team member on the NaturalKids Team, we're very proud to have The Wood Garden on our team! Congrats! (can I quit my day job yet???) :)

    3 years ago

  • xenonproducts

    xenonproducts says:

    This is a great inspiration for people that are willing to promote their products. I will like to help by offering a great Glue we have been manufacturing for more than 3 Decaded for a very low price. If interested you can reach us at 888-869-3666.

    3 years ago

  • iamhome

    iamhome says:

    beautiful work! we are soon to be godparents, we will look your way soon.

    3 years ago

  • iamhome

    iamhome says:

    beautiful work! we are soon to be godparents, we will look your way soon.

    3 years ago

  • HouseOfMoss

    HouseOfMoss says:

    Amazing! Your work is absolutely stunning, and so classic. Congratulations on your success!

    3 years ago

  • joyceweaver

    joyceweaver says:

    A great write-up! Ya'll are just too cute and congratulations!

    3 years ago

  • thiswayup1

    thiswayup1 says:

    Awesome feature! Congrats, what a lovely shop

    3 years ago

  • aileenrae

    aileenrae says:

    Love your shop! What a wonderful family business. Good luck to you both!

    3 years ago

  • OsoVictoria

    OsoVictoria says:

    Congratulations on your success! You make such wonderful items.

    3 years ago

  • adrianaallenllc

    adrianaallenllc says:

    What a charming shop! I love both your collection and your worldview! Best of wishes!

    3 years ago

  • Hoshika

    Hoshika says:

    I love the natural colors!! congratulations♥

    3 years ago

  • fireflynotes

    fireflynotes says:

    Congrats!! I know what it's like trying to run a small business with kiddies! Not easy! It would be my dream to someday make my handmade business my family business. Your work is so amazing those toys should be in every toy shop across North America!! Good luck!

    3 years ago

  • LittleWrenPottery

    LittleWrenPottery says:

    Wood is a really beautiful natural material and I think your enthusiasm for it just shines through this article. Its great that Etsy has helped to empower you as a family, congratulations on being featured!

    3 years ago

  • RubyBeets

    RubyBeets says:

    Fabulous! what a great story!

    3 years ago

  • DomesticNotions

    DomesticNotions says:

    Amazing work .. Thank you for sharing your story ; )

    3 years ago

  • jorgensenstudio

    jorgensenstudio says:

    those rattles are so simply beautiful. just lovely!

    3 years ago

  • SweetBasilFibreWorks

    SweetBasilFibreWorks says:

    An inspiring story & I wish them all the best!

    3 years ago

  • BingoBox

    BingoBox says:

    Lovely shop - beautiful work - congratulations on a life well lived !

    3 years ago

  • SpaGoddess

    SpaGoddess says:

    Inspiring indeed:) Congrats to you!

    3 years ago

  • bellasparty

    bellasparty says:

    Beautiful work! Love everything!!

    3 years ago

  • ThisTinder

    ThisTinder says:

    Such a great interview! I love that you guys wrote about how your needs were never that extensive in the first place so something like this is really doable. I really identify with that and think it's important to point out that life can get a whole lot easier if you're happier with less! Congrats! P.S. Your kids are so cute!

    3 years ago

  • vKnit

    vKnit says:

    Wonderful story! Thanks for sharing with us all! :)

    3 years ago

  • OliveandFern

    OliveandFern says:

    I applaud you and your family for living simply, having your own business and raising a beautiful family...its hard work, wonderful results!

    3 years ago

  • SimplyAvonlea

    SimplyAvonlea says:

    I loved reading about your shop and family! Your items are timeless and classic. Love that Heirloom Truck and the Duck pull toy!

    3 years ago

  • peaseblossomstudio

    peaseblossomstudio says:

    What a wonderful and inspirational story of family life!

    3 years ago

  • baconsquarefarm

    baconsquarefarm says:

    Wonderful story and you have a beautiful family, hope you attain the family homestead someday and we wish you continued success always, great shop too.

    3 years ago

  • allisonmooney

    allisonmooney says:

    What a wonderful shop and story!! I

    3 years ago

  • pitterpattertutus

    pitterpattertutus says:

    Wow! I adore your stuff! As kids my dad made us wooden toys also, and we still have them. I love the idea of having your family working together to create heirlooms like these... Bravo and Brava!

    3 years ago

  • zelmarose

    zelmarose says:

    Beautiful work and wonderful interview. A true exampleof do what you love and the rest follows.

    3 years ago

  • earthgrowncrayons

    earthgrowncrayons says:

    So lovely!

    3 years ago

  • vmtbwe89

    vmtbwe89 says:

    Great success story. I look forward to taking some of your advice.

    3 years ago

  • DaHukaHouse

    DaHukaHouse says:

    Nice work! Best wishes.

    3 years ago

  • MoonParade

    MoonParade says:

    LOVE this story, and the gorgeously made products, too! This family reminds me much of my own. I can definitely appreciate the challenges and joys of running a business from home while raising young children. Congrats and best wishes to you all.

    3 years ago

  • SimpleJoysPaperie

    SimpleJoysPaperie says:

    Such talent! My husband is a woodworker so I know the work, time and talent that go into quality products. Thank you for sharing your story with all of us. Best wishes for your continued success! :)

    3 years ago

  • ColorMeHolly

    ColorMeHolly says:

    Great work! Love the dollhouse.

    3 years ago

  • 1274PeriwinkleLane

    1274PeriwinkleLane says:

    Thanks for your inspirational story!

    3 years ago

  • lacepetals

    lacepetals says:

    seriously, beautiful items! what an incredible family.

    3 years ago

  • pliloc

    pliloc says:

    I like this story because it is a demonstration of so many qualities that have been lost in the modern world. Resourcefulness, Creativity, Courage, Togetherness. While there are no guarantees of the condition of the road ahead, There is no doubt your family will forge ahead, all the while treasuring the adventure. Cheers!

    3 years ago

  • paramountvintage

    paramountvintage says:

    incredible craftsmanship. woodworking is one art i have always admired and wanted to learn.

    3 years ago

  • DowntownGirlDesigns

    DowntownGirlDesigns says:

    lovely creations!!

    3 years ago

  • kaiulani

    kaiulani says:

    You have a beautiful shop! It's hard finding natural wooden toys so I'm glad I found your shop :) Congrats!

    3 years ago

  • VitalVintage

    VitalVintage says:

    A lovely story and a beautiful shop. Congrats!

    3 years ago

  • DowntownGirlVintage

    DowntownGirlVintage says:

    Lovely shop!! thank you for sharing your story :) very inspiring.

    3 years ago

  • 2MonkeysBowtique

    2MonkeysBowtique says:

    What an inspiration!

    3 years ago

  • MeowBarkArt

    MeowBarkArt says:

    What a beautiful mix of artistry & simplicity. It's clear that you spend so much time on each item. Best wishes for your future successes!

    3 years ago

  • sofialgarvia

    sofialgarvia says:

    Loved your story and I wish all the best with your work and with your lovely family! It's amazing how you're able to accomplish so many jobs - parenting, housework, homeschooling and still have time and creativity to create such beautiful wood items! Congratulations!

    3 years ago

  • WaterfallDesigns

    WaterfallDesigns says:

    Loved hearing your story! Congrats and your toys are great!!

    3 years ago

  • TheBloomingThread

    TheBloomingThread says:

    I love that your business involves your entire family! even your little ones~ wonderful interview and great listings! :)

    3 years ago

  • quirkyshop

    quirkyshop says:

    Great job!

    3 years ago

  • DeepBlueNotion

    DeepBlueNotion says:

    Wonderful story and amazing items! I wish you continued success!

    3 years ago

  • TheRetroRescuer

    TheRetroRescuer says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. I love your honesty about raising young children and running a home business with your spouse. I know you'll get your homestead soon. :)

    3 years ago

  • WhisperingOak

    WhisperingOak says:

    Your product is beautiful. What a great interview. It is hard to balance family life and work. You are doing a great job. Congratulations.

    3 years ago

  • lalucita

    lalucita says:

    So inspirational! What a great interview! Congrats.

    3 years ago

  • THIMBLEandACORN

    THIMBLEandACORN says:

    This is one of the most inspirational FS interviews I have read! I love seeing a happy family creating and living simply and enjoying the world around them. I love your blog too, I am going to forward this post and links to your blog to my fella and some friends!

    3 years ago

  • THIMBLEandACORN

    THIMBLEandACORN says:

    *oops, I meant "quit your day job" interviews!

    3 years ago

  • GloryBDesign

    GloryBDesign says:

    Simply wonderful! The quality of your work and your life really shows! Congratulations on FS!

    3 years ago

  • SpiceofLifeDesigns

    SpiceofLifeDesigns says:

    Delighted to see a family that has so much in common with my own featured - I wish you much continued success and hope to someday join you with husband being able to quit his day job.

    3 years ago

  • AccentsandPetals

    AccentsandPetals says:

    Thank you for the inspiration and tips especially in the line of advertising. BTW, beautiful family photo, cute and adorable kids.

    3 years ago

  • RedMarionette

    RedMarionette says:

    Your goals sound absolutely divine! Your products are lovely! I just officially quit my day job to work on Red Marionette and I love reading about others in the same situation. Its inspiring to know there are others who work just as hard and cherish the time even more than reporting to a day job! Thank you for sharing your story!

    3 years ago

  • SoliDeoGloriaSDG

    SoliDeoGloriaSDG says:

    Good luck on making this a huge success - you are such a lovely family!

    3 years ago

  • StudioDevinat

    StudioDevinat says:

    Beautiful & inspiring story. I dream of a lifestyle where we both design from home & are able to be with our children. Thanks for the baby carrier tip, it will come in handy very soon!

    3 years ago

  • MarquetteBeachHouse

    MarquetteBeachHouse says:

    I *loved* reading your story! We homeschool our kids, too, and our dream is for my husband to one day be able to quit his day job and have a less stressful life. I've always thought maybe it was just a fantasy to think he might be able to quit his job. Your story encourages me because you've made it work! :) Going over to check out your blog now... Amy :)

    3 years ago

  • ZhongFuJewelryDesign

    ZhongFuJewelryDesign says:

    Your collapsible doll house is such a great idea!

    3 years ago

  • thisfineday

    thisfineday says:

    Beautiful bowls and baby rattles!

    3 years ago

  • ikabags

    ikabags says:

    Awesome feature! Congrats !

    3 years ago

  • bhangtiez

    bhangtiez says:

    Beautiful story & such a fun shop of top quality craftmanship. Congratulations & keep up the amazing-ness!

    3 years ago

  • GardenDaisies

    GardenDaisies says:

    Congratulations on the feature and thank you so much for sharing your beautiful story and ideas on quitting a day job :) Very inspiring and the best of luck to you.

    3 years ago

  • rivahside

    rivahside says:

    I really like the beautifully clean, simple lines of your items. Heirloom quality! Your family priorities are inspiring. I wish you much happiness and success in your family life and business!

    3 years ago

  • NeedlesnPinsStichery

    NeedlesnPinsStichery says:

    Great story! I was happy to read that you lived modestly as this is the way we have lived our lives. Good luck in the future and thanks for sharing! :)

    3 years ago

  • HeavenlyNaturalSoap

    HeavenlyNaturalSoap says:

    wooden toys make the best long lasting toys that will last through many children :)

    3 years ago

  • SophieAndEmma

    SophieAndEmma says:

    I really enjoyed reading your interview. I was happy to hear that I'm not the only person in the world who doesn't use Facebook to promote! Congrats on the success of your shop. Your family is beautiful. I love the photo!

    3 years ago

  • hoosiermamma1

    hoosiermamma1 says:

    Lovely Work! I will definitely have you on my list for future Christmas shopping. Your story is very inspiring because I dream of having the nerve to jump off the fence and craft full-time. Your bravery amazes me! Good luck to you and your beautiful family.

    3 years ago

  • OutNumberedNovelties

    OutNumberedNovelties says:

    Congrats on finding something that makes you happy. I love to see fellow woodworkers doing well for themselves. It is great to hear you are able to support your family and do it buy doing something you love to do.

    3 years ago

  • RedOnionWoodworks

    RedOnionWoodworks says:

    Congratulations on your success! I wish you lots of luck balancing work and family. I know how hard it can be. Your blog also looks great, so I'll be following along.

    3 years ago

  • Marumadrid

    Marumadrid says:

    Little big heros, wooden toys are! :)

    3 years ago

  • Parachute425

    Parachute425 says:

    Continued success to you! Enjoy those little ones.

    3 years ago

  • MossFrogDesigns

    MossFrogDesigns says:

    This is absolutely beautiful! I adore the little rolling fox! Congrats on all the success!

    3 years ago

  • WoodenParadiseLLC

    WoodenParadiseLLC says:

    This is a wonderful inspriation to us! We just got directed to this site today and I am so excited to get our business up and running on here! We create many different wood projects such as shelves, tables, jewelry boxes, bandsaw boxes, etc. Keep an eye out for us, as I am inspired by you to get this up and running! Thanks alot!

    3 years ago

  • theyellowroses

    theyellowroses says:

    Congratulations! You have a beautiful family & a great story! Enjoyed your blog as well!

    3 years ago

  • SewHappybyJennie

    SewHappybyJennie says:

    Love your shop and your story. A simpler way of life would be so nice.

    3 years ago

  • TicketyBu

    TicketyBu says:

    Thanks so much for sharing your story, and what an amazing one it is!

    3 years ago

  • HandToMouthStudios

    HandToMouthStudios says:

    Nice, down-to-earth, thoughtful. Refreshing stuff . Real, helpful people. Thanks.

    3 years ago

  • justhatched

    justhatched says:

    So happy for you and all of your success! What a great interview - I know I can relate to a lot of what you said. Your items are beautiful and I'm sure much more success awaits you on Etsy :)

    3 years ago

  • theenchantedcupboard

    theenchantedcupboard says:

    So happy and proud to see you here! A member of the NaturalKids Team you are a shinning star!!

    3 years ago

  • PaisleeJoy

    PaisleeJoy says:

    Lovely story, very inspiring! Congrats on your success!

    3 years ago

  • NobbyOrganics

    NobbyOrganics says:

    Your products are wonderful! Very inspiring story!

    3 years ago

  • readyruthieoriginals

    readyruthieoriginals says:

    Your stuff is so beautiful! Very inspirational

    3 years ago

  • readyruthieoriginals

    readyruthieoriginals says:

    Your stuff is so beautiful! Very inspirational

    3 years ago

  • littleloveblue

    littleloveblue says:

    beautiful work

    3 years ago

  • gilstrapdesigns

    gilstrapdesigns says:

    I think that this so great you all are doing a great job for yourselves and for your family and all of those babies and little one's around the world.

    3 years ago

  • CarlaRaeVintage

    CarlaRaeVintage says:

    Your things are beautiful. I admire your lifestyle. Congrats.

    3 years ago

  • theoldewoodstove

    theoldewoodstove says:

    Very inspiring- your work is awesome!

    3 years ago

  • 1luckysoul

    1luckysoul says:

    I loved How real you sounded, I can tell you are a very down to earth family, I hope your business helps with all your dreams, I am going to buy something from your store, I have a 11month old neice.

    3 years ago

  • ArmadilloDreams

    ArmadilloDreams says:

    Reading this blog post was very inspiring for me, being a fellow wood worker. I long for the day when I can quit my day job and do wood working full time too. It gives me a lot of hope knowing that someone else was able to do it. To also be able to read how you and your family got there was awesome! I really appreciate you sharing your story and hope to follow in your footsteps! Congrats!!!!

    3 years ago

  • PolClary

    PolClary says:

    You're such an inspiration, and so creative! Amazing work.

    3 years ago

  • MysticalRaindrops

    MysticalRaindrops says:

    What a beautiful story! I always say, "Family first". I too, homeschooled my kids and did sewing, gardening, preserving, caring for animals and all. Now I have TWO Etsy shops. One with my teen son in fine art painting, and one with my sewing and knitting. Good luck with your family.

    3 years ago

  • soapblessingscom

    soapblessingscom says:

    I will be praying your dreams come true because those are beautiful dreams.

    3 years ago

  • TheWhimsicalBlossom

    TheWhimsicalBlossom says:

    Beautiful work! Congratulations and thank you for the inspiring interview!

    3 years ago

  • Girlservant

    Girlservant says:

    good advice, its also good to do something you love..you have a beautiful family too :)

    3 years ago

  • Girlservant

    Girlservant says:

    good advice, its also good to do something you love..you have a beautiful family too :)

    3 years ago

  • Creazionidiangelina

    Creazionidiangelina says:

    I love your work and your story, you have a beautiful family! Fantastic shop :)

    3 years ago

  • gloriousgirlbeads

    gloriousgirlbeads says:

    You truly are living the American Dream - to work for yourselves, live modestly, have your children near you throughout the day and a sweet baby swaddled on your back to feel your every movement. To have your children involved with the business & to learn first hand about honest hard work......yours is truly the sweet life and I admire you all ♥

    3 years ago

  • thevelvetheart

    thevelvetheart says:

    I love your products! What a fulfilling job too!

    3 years ago

  • ulucan2007

    ulucan2007 says:

    bravo indeed heart worming true life story, start from 0 and your joy and determination will make you even more succesfull. all the happines to you.

    3 years ago

  • LisasLittleCreations

    LisasLittleCreations says:

    Wow what an inspirational story! I'm amazed and it's encouraging to know that your family is living the dream. So happy for you and your family- Congrats and I wish you lots of success!! :)

    3 years ago

  • avaLuna

    avaLuna says:

    Love the collapsable dollhouse! What a great idea! Congratulations.

    3 years ago

  • ALittleWorld

    ALittleWorld says:

    Amazing shop! Congratulations!

    3 years ago

  • CheekyVintageCloset

    CheekyVintageCloset says:

    fun read, here is to more success:)

    3 years ago

  • rolanddesigns

    rolanddesigns says:

    I love your wooden items... and such a lovely family 1

    3 years ago

  • Cakau

    Cakau says:

    Wonderful story, thanks for sharing:)

    3 years ago

  • mysticorb

    mysticorb says:

    What fun to read! I had to laugh at all the things we have in common. We find it can be challenging to balance our home life and work since we work from home too. When my husband Jeff emerges from his shop for a moment, there are always lots of things to distract that need to be done. The only way I get anything done with Bracken, our 7 month old, is by putting him in the baby carrier I wear. So I smiled when you said that. Sometimes we feel we need more hours in the day! But working from home is the best and so rewarding. Love to your family!

    3 years ago

  • EleganceFarmHome

    EleganceFarmHome says:

    Lovely family and super nice shop!! Congrats on your much deserved success. And hope you get to homestead; we would love to do that too!!

    3 years ago

  • GemdropsoftheFalls

    GemdropsoftheFalls says:

    Great items! I babysit grandchildren 4 days a week and understand the difficulties in balancing their attention, housework and making jewelry. Your story is inspiring and seems like fate. Congratulations!

    3 years ago

  • KIMMSMITH

    KIMMSMITH says:

    Fabby read and gorgeous creations! Congratulations!

    3 years ago

  • RubiesAreForever

    RubiesAreForever says:

    Congrats on Getting There! I look forward to following your blog ;)

    3 years ago

  • JirisArt

    JirisArt says:

    Beautiful work, I am so proud of you. You are doing great job, it's a great encouragement to many. Those that can skilfully work with their own hands are freed from all men. Thank you.

    3 years ago

  • empapersdeutsch

    empapersdeutsch says:

    This is one of the sweetest QYDJ profiles EVER!

    3 years ago

  • FigJamStudio

    FigJamStudio says:

    Great story, very inspiring!! Thank you!

    3 years ago

  • SweetMagnoliasFarm

    SweetMagnoliasFarm says:

    It's a big leap ..but it's well worth it ! Congrats at your found success and here's to the future ! Blessings..Sara

    3 years ago

  • DuryeaPlaceDesigns

    DuryeaPlaceDesigns says:

    Beautiful shop and an inspiring couple! Congrats!

    3 years ago

  • BabyKissesBoutique

    BabyKissesBoutique says:

    Wow! Great Story!

    3 years ago

  • spbear

    spbear says:

    I liked your article, it gives hope that people are looking for quality handmade items. You are encouraging- because I opened my (The Special Bear Shop) shop this past February and I have not gotten one order yet. So needless to say I must be doing something wrong.I know my bears are special and I do a very good job making them. I have a lot of customers from word of mouth and several repeat customers. If you or anyone else have any suggestions about my shop better,PLEASE let me know. May you continue to have may customers-your products are very nice. Thank you

    3 years ago

  • YarnyThingys

    YarnyThingys says:

    You have such a beautiful story...thank you for being an inspiration to so many of us! May blessings continue along your journey.

    3 years ago

  • Prettyhandmade

    Prettyhandmade says:

    I am truly inspired, thanks for being so honest :-)

    3 years ago

  • TheMightySquirm

    TheMightySquirm says:

    I love your products and your story. My daughter is getting involved in our business too, and it's a blessing. Thanks for sharing!

    3 years ago

  • FashionTouch

    FashionTouch says:

    what a happy family! So glad for you all! wishing you lots of success and grown into a large company!!!

    3 years ago

  • MyBlahWeekend

    MyBlahWeekend says:

    Lovely story! Good Luck!!

    3 years ago

  • zehland

    zehland says:

    Great story. Thank you for sharing it. You are an inspiration!

    3 years ago

  • WeAreCrafty

    WeAreCrafty says:

    Inspiring stuff, thanks for sharing!

    3 years ago

  • elmodabrides

    elmodabrides says:

    Congratulations. Thanks for a great interview. Very insightful and honest. LOVE you products! Wishing you continued success x.

    3 years ago

  • ardnajela1812

    ardnajela1812 says:

    It is Inspiring! Thanks for sharing your experience!

    3 years ago

  • mudijudi

    mudijudi says:

    fabulous product!! that is key, I think..

    3 years ago

  • ManuelaS

    ManuelaS says:

    Great story, really inspiring. Your products are amazing, thank you for sharing everything with us. :) I wish you all the best!

    3 years ago

  • SwankyTexasVintage

    SwankyTexasVintage says:

    You two have certainly helped me get more inspired! And your wooden products are beautiful! Thanks so much for sharing your ups and downs.

    3 years ago

  • SwankyTexasVintage

    SwankyTexasVintage says:

    You two have certainly helped me get more inspired! And your wooden products are beautiful! Thanks so much for sharing your ups and downs.

    3 years ago

  • InspiredDesignsbyKim

    InspiredDesignsbyKim says:

    Very cool! Love the natural wood grains! Congrats on the feature!

    3 years ago

  • asileoriginals

    asileoriginals says:

    Congratulations! I think what you are doing is fantastic!

    3 years ago

  • StudioSo

    StudioSo says:

    Great inspiration. Thank you for your honesty and good tips. Congratulations on your thriving business :-)

    3 years ago

  • Judeco

    Judeco says:

    Wow! The article is fantastic! You guys are really living the idea of quit your day job. Your toys are wonderful. Good Luck!! My husband just got laid off and your story is an inspiration for us not to give up. Thank you!

    3 years ago

  • TheScrapBasket

    TheScrapBasket says:

    So happy for your family! Very inspiring story. Wishing you all the best in the future!

    3 years ago

  • OceanPatch

    OceanPatch says:

    How wonderful that you can all live and work together as you choose! What a beautiful product and a beautiful family!

    3 years ago

  • birdiesaid

    birdiesaid says:

    This is very inspiring! Especially with four children, wow. I have one and feel like something like this would be hard. You have just proven me wrong. Awesome work!!!

    3 years ago

  • jsimplebeauty

    jsimplebeauty says:

    What great inspirations you have given me. I hope to one day be as successful as you. I love your story and your beautiful wood work. Keep it up!!

    3 years ago

  • peasantandraven

    peasantandraven says:

    What a great story! I love your adventurous spirit...a nice legacy to pass on to your children.

    3 years ago

  • artistoquebec

    artistoquebec says:

    Your work is really interesting and the children who receive what you create are lucky children because they are in contact with beauty at an early age. Your story is inspiring.

    3 years ago

  • hennyseashell

    hennyseashell says:

    Awesome story. happy to read....thanks for sharing your precious moment with us :)

    3 years ago

  • BonTons

    BonTons says:

    Great story, thanks for sharing

    3 years ago

  • LeChapeau

    LeChapeau says:

    What a wonderful story! Thank you Laura Jeanne for the positive words of encouragement! I checked out your blog...it's really good! I wish all the best for you and your lovely little family. Kindly, Joanne

    3 years ago

  • handmadefamily

    handmadefamily says:

    what a wonderful story. thank you for sharing.

    3 years ago

  • chocolatedogstudio

    chocolatedogstudio says:

    Incredibly lovely woodwork. Love the blog. Couldn't figure out how to leave a comment. Thank you for sharing.

    3 years ago

  • meilingsketchbook

    meilingsketchbook says:

    Your story is so inspiring! Thanks for sharing it with us. I will definitely heart your shop for my future purchase. Wish the best for you and your family!

    3 years ago

  • KellyEMarra

    KellyEMarra says:

    Beautiful Work! Congrats!!!

    3 years ago

  • LavenderField

    LavenderField says:

    I love these items!

    3 years ago

  • LizsWares

    LizsWares says:

    Congrats and I love your work. Laura, you are one lucky gal. I hope to meet a man who is creative.

    3 years ago

  • SPAZIOVINTAGEITALY

    SPAZIOVINTAGEITALY says:

    Great work!!!

    3 years ago

  • CoryneMichelle

    CoryneMichelle says:

    I too take care of my little one during "shop sours" Its very challenging to accomplish as much as I would like but in the end its much better than missing out on it by having her away in day care. Great job you guys! Your shop is great and has a wonderfully organic and old timey down home goodness feel to it. I wish much success to you in the future... I hope all your homestead dreams come true.. sounds terrific! ;)

    3 years ago

  • SewKraftyMichelle

    SewKraftyMichelle says:

    I haven't even opened my shop yet, and I am so inspired! We, too, homeschool our kids (5 girls), both my husband and I have started our own businesses, and we desire to homestead one day as well!! I've subscribed to your blog, and can't wait to read more!!

    3 years ago

  • thepillowgallery

    thepillowgallery says:

    I love your story- what cute kids!!! and your work is really amazing! I wish your family much success :)

    3 years ago

  • EileensArt

    EileensArt says:

    You deserve it all. Your shop is wonderful. You have a very beautiful family there too. Bless you all and good luck always.

    3 years ago

  • TriniGaiya

    TriniGaiya says:

    I am truly inspired by your story. I am new to Etsy and I have been doing a lot of reading and a lot of looking at the variety of items on here. Your story struck a cord with me because I have always wanted to have my own craft business and I can totally relate to the little jobs here and there in order to survive. Best of luck to you and your family. Your kids must be so proud of you. LOVE the baby rattles :)

    3 years ago

  • AngelLeighDesigns

    AngelLeighDesigns says:

    wow, what beautiful products! I have some babies coming into my community, and I will definitely fave you to buy from. Thanks! Also, with 2 small kids of my own, I almost never relate to the quit yr day job stories. THIS TIME I DID! Maybe it will be possible after all. thanks so much! Angela

    3 years ago

  • ParkDayAdventures

    ParkDayAdventures says:

    You guys truly are an inspiration, what a great post. I was homeschooled my entire childhood, and it was a wonderful experience. It was through the many hours spent with my family and nature that I learned how to sew and create and LOVE working with my hands. A finished product is such an awesome reward. I first attempted my own sewing business when I was in my teens! :-) And my whole family cheered me on. So--what a great thing you're doing for your family, cheers!!

    3 years ago

  • TreehouseIllustrator

    TreehouseIllustrator says:

    I LOVE that little red fox! :)

    3 years ago

  • SharCraft

    SharCraft says:

    This is such an enjoyable story of your business and very informative. I am determined to keep sewing and making things.. and this is a very supportive piece. I have found when I search the web for something to buy... Esty usually comes up with many choices... I am canceling my prostore site and Using Esty exclusively starting next month. Esty is the place to be if you are a creative person...Thank you Esty, Chirs and Laura for this great bit of information.

    3 years ago

  • earnestefforts

    earnestefforts says:

    Congratulations on the article! Your work is beautiful and so is your family!!! Best of luck...

    3 years ago

  • DancingLightBijoux

    DancingLightBijoux says:

    Your lifestyle choices are wonderful, but it's your work that is just stunningly beautiful. It must feel amazing to hold one of these pieces in your hands.

    3 years ago

  • SigalFJewelry

    SigalFJewelry says:

    Wow... your story is truly inspiring! I enjoyed reading that you don't have facebook page and twitter!. I admire you for being able to run a business and keep your humble family life, having a quality time with your kids. I wish you all the success in the world! you deserve it!

    3 years ago

  • SigalFJewelry

    SigalFJewelry says:

    Wow... your story is truly inspiring! I enjoyed reading that you don't have facebook page and twitter!. I admire you for being able to run a business and keep your humble family life, having a quality time with your kids. I wish you all the success in the world! you deserve it!

    3 years ago

  • lilliprint

    lilliprint says:

    Wow, apart from two good friends of mine who made the front page of Etsy a while back, you have one of the most engaging stories I have ever read here on Etsy. Your sense of flow with life and family is really encouraging and just the pep-advice I needed to hear to keep my gears turning and reach my goals both here on Etsy and in my own life. Thank you for sharing your wonderful story!!!!

    3 years ago

  • TheSnowshoeLoft

    TheSnowshoeLoft says:

    Loove your story, so inspirational, congrats!

    3 years ago

  • UFCMoose

    UFCMoose says:

    Makes me want to take up woodworking Scott Myhervold Anthem AZ

    3 years ago

  • UFCMoose

    UFCMoose says:

    Makes me want to take up woodworking Scott Myhervold Anthem AZ

    3 years ago

  • beadloverskorner

    beadloverskorner says:

    Wonderful!! Thanks so much for sharing!

    3 years ago

  • RetroJunction

    RetroJunction says:

    So inspiring for someone like myself who has just opened an Etsy shop. Thank you!

    3 years ago

  • SuperGozi

    SuperGozi says:

    Very Good worksmanship! such fine wood pieces! too beautiful ;)

    3 years ago

  • Dianagamerman

    Dianagamerman says:

    good prices are such nice childrens toys. Love the product.

    3 years ago

  • Floralpaint8

    Floralpaint8 says:

    I love your shop!

    3 years ago

  • fromjeanne

    fromjeanne says:

    Amazing shop! Congratulations! Great story.

    3 years ago

  • SewCarolineSew

    SewCarolineSew says:

    Hello I really enjoyed reading your inspirational story. All the very best to you for the future, I wish you all the success, your shop is great!

    3 years ago

  • DedeLeupold

    DedeLeupold says:

    I loved reading your interview...it actually brought tears to my eyes, for we had a similar story...homeschooling and all of us working at home. We started a business with our girls, "bumblebeads" which I still have here on Etsy, just under my name. There was no Etsy at the time, so we traveled, did art shows and sold to small shops. Now they are all grown up and are taking their own creative paths and teaching their children at home too. I can't believe how fast the time went by. I have never regretted a minute of it. It just felt right. Your shop is wonderful, your family adorable!

    3 years ago

  • DianasArtQuilts

    DianasArtQuilts says:

    Congratulations on the success in your Etsy business. It was a pleasure reading all about you and your family. I wish you continued success and I hope that you will be able to get your own tree lot, with your children helping, too.

    3 years ago

  • TheOldPinkPorch

    TheOldPinkPorch says:

    Congrats on your success! Thank you for sharing your story. Your wood working looks wonderful! I wish you continued success.

    3 years ago

  • EvaLauryn

    EvaLauryn says:

    What a beautiful family! Best of luck to you!!!

    3 years ago

  • ZokotWoodcraft

    ZokotWoodcraft says:

    Definitely inspirational. I haven't even started selling things yet, but I hope one day to be close to what you've achieved.

    3 years ago

  • anaglez

    anaglez says:

    Beautiful work and beautiful story of sucess. I love these story of family

    3 years ago

  • Elinono

    Elinono says:

    thank you for the story I'm feeling a little discouraged at the moment. But your words give me hope.. Thanks again, hope is the greatest gift anyone can give.

    3 years ago

  • Elinono

    Elinono says:

    thank you for the story I'm feeling a little discouraged at the moment. But your words give me hope.. Thanks again, hope is the greatest gift anyone can give.

    3 years ago

  • mpdi2003

    mpdi2003 says:

    Very inspiring!!! Thank you for sharing your story!

    3 years ago

  • wisdomacres

    wisdomacres says:

    It was wonderful to read your story! The products you make are excellent! We are an older version of your family, and it is so nice to have the children involved and creating some amazing things right from under your own roof (garage included!) Keep on keeping on! God bless you~

    3 years ago

  • wisdomacres

    wisdomacres says:

    It was wonderful to read your story! The products you make are excellent! We are an older version of your family, and it is so nice to have the children involved and creating some amazing things right from under your own roof (garage included!) Keep on keeping on! God bless you~

    3 years ago

  • giftworldz

    giftworldz says:

    This was a wonderful interview. I've always wanted to involve my kiddos in my Etsy business and will in the future. Thanks so much for the encouragement and great ideas!

    3 years ago

  • RescuedRemnants

    RescuedRemnants says:

    Beautiful work and great story! You are inspiring!

    3 years ago

  • Vintagerous

    Vintagerous says:

    I feel so inspired! It is great to see a Canadian success story! I am so happy that you have carved (pardon pun) a fabulous life for you and your family! I see you on that homestead you dream of sooner than you might think...

    3 years ago

  • bresworld

    bresworld says:

    I have to purchase a baby shower gift, and now I know just where and what to get!

    3 years ago

  • akemanartist

    akemanartist says:

    I really love your wooden bowls and I saw your blog, I put it at Stumbleupon, as I am the first person adding that on to that site it might be awhile before it gets more notice.

    3 years ago

  • WildPoppyShoppe

    WildPoppyShoppe says:

    My favorite 'quit your day job' yet... what a wonderful business, family, and way of life! Thanks for sharing your story!

    3 years ago

  • buttonsandbottles

    buttonsandbottles says:

    I love the smiles! You can see the joy in your art.

    3 years ago

  • jjjArts

    jjjArts says:

    What beautiful toys! It was so inspiring and uplifting to read your story, good luck to you guys now and in the future!

    3 years ago

  • heartsofjoy2u

    heartsofjoy2u says:

    beautiful lovely

    3 years ago

  • azsunshine51

    azsunshine51 says:

    You are living the dream! Good luck with your shop, and enjoy your family. Very inspiring. Beautiful work.

    3 years ago

  • azsunshine51

    azsunshine51 says:

    You are living the dream! Good luck with your shop, and enjoy your family. Very inspiring. Beautiful work.

    3 years ago

  • edgewaterscreations

    edgewaterscreations says:

    Good job and keep up the good work.

    3 years ago

  • tharcum

    tharcum says:

    You make such awesome products. I will be putting in an order soon. I like the top spinners for my grandchildren. It could make a great party favories as well as a game at parties to see who have the last spinner stop. Keep up the great works. talk to you soon

    3 years ago

  • CatlinCoxDesigns

    CatlinCoxDesigns says:

    Beautiful family and beautiful craftsmanship, Gods blessing for your futures.

    3 years ago

  • NewportMetals

    NewportMetals says:

    Absolutely gorgeous, creative, safety oriented, and extremely thoughtful products. Keep up the great work. I’m also waiting for the right time to go solo. I have only been laid off 5 times in the past year and think I will take the plunge soon. Anyway, congrats on your success. Live long and prosper. John

    3 years ago

  • BlackDahliaDesign

    BlackDahliaDesign says:

    So inspirational! :)

    3 years ago

  • BlackDahliaDesign

    BlackDahliaDesign says:

    So inspirational! :)

    3 years ago

  • redemptionart

    redemptionart says:

    Beautiful! I love wood, I am so happy for you guys...best of luck in the future! Aloha!

    3 years ago

  • alderande

    alderande says:

    Your words were so real to me,everything fits perfectly together. You are whole and your objects are whole too. Thanks for setting the exemple, thanks for daring.... Good luck!

    3 years ago

  • MyFaireEvangeline

    MyFaireEvangeline says:

    Your story is very inspiring and helps me to have faith in my own brand-new Etsy business. "The first six months was slow" is something I will try to remember!! Thanks for sharing!

    3 years ago

  • phillymiss

    phillymiss says:

    Lovely story. My children are grown, but I just welcomed my first grandchild into the world so I am looking forward to purchasing some of your items.

    3 years ago

  • thehandmaden

    thehandmaden says:

    Fantastic story - so inspiring! Thanks for sharing.

    3 years ago

  • DJBatesartist

    DJBatesartist says:

    I love to see success stories, wood products, families working together, and the beauty of God's creation being used to sustain your family. I think you have inspired me to get back into my Etsy store and try to sell again. Good luck and God bless

    3 years ago

  • PasarMangga

    PasarMangga says:

    Wonderful story :))) I 'm new on Etsy. I wanted to give up online selling. But, I know Etsy is the best idea for me. Thank you for sharing your experience.

    3 years ago

  • PlanetAlt

    PlanetAlt says:

    great story...

    3 years ago

  • FoxyRoxysAttic

    FoxyRoxysAttic says:

    Love this so much! I started my Etsy shop in January and stay home with our 4 children who will also be homeschooled this fall. This was very encouraging and uplifting! Will keep you in my prayers!

    3 years ago

  • ElisaGomez

    ElisaGomez says:

    WOW....and to think I feel tired at the end of MY day...I dont even have kids! You have a home based business, you have 4 kids AND they are home schooled? I am in awe :)

    3 years ago

  • THREEerincadigan

    THREEerincadigan says:

    I like that you are honest about your needs not being great. I think it is supper important to find a balance between what you really need and what will make you happy. I too just threw a high paying job to the wind to do this and though I stress at times, it's not at all the same kind of stress when someone else controls your life. You items are beautiful BTW when my best friend in France has her baby I will be stopping by to shop!

    3 years ago

  • RenataUniqueGifts

    RenataUniqueGifts says:

    Congratulations! You are such an example of "acheving dreams" team! Thank you for sharing your story.

    3 years ago

  • rochellealexander

    Rochelle Alexander from DivineRusticCreation says:

    Very inspirational and exciting. I too work from home with my shop that I recently opened. I love it and it helped ready your answers to the questions. Congratulations and good work

    2 years ago

  • URL says:

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    292 days ago