My name is Meredith Moran and I live in Denver, Colorado, where I make vintage-inspired marquee lights. I got the idea for my signs from something I saw on Pinterest, and what started as a simple DIY decorative light project for my own home turned into my shop, Saddle Shoe Signs.
I have loved arts and crafts for as long as I can remember, and if you asked my friends and family, they’d probably tell you I make them gifts for birthdays and holidays more often than I buy them. When I graduated college and was deep in the midst of the job search, one of my friends and I would talk about how we just wanted to make things. That was the career we wanted – to sell stuff on Etsy and be able to “quit our day jobs.”
Saddle Shoe Signs is unique in that the signs have a vintage feel but they weren’t found at a flea market – they’re handmade with love! I cut each letter out of wood using templates, then measure, cut, and treat the metal. I then bend and curve the metal around the wooden letter by hand, and secure it to the wood. Next, I paint the letter and put in the light sockets. Once I screw in the bulbs, I test (and retest!) the lights, and if all is a go, I put the backing on.
There are a variety of colors to choose from, so buyers can customize any sign for any space. I frequently get inquires for custom signs, and I have made names and initials for baby nurseries, words for restaurants and businesses, and signs for weddings and other events. It’s always so great seeing photos and hearing customers tell me how much they love their signs. Each letter or symbol is made to order, so if there’s anything the buyer needs that is specific to their home, event or space, I want to do everything I can to make their sign perfect.
Having my shop and creating things everyday has made me, well, like work! Nothing compares to the cha-ching! sound of the Etsy app notification when I sell another sign. I feel valued knowing that someone truly likes what I’ve created with my own hands, and actually wants to pay money for it. That is something that I definitely never felt when I was working a desk job. Being a part of the Etsy community and seeing all of the ridiculously creative people out there inspires me everyday.
For the first time in my life, I can truly own what I do. Everything that I put into my work and every decision I make directly affects the direction of my business and my final products. Making things and creating things has always been something I have done and have loved to do, so calling it my job and continuing to do it every day for others is pretty fantastic.
All photographs by Meredith Moran Photography.