Brit McCoy of The Wood Cycle in Wisconsin

In 1999, Brit McCoy’s father, Paul Morrison planted the seedling that would turn his basement hobby into a flourishing business, The Wood Cycle. Brit was only 8 at the time, but those moments cemented in her a love for hard work and a respect for chasing you passions till they become the central pillars of your life. She would help her dad with small tasks like sanding, finishing, grounds keeping, and cleaning.

“Since day one The Wood Cycle has focused on urban trees. These trees, whether in someone’s backyard or on a fenceline in a farmer’s field, are coming out for reasons other than timber harvest. We work with arborists to get these trees removed, and the rest of the process we handle at our location. With this approach we’re able to utilize more of the tree; whether to burn scraps in our wood furnace for heat or using the sawdust for livestock bedding at my farm, we aim to dispose of our waste responsibly.

I have a table that my dad and I designed together. We call it the Stack Table. It’s a table designed to use our ‘shop scraps’, or the ‘cut offs’ from boards that were too warped to use in a project. We designed it together around a burning fire while we threw our scraps into the flame to heat our home. We always loved talking about new ideas and these caught our attention for some reason that night. That table is still one of our best sellers and our first prototype is in my home.” -Brit McCoy

Brit McCoy of The Wood Cycle in Wisconsin / Crafted in CarharttBrit McCoy of The Wood Cycle in Wisconsin / Crafted in CarharttBrit McCoy of The Wood Cycle in Wisconsin / Crafted in Carhartt

Brit left her hometown to major in Landscape Architecture at Iowa State University. Upon returning to Oregon, Wisconsin, she and her husband Matt founded their own farm, first selling their ethically raised meat locally, eventually expanding their reach. You can even order a box of their fine products on her website:

At a young age, Brit’s eyes were opened to the reality of owning and operating a company. Her upbringing taught her “hard work and the down and dirty part of owning a business. Not every aspect of owning a small business is glamorous, but it is certainly rewarding to follow your passion!”

My business started just like my father’s, to make our hobby our career. I started raising livestock as soon as I could afford to feed them. I started with sheep but always wanted to have cattle, now I have both because I realized I don’t want to choose one over the other. I had a degree in Landscape Architecture so raising our livestock on an all-grass system fit not only my educational background but also my desire to feed my livestock in a way that reflects nature. After starting the farm I realized I really still loved using the ‘design side’ of my brain so I transferred my media from computer drafting to designing flowers for weddings. The blend of farmer and florist is my perfect fit.” -Brit McCoy

Brit McCoy of The Wood Cycle in Wisconsin / Crafted in Carhartt

Brit is a woman of many talents. She’s a full time farmer, running her own flower business, all the while working at The Wood Cycle. Making strides in her career alongside her family is the most challenging and most fulfilling part of the job.

“Working with family is incredibly rewarding. You’re working looking towards the same goal, the same future and are focused on the same dream. However, it does have some challenges when the family doesn’t see exactly eye-to-eye.

Urban wood is an incredibly beautiful way to share our stories with future generations. The urban trees we use in our shop have incredible ties to family stories and we love helping other families let their stories live on through fine furniture. We are honored to be a part of that process, tree to table.” -Brit McCoy

To find out more, visit

Happy Small Business Saturday

To celebrate Small Business Saturday, we’ll be introducing you to several small businesses and the women who make them run.

Seattle Urban Farm Co.

Meet the women of Seattle Urban Farm Company. Their knowledgeable team can plan, build, and maintain the urban farm you always wanted but never thought you could personally manage—perfect for those of us who may not have a green thumb, but love the idea of homegrown tomatoes.

Hilary Dahl is co-owner and host of the Encyclopedia Botanica podcast. The podcasts are quick lessons in farming. Follow @seattleurbanfarmco to check out her tips and advice. The all female maintenance team includes Sarah Bolton and Emily Barry. Together, they care for over 60 urban vegetable gardens across the city. Daily tasks include planting the crops, keeping an eye on the soil, fertility, irrigation, pest management, pruning, weeding, and harvesting.

“Engaging with local businesses often takes more effort from the consumer, but I think it’s worth it. Buying local provides an opportunity for genuine human interaction, better quality products, and more interesting stories. The success of a small business often depends on word-of-mouth. Anytime you vouch for a local company, you are doing somebody a huge favor and I thank you on behalf of small business owners everywhere. Just get out there and rep the businesses you love.” -Hilary Dahl

Kubich Lumber Yard

Meet Bobbie Rowe. She’s been a nurse for two years, but she’s always played a big role at her family’s lumber mill. Her main gig is driving the water truck, and when it gets busy, it’s all hands on deck. Then you can find her throwing strips or controlling the multi-head resaw she built with her dad as a child.

The mill has been in operation for over 70 years. It sits deep in the woods of Grass Valley, a small Californian town that was the epicenter of the Gold Rush in the 1800s. With a population of just under 13,000, the city is closely knit together by a strong sense of community and tradition.

If you’re in the area and in need of some fresh milled timber, give Bobbie a call. They have a wide variety of products, ranging from sugar pine flooring to cedar siding. You can also visit their website:

“People are especially shocked to find out I’m a nurse when I jump out of the water truck. I remember dad laughing really hard one day after I drove the truck when I first became a nurse. He told me a couple customers had just commented on how cool it was that he hired a woman truck driver and he replied ‘That’s actually my daughter, and can you believe she is giving up truck driving to be a nurse at Stanford? She must be crazy.’ The truth is I really would be crazy to completely walk away from the mill.” -Bobbie Rowe

Glass Artist Ona Magaro

One Magaro has been working with glass for 30 years. The shear heat and intensity of the craft most attracted her during summer camp. Years down the road, she earned her BFA from Alfred University and MFA from Bowling Green. Blowing glass requires immense physical strength, particularly when fabricating on the scale of some of Ona’s larger pieces. However, Ona considers her willingness and eagerness to evolve her approach to her work her greatest capability.

Though Thanksgiving has come and gone, hopefully the spirit of gratitude remains. Ona met her mentor in school, but he continues making an impact in her life to this day.

“My sculpture professor in undergrad at Alfred University, Glenn Zwygert, showed me that I needed to be fully committed and devoted to my passion. Glenn and I use to butt heads on a lot of topics, but through the years I realized that those interactions made me open up to being able to SEE. He is still mentoring me everyday, by his own pursuits and ambition to constantly be creating.” –@onamagaro

To see more of Ona’s work, visit her website:

Amaltheia Dairy Farm

Amaltheia Dairy Farm in Montana is a family run operation. Sue and Melvyn Brown broke ground on their very own Grade A goat farm Thanksgiving Day in 2000. After building their own cheese facility, they developed exceptional products with the highest standards for purity and flavor. Amaltheia offers 17 different products and the Browns are able to produce 2,000 pounds of goat cheese a week.

Sue and Melvyn’s children are a big part of the business as well. Their son Nate and his girlfriend Karen play a big role in caring for the vegetables and animals along with property maintenance. Their daughter Sarah oversees operations at the cheese plant, though you can often find her fixing fences and feeding animals.

“To be raised in a barn is the most fulfilling childhood I could possibly imagine. Yes, it’s a lot of hard work; but you develop a close-knit relationship with animals and nature. And my parents’ ideals of organic, home grown food for their children has definitely been instilled in my brother and myself. We are blessed to be able to continue to develop and hone-in our farming and cheese making skills into the future. My brother and I hope to take the reigns and continue to provide our community with farm-fresh, organic products.” -Sarah Brown of @amaltheiadairy

You can order a fresh batch of Amaltheia cheese for yourself at

Ceramic Artist Alayna Wiley

Alayna Wiley is a ceramicist, an art educator, and a craft curator. She teaches at The Art Shack in Brooklyn. This women-owned non-profit ceramic studio offers classes to both offer classes to children and adults. If you’re interested in learning more about hand building, wheel throwing, glazing, plaster mold making or slipcasting—head on over to @artshackbrooklyn for more info.

When Alayna’s not working at The Art Shack, she’s a studio assistant at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Her education is impressive and extensive. She’s studied at Oberlin College, Germantown Academy, Penland School of Crafts, and Harvard University to name only a few. Follow her instagram, to take a closer look at her work.

The Spirit of Detroit

A tiny downtown loft in Detroit was the birthplace of Carhartt. The year was 1889. With just two sewing machines, Hamilton Carhartt & Company began producing the historic work wear we all know and love today.

Exploring Detroit / Crafted in Carhartt
Detroit remains at the heart of the company.
Exploring Detroit / Crafted in Carhartt
Michigan Central Station

Exploring Detroit / Crafted in Carhartt

Exploring Detroit / Crafted in Carhartt
buildings along historic Michigan Avenue

“I believe that when a man wears an article that I manufacture, his self-respect is increased because he knows that it is made by an honest manufacturer, who is honest with his employees.” -Hamilton Carhartt

Next week, Crafted in Carhartt is featuring another Detroit-based family owned and operated business. Until then, check out some of our favorite Detroit makers and the beautiful city we call home.

Amanda Forgash and Natalie Pappas of Flowers for Dreams

Last week, we talked about how the Chicago start-up, Flowers for Dreams, donates one fourth of their profits to local charities. Well, the donated buck doesn’t stop there. Amanda Forgash and Natalie Pappas are florists for this socially minded business. They are spearheading the movement of transparent pricing in the wedding market. You can now give back to your community as you plan your wedding and rest assured that there won’t be hidden fees or markups before the process is complete.

Take a peak at the Flower for Dreams Lookbook for some inspiration.

Tips from Amanda and Natalie about getting into the florist business:

  • Begin working at a floral shop and see if it’s the right fit.
  • Keep in mind you will be starting from the bottom and working your way up. Be prepared to get dirty!
  • All florists started sweeping the floors of a flower shop, prepping vases, and processing flowers. Those are necessary skills needed to appreciate the end product and understand why each flower is important.
  • Proper floral care is unique to every flower.
  • Always explore different ways of doing things and share tips with your fellow designers through your own personal aesthetics.
  • When creating a bouquet for someone in particular, allow their personality and traits to show through with color, texture, and flower type. Capturing the essence of a person through mother nature is rewarding beyond measure.

Flowers for Dreams / Crafted in Carhartt

Flowers for Dreams / Crafted in CarharttFlowers for Dreams / Crafted in CarharttFlowers for Dreams / Crafted in CarharttFlowers for Dreams / Crafted in CarharttFlowers for Dreams / Crafted in CarharttFlowers for Dreams / Crafted in Carhartt



Angelica Ruiz of Flowers for Dreams

In today’s fast paced economy, there is a racing hope to become the next great app developer or CEO of a startup company to put you on the path toward riches and quite possibly even fame. Stories of success and brilliant ideas float around in the business world, and rightly so.

However, in this highly competitive space, there have been a few companies deviating from the standard of inwardly focused advancement, seeking to do good for the community and maintain a profits. Personally, those are exactly the kind of organizations I want to put my money behind—and I’m sure many of you feel the same way.

Steven Dyme & Joseph Dickstein started selling flowers at high school graduations as a college project. The goal was simple, to make a little money and to make a difference. Half of their earnings went toward buying backpacks for low income students in the area. After a few years, their efforts snowballed into a full fledged company, Flowers for Dreams.

Now they have a bustling staff, a well thought out service, and continue to give back to others on a daily basis. One fourth of all their profits go to local charities.

A couple weeks ago, I got to hang out with Angelica Ruiz. She manages the flower truck. That’s right! I said flower truck. Much like a food truck, Angelica drives all over Chicago, selling bouquets at markets and various events. (Follow @F4DTruck on twitter for more info.)

Angelica Ruiz & Flowers for Dreams / Crafted in CarharttAngelica Ruiz & Flowers for Dreams / Crafted in Carhartt

Angelica Ruiz & Flowers for Dreams / Crafted in CarharttAngelica Ruiz & Flowers for Dreams / Crafted in Carhartt

What better way to brighten the world around you than with a bundle of flowers doing a bundle of good in your own neighborhood?




Holly Rutt of Little Flower Soap Co.

The Little Flower Soap Co. / Crafted in CarharttThe Little Flower Soap Co. / Crafted in CarharttThe Little Flower Soap Co. / Crafted in CarharttThe Little Flower Soap Co. / Crafted in CarharttThe Little Flower Soap Co. / The Little Flower Soap Co. / Crafted in Carhartt in CarharttThe Little Flower Soap Co. / Crafted in CarharttThe Little Flower Soap Co. / Crafted in CarharttThe Little Flower Soap Co. / Crafted in CarharttThe Little Flower Soap Co. / Crafted in CarharttMichigan florist, Holly Rutt, started making soaps as a hobby. Combining her love for nature and interest in healing plant extractions and essential oils, she and her husband created a line of body care products. After realizing how much steam her side gig was gaining, Holly decided to devote the majority of her time to The Little Flower Soap Co.

Soap making is a beautiful process. I’ve never gotten a chance to see it first hand until now, and there is something very pure about it. Goods always mean so much more when you realize the amount of work and thoughtfulness goes into their production. All of the items sold at The Little Flower Soap Co. are 100% American made and crafted with love.

I asked Holly what advice she had for others hoping to follow a similar path to her own.

“The maker movement is in full swing there has never been a better time to start your own small business. If you think your life would be better as your own boss in a creative field than get started and stick with it.” —Holly Rutt

In hind sight, Holly wishes she would have invested more of her profits back into the business early on instead of sticking that money in savings. If she could go back she would apportion a greater deal of her earnings into more equipment, web and graphic design, etc…

“Do not underestimate the importance of a clear business vision. Know what you want the business to become in 1 year and in 5 years. Write it down on paper and come back to it often.  This way when business starts to grow rapidly you can stay at the helm and steer in a clear direction.  If you don’t know where you want the business to go it will take on a life of its own and drag you behind it.” —Holly Rutt

It is incredibly inspiring to see such a young, capable woman grow a hobby into an ever expanding business. Find your passion and pursue it, it’s not something that magically forms overnight. It’s a labor of love that grows with each effort your put towards it.

Lisa of Pot & Box

Pot & Box / Crafted in Carhartt
Pot & Box / Crafted in CarharttPot & Box / Crafted in CarharttPot & Box / Crafted in CarharttPot & Box / Crafted in CarharttPot & Box / Crafted in CarharttPot & Box / Crafted in CarharttPot & Box / Crafted in CarharttPot & Box / Crafted in CarharttPot & Box / Crafted in Carhartt

Creativity is the root to any flourishing business. The idea is to grow a seedling of inspiration into something bigger that gains traction and draws people in. For Lisa, the fondness for flowers in unexpected locations was the fuel that started pot & box.

We’re certainly used to the idea of buying ice cream out of ice cream trucks, but what about flowers? Lisa drives her truck around to holiday markets and street fairs in the Detroit area, selling flowers and arrangements. You can keep on eye on the pot & box truck’s activity through the twitter page and follow it around the city if you so please.

When Lisa isn’t touring the city à la flower truck, she’s working on floral designs for weddings and other events. We caught up with her as she was setting up for one such happening. Her ingenuity shines through yet again, as she hung ginkgo tree branches from the rafters.

Here’s a bit of advice from Lisa to anyone hoping to turn a creative idea into a successful venture:

“Owning a business is all about being able to pivot. Trends, moods, and weather can change what I offer, and how I offer it. I used to want to have a traditional retail flower and garden shop, but I realized I have more flexibility to tackle different projects if I have flexibility in my schedule. That was a giant pivot. So, as far as advice, I’d suggest being open to change is really important. But also, go ahead and be stubborn when you think it’s important.”

Lisa is wearing: Carhartt Women’s Ravenden Sweater, Women’s Dodson Shirt, Relaxed-Fit Denim Jasper Jean, & Carhartt Weathered Wildwood Jacket.

Jennifer Philipps of ERA Test, LLC in Montana

ERA Test / Crafted in Carhartt

ERA Test / Crafted in Carhartt

ERA Test / Crafted in Carhartt

ERA Test / Crafted in Carhartt

ERA Test / Crafted in Carhartt

ERA Test / Crafted in Carhartt

ERA Test / Crafted in Carhartt Wake up early. Analyze lab results. Prepare reports for clients. Go to scheduled air inspections in commercial and residential environments. Submit samples to a lab in Washington. Then back to office work and equipment maintenance. That’s the typical day in the life of an Indoor Air Quality Inspector. Meet Jennifer Philipps of ERA Test, LLC in Montana. She and her mom, Lisa, own and operate the business. They test air to detect threats like mold, asbestos, radon, and methamphetamine. Together they are able to work across the entire state. The dynamics of the mother/daughter relationship in a work environment have brought the family closer together. They are able to lean on and learn from one another. It’s much more common to come across family businesses that are passed from father to son. I must say, it was really exciting to come across a multi-generational family trade that not only involves the women, but is entirely run by them. What an awesome gift of knowledge and skill to bestow. Jennifer’s work wear: Carhartt Women’s Clarksburg Zip-Front Sweatshirt & Women’s Sibley Denim Cropped Pant  

Victoria Shaheen of Pewabic Pottery

Pewabic and Carhartt

Pewabic and Carhartt

Pewabic and Carhartt
Pewabic and Carhartt
Pewabic and Carhartt
Pewabic and Carhartt

Passing down knowledge of the arts and creativity seems like the ultimate gift. As mothers, sisters, and friends we can help multiply ingenuity and imagination. Just ask Victoria. She molded her first lump of clay at the age of six. Her mom was an artist who wanted to share the passion she had for her favorite medium. Alongside her mother, Victoria saw several women who broke down barriers and set prime examples for the female art force, such as Mary Chase Perry Stratton, Maija Grotell, and Beatrice Wood.

Mary Chase Perry Stratton founded Pewabic Pottery in 1903, deviating so far from the path that patriarchal society laid before her. Instead of solely tending to matters of home and family, she broadened her mind with art and business. To Mary, pottery was more than a hobby. It was her life, her bread and butter, her ambition and aspiration. She left behind a legacy of distinct work and work ethics. If we all could be so lucky and determined to leave behind some goodness for those who follow in our footsteps, the world would be much better for it.

To Victoria, Mary Stratton “is watching over all the female artists in Detroit. If you’re walking down Woodward, feeling down on your luck, or tired form working twice as hard for half the pay merely because of your gender, look up! Chances are you will see a Pewabic facade or design somewhere on one of those buildings. Maybe she didn’t literally pave the road but she literally finished the buildings!”

Victoria aims to one day run a studio of her own with friends, hopefully traveling and doing workshops along the way. Her advice to aspiring artists is simple. Don’t take yourself so seriously. Art can still be fun to make, analyze, and critique. While Victoria sees Mary Stratton as the ceramics Rosie the Riveter of the Midwest, she hopes to be more like Shirley Temple. By integrating a bit of her background in New Jersey, she hopes to make viewers feel that playfulness of a child at the beach.

That being said let each day take you a step closer to fulfilling your dreams. Find your voice and don’t be afraid to make it heard. That’s the way to leave behind a legacy of triumph and create an appetite for achievement in generations to come.

See more of Victoria Shaheen’s work here
Also take a look at her work wear: Sandstone Sherpa Lined Vest, Clarksburg Sweatshirt, Jasper Jeans, Soft Hands Glove, & Carbondale Safety Glasses

Advice on Passion Projects

Annie Yiling Wang / Crafted in Carhartt
Annie Yiling Wang / Crafted in Carhartt
Annie Yiling Wang / Crafted in Carhartt
Annie Yiling Wang / Crafted in Carhartt
Annie Yiling Wang / Crafted in Carhartt
Annie Yiling Wang / Crafted in Carhartt
Annie Yiling Wang / Crafted in Carhartt
Annie Yiling Wang / Crafted in Carhartt
Annie Yiling Wang / Crafted in Carhartt

This is Annie Yiling Wang, graphic designer by day and jewelry designer on the side. Jewelry making is a fun hobby that lets her use her hands as she unwinds. Getting crafty can be relaxing, while still putting visual skills into play. Annie approaches her designs as if they were a three dimensional pattern or collage. The different color combinations and materials form a wearable canvas. She even makes a lot of her own beads. Annie has found a way to make her side project profitable. A lot of artistic and crafty people spend much of their downtime making things that could be turned into a lucrative passion project.

Advice from Annie about selling your work:

  • Find stores in your area. Don’t be shy about showing them your work.
  • Have a type of client in mind and seek out places who may have a similar client base.
  • Get creative with places your could sell your wares. Think outside of your market.