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: www.homesteadwisconsin.com.

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 www.thewoodcycle.com.

Clare Fox of Mutual Adoration

Mutual Adoration / Crafted in Carhartt Mutual Adoration / Crafted in Carhartt Mutual Adoration / Crafted in Carhartt Mutual Adoration / Crafted in Carhartt Mutual Adoration / Crafted in Carhartt Mutual Adoration / Crafted in Carhartt Mutual Adoration / Crafted in Carhartt Mutual Adoration / Crafted in Carhartt Mutual Adoration / Crafted in Carhartt
Detroit native, Clare Fox, has undoubtedly left a beautiful mark on her hometown. Using the Motor City as fodder for inspiration and a great place to salvage wood and other building materials, the products Clare makes for Mutual Adoration have a rich feeling of history and stories past.

Symbolism and hidden meanings play a huge role in the creative process for Clare. Each piece she crafts pays homage to the backstory of the sourced materials and often relates to a message she hopes to portray though her labors. For instance, the Union Table Clare is working on in the photos above was first designed as a gift for friend’s wedding. These two tables function as one in a variety of ways, much as a couple does.

Take a look at what else Mutual Adoration has to offer.

(Claire is wearing the Carhartt Women’s Minot Shirt & Soft Hands Glove.)

Janie Mills of Salt Works

SaltWorks Syracuse / Crafted in Carhartt SaltWorks Syracuse / Crafted in Carhartt
SaltWorks Syracuse / Crafted in Carhartt
SaltWorks Syracuse / Crafted in Carhartt
SaltWorks Syracuse / Crafted in Carhartt
SaltWorks Syracuse / Crafted in Carhartt
SaltWorks Syracuse / Crafted in Carhartt
SaltWorks Syracuse / Crafted in Carhartt
SaltWorks Syracuse / Crafted in Carhartt


In an effort to assuage the issues of high unemployment and enormous amounts of demolition waste in the area of Syracuse, New York; Janie Mills and the folks at Near Westside Initiative and Northside Urban Partnership united forces to create Salt Works. This amazing social enterprise pulls in members of the community and teaches them the tricks of the woodworking trade. Recycling materials that would typically be on course to becoming landfill, the carpenters at Salt Works create artisan furniture.

This mindful company lifts up members of the community and betters the planet through green production. The items they offer are impeccably designed and assembled. There is such a difference in furniture that is mass produced and furniture that is crafted with the utmost attention to detail. These are pieces that will endure a lifetime in your living space, filling up your home with good vibes and good design.

Take a look at Janie’s work wear: 125th Duck Apron, Sandstone Berkley Vest, Hamilton Flannel Shirt II, & 1889 Slim Double Front Dungarees

Furniture Designer Aimee Inouye

Aimee Inouye / Crafted in Carhartt
Aimee Inouye / Crafted in Carhartt
Aimee Inouye / Crafted in Carhartt
Aimee Inouye / Crafted in Carhartt
Aimee Inouye / Crafted in Carhartt
Aimee Inouye / Crafted in Carhartt

Aimee Inouye / Crafted in Carhartt
Aimee Inouye / Crafted in Carhartt
Aimee Inouye / Crafted in Carhartt
Aimee Inouye / Crafted in Carhartt
Aimee Inouye / Crafted in Carhartt

 

It seems like a romantic notion to grow up and spend the rest of you life with your high school sweetheart. But what if your paramour was your craft? Aimee Inouye took a Hawaiian crafts woodworking course while in high school in Honolulu and was taken with it.
After college, Aimee left Hawaii to pursue her education even further. From San Francisco to Portland, it’s been a long journey of building knowledge and skills. Merging her background in architecture, furniture design, and woodworking, Aimee hopes to move towards the furniture/product design field as a well-rounded maker.
She can now approach projects from start to finish with every aspect of the process in mind. Beautiful sketches fill her studio, each one reflecting the Shaker belief that “beauty rests in utility.” Woodchips cover the floor as design meets chisel.
In a time when woodworking as a profession is rare, let alone female woodworkers, it’s moving to sit and watch the sawdust fly. Perhaps it’s time to look at benches and bed frames in a whole new light. A labor of love comes from the handmade.
How much passion comes packaged in a ready-to-assemble bookshelf?

Take a closer look at Aimee’s stunning work here.
What Aimee’s wearing: Carhartt Women’s Dunlow Sweatshirt, Calumet Crewneck T-Shirt, Women’s Slim-Fit Nyona Jeans, & Duck Nail Apron.

Safety Tips in the Wood Shop

safety tips in the woodshop
safety tips in the woodshop
safety tips in the woodshop
safety tips in the woodshop
WOODshopSAFETYcarhartt

 

Let’s talk safety in the wood shop. Here are a few tips to follow while you’re working:
1. Wear the appropriate workwear. No loose or dangling clothing or jewelry.
2. Always use sharp blades and tips. Dull blades can be very dangerous.
3. When changing out blades, make sure to disconnect power source beforehand.
4. Check for nails, screws, and other metal pieces in wood before you work with it.
5. Never reach over the blades. Use a push stick to move cut off wood.
6. Always be patient and careful. When you rush, you’re more likely to make mistakes.
7. Keep the shop clean. This helps the work flow and prevents accidents.
Take a look at Rachel’s outfit. It’s easy to move around in, sturdy, and safe to wear to work. 
El Paso Utility Vest, Short-Sleeve Signature T-Shirt, Relaxed-Fit Canvas Kane Dungaree, & Billings Safety Glasses.

Emily from Handmade America

Lost Garage Chicago

Lost Garage Chicago

Lost Garage Chicago

Lost Garage Chicago

Lost Garage Chicago

Lost Garage Chicago

Lost Garage Chicago

Lost Garage Chicago

Lost Garage in Chicago

Lost Garage Chicago

Alright all you ladies out there who wish you could weld, listen up! Emily has some great advice. Welding and grinding can seem really intimidating at first, but if you take it step by step, you can handle it. Try thinking of it as something you do on a day to day basis. It’s like baking cookies or putting together a bookshelf from Ikea. One step at a time and you’ll get the hang of it.

Check out these awesome benches Emily and her boyfriend, Ryan, made out of fire hose and a metal frame. You can snag one for yourself on the Handmade America website. Follow this creative duo on twitter and instagram. ( @emilybelden | @ryanlange )

See what Emily’s wearing: Force Performance Quarter Zip & Fargo Jacket 

Alison of Bit of Butter

Bit of Butter and Carhartt

Bit of Butter and Carhartt

Bit of Butter and Carhartt

Bit of Butter and Carhartt

Bit of Butter and Carhartt

Bit of Butter and Carhartt

Bit of Butter and Carhartt

Bit of Butter and Carhartt

Bit of Butter and Carhartt

Bit of Butter and Carhartt

Bit of Butter and Carhartt

Alison and her husband, Kevin, started Bit of Butter as a passion project. It’s an online store that sells vintage, mid century, and danish modern home goods, housewares, and furnishings. Alison is a mother, an academic, and a mid-century design enthusiast. A lot goes into their searches for Bit of Butter stock. The mornings start early at Seattle estate sales and thrift stores. Alison and Kevin often refinish their findings as well. Much time is spent researching the goods and prepping them for resale. Take a look at the charming items on their website here.

Cynthia of RX Made in Chicago

Rebuilding Exchange and Carhartt

Rebuilding Exchange and Carhartt

Rebuilding Exchange and Carhartt

Rebuilding Exchange and Carhartt

Rebuilding Exchange and Carhartt

Rebuilding Exchange and Carhartt

Rebuilding Exchange and Carhartt

Rebuilding Exchange and Carhartt

Rebuilding Exchange and Carhartt

Rebuilding Exchange and Carhartt

Rebuilding Exchange and Carhartt

Rebuilding Exchange and Carhartt

Rebuilding Exchange and Carhartt

Rebuilding Exchange and Carhartt

Remember Meegan from Rebuilding Exchange in last week’s post? She goes out to deconstruction sites and sources materials that can be repurposed. A lot of the goodies Meegan brings back to Rebuilding Exchange go to RX Made, where Cynthia and the crew upcycle the salvaged materials. They turn wood and other odds and ends that would have been thrown out into tables, mirrors, benches, etc. Each piece is so unique and filled with history.

Cynthia is a powerhouse in the workshop. Not only does she run the shop, she also teaches classes on how to operate machinery and build repurposed furniture. I was blown away by her vast skill set.

Gotta love girls with power tools! Find out more about RX Made here.

Greta de Parry

Greta de Parry and Carhartt

Greta de Parry and Carhartt

Greta de Parry and Carhartt

Greta de Parry and Carhartt

Greta de Parry and Carhartt

Greta de Parry and Carhartt

Greta7

Greta de Parry and Carhartt

Greta de Parry and Carhartt

Greta de Parry and Carhartt

Greta de Parry and Carhartt

I had the opportunity to spend some time with Greta this week out at Crab Tree Farm in Chicago, where she’s an artist in residence. The estate is the most breathtaking farm I’ve ever seen. Her studio looks out onto a lake and pastures with sheep and other animals. Greta often wears Carhartt when she works. Since she works with open flames so much, the flame resistant products are perfect for her.

Both artistic and physically capable of turning her visions into something tangible and beautiful, Greta is the epitome of girl power. She welds, solders, cuts down trees, knows her way around a blow torch, designs and pours her own concrete molds, and so much more. Greta is a graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago with a background in sculpture, designed objects, and graphic illustration.

The furniture she makes is unique and raw in a very honest and natural way. The handmade qualities of her work compliment the materials she makes her pieces out of so well, as you can see in the stools pictured above. Check out the rest of her work here.

Carhartt does not make any garments that are specifically designed to be worn when welding. Carhartt Flame-Resistant Clothing will protect better than 100% cotton or synthetic garments because the FR fabric is self-extinguishing. However, flame-resistant clothing is susceptible to holes and fabric burns created by sparks and metal debris generated by activities such as welding.

Sharon Burdett of Strand Design

Sharon Burdette and Carhartt

Sharon Burdette and Carhartt

Sharon Burdette and Carhartt

Sharon Burdette and Carhartt

Sharon Burdette and Carhartt

Sharon Burdette and Carhartt

Sharon Burdette and Carhartt

Sharon Burdette and Carhartt

Sharon Burdette and Carhartt

Sharon Burdette and Carhartt

It’s always exciting to find makers with products you love that are made in an environmentally conscious way. That’s why I was so stoked when I came across Strand Design. Sharon Burdett and her husband, Ted, own the studio located in the Randolph St. Market District of Chicago.

They are known for focusing on sustainability in all of their product development (including furniture, lighting, bags, and other well-designed odds and ends). Strand Design creations are made from salvaged lumber, urban lumber, locally manufactured materials, and re-purposed materials— which makes for guilt-free shopping!

It’s so encouraging to see business owners who are aware of the impact they have on the community around them. One of the Carhartt items Sharon is wearing in the photos above is a scarf imprinted with the following quote from Hamilton Carhartt:

“My business was not started to do the gainful thing alone, but the just and honest thing, gainful if possible.”

Sharon and Ted run their company with those very ideals in mind.

You can buy Strand products here.