VT Creative Works
Tell us about your business.Although I have been creating most of my life, it has only been in the past two years that I started my custom mailboxes. Initially, the first mailbox was created out of necessity. Outside my new studio was a worn out old mailbox in need of replacement. I really wanted to create something unusual as the mailbox would be the first glimpse folks would have of my work. It was then that the first faux Copper Patina mailbox was created. At the time I was working on up cycling tag sale furniture and showcasing it in my studio. I learned quickly that the luxury of a big studio was tough to heat in the winter, so I limited my hours out in the studio and started an online shop on Etsy to keep me working during the long Vermont winter. I put a few faux copper, pewter and gold mailboxes on my site and in no time I found it to be a full time job. Two years ago I had no idea I would be painting mailboxes but I am happy that I kept myself open to new possibilities.
Tell us about your workspace, shop, or studio.I am very fortunate to have a beautiful workspace. I live in Manchester Vermont and my studio is a converted four car garage. The ceilings are high and the lighting is wonderful. I have a picture perfect view of the green mountains right through my windows. Outside my door is large fenced in yard with lots of shade trees. This is where Lucy, my energetic lab and her best friend Maui hang out, play ,and wait patiently while I work. Having my studio on my property allows me to multi task ( as so many moms do) and be available to my daughter Tessa when she needs me. I spent most of my life working on my dining room table or in the living room trying to create amongst my living area. It has only been a few years that the dream of having a studio became a reality. I treasure it ever day.
What inspires you?Inspiration comes from everywhere. Sometimes I feel a bit overwhelmed with the desire to create. My motto has always been to create beautiful things since there are enough unpleasantries already in this world. I see and feel inspiration from nature when I walk each day with my dog. The work of other artists inspires me. I am particularly drawn to aged and distressed finishes. Layering colors and textures and creating the appearance of a time worn surface is an exciting challenge. I enjoy and appreciate many different types of art and craft. Creating will be always be a part of me and I look forward to new inspirations along the way.
What makes your business stand out?My mailboxes are unique and personalized. I have not seen them produced by anyone else. I strive to give full attention to each order so that I always have a happy customer. My goal is to create a beautiful product, that is of high standards and good value. I spend at least an hour a day communicating back and forth with my customers to ensure that I understand exactly what they want their mailbox to look like. Many of my customers are brides to be and have a lot of planning and decisions to make. Its important to me that I make their wedding card box exactly as they picture it and to have their transaction go as smooth as possible. I find myself triple checking the spelling and dates on all my card box orders. I would hate to have their card box arrive to them with a misspelled name or incorrect wedding date!
What advice would you give an aspiring creative entrepreneur?Be open to change. Start small so you do not feel overwhelmed. Try to always enjoy the process of what you create. You decided to start a business because you love what to do. Even when you are faced with stressful situations its important to remember why you are in this business. Focus on being the best at what you do and being a fair and honest business owner.
What does American Made mean to you?Cottage industries have long thrived in Vermont . Here we live in rural areas where jobs are far and few between. Vermonters are resourceful and using a craft to earn a living is not uncommon. I've always been an artist and a crafter. To me, American Made stands for tradition and quality. Offering a product that is created from love, passion and honest hard work is what makes me feel proud of what I do.
Mark Your Calendar
WINNERS ANNOUNCEDOct. 17, 2014
2014 Award Winner and Audience Choice Winner announced.See past Award Winners
AMERICAN MADE MEETUPNov. 7, 2014
Join Martha at the American Made Summit kickoff cocktail party.Buy Tickets Now
AMERICAN MADE SUMMITNov. 8, 2014
Don’t miss our networking event and maker lecture series in New York City.Buy Tickets Now
RENEGADE CRAFT FAIRNov. 15 - 16, 2014
Shop for holiday gifts at the Martha Stewart American Made Pavilion.Learn More