We want to say a HUGE thank you to all our customer-friends! We so appreciate you and your kindness! You have helped us to have our best month ever… 160 orders in the month of March 2017!
We normally average about 80-90 orders a month, so this was quite a lot more! A couple times we’ve had to have friends come and help and we hustle pretty much every day on our works.
We sure do appreciate your patience as we get through orders. Trust us, we would love to have everything in stock and ready to ship the next day, but we’re just a little family run shop right now, just basically we three ladies and we’re just not there yet. Someday!
We try and work all the orders as they come in. We have started to get a wee bit of inventory done, mostly things like shuttles, lease sticks and weaving needles. These items are simpler then our weaving looms and often once we set up to do some, an extra couple is not hard. And if you order some of our decals or weaving cards, they might go out pretty quickly because they don’t have to go through the wood shop.
Jessy handles all the shipping and packing of orders! She has help often but she is the manager of it all. She deals with all the shipping and tracking information as well as entering the listings and doing all the photography for new items. She has a full time job these days! She also handles her own company, Dragon Mountain Treasures, which sells rocks and mineral kits to kids!
Wow! It’s a cool story, actually. You have helped to keep our little village post office open! It was scheduled to close, which would have been sad! (It’s only a 1/3 a mile from our homestead farm!) But when we moved in with all our mail order business, they had to keep it open! There is another fellow in town that makes and sells pocket knives and such and between us, we provide a whole town with a close by post office and the staff’s jobs! There are two nice ladies that work there. I think that is really nifty, don’t you?
Thanks to everyone!!! We sure appreciate it!
One of the products that we have wanted to offer is a personal wool picker. Something strong and functional for the fiber artist that is also easy to store and use. We envision the spinner or weaver that processes a few fleeces a year. And best of all, we want it to be extremely reasonable in price! We feel that many fiber tools are just too expensive for what they are. It makes the craft difficult for people to get into because of the investment of the tools that make it easy and enjoyable.
That being said, the picker is a rather complicated beast! It involves a good deal of cabinetry skills, clamps, lots of holes drilled and nails placed at angles. Maggie and Mom spent an afternoon with a set of basic plans and began to try and build one to specs… not much alteration. We wanted to see how one goes together and how it works when finished so that we could put our Windhaven spin on the thing!
One thing that we did notice right off the top is that this design is a little too short. We would like to see the ends extend out more, to give you a longer stroke of the top piece and pull the wool over the points. That’s easy enough to do when we get to production.
We found there is a bit too many pieces to cut and clamp… we can make it a lot easier and more sound by using a router for the track and such. The instructions we were following were clearly for a very minimal workshop without a lot of nifty tools! That’s fine, but we want to make something that will be in your family for years and years if you wish! And we want to be able to make it in a way that doesn’t take hours and hours!
We love making things! And making them better! Maggie really has an eye for how to craft things in wood! Not sure where she got it, but she sure understands it all. It’s remarkable to watch her make and figure things out. Mom Sherri is the weaver and a class A tinker designer as well, so these two get together and some neat things happen! It’s how most of our looms and tools have been developed!
Looking good! Everything works, the tines line up pretty good and we are happy with the router edge and how it is functioning. Still need to finish sand and wax it up and apply a handle. But so far, so good!
Now, it’s into the studio to start working and get tested. We already have a few things we’d like to change and we will! But we thought we would share with you how we do things around here. We decide to make something and research it. Then we make a few prototypes and test them. Sometimes we test for weeks and months! We want to make sure it’s ready for production and our customers! It’s very important to us. We will release no tool before it’s time.
We’ll be sure to let everyone know when it is finally ready!
Believe it or not, this little shuttle started off our fiber tool business.
You see, I have two lovely daughters. They mean the world to me. And on my birthday, my youngest, Maggie, she made me a sweet little shuttle for my inkle loom! All on her own. With very limited woodworking tools and even experience. And it was beautiful. I love it.
I asked her if she could make me another one, an idea that I had, for a inkle shuttle with a little pick on the end, a finger pick. I gave her a rough idea and within a day she came back and made me this one… and another smaller one to give a try. I was hooked!
Well, the next thing you know, I took a picture of my inkle weaving loom and my finger pick shuttle on it, to share to an inkle weaving group I like on Facebook. Instantly, someone wanted to know what that shuttle was and who made them. The rest is history!
It’s now been almost 8 months and she has made so many lovely things in her shop, it’s stunning. She has had over 1,000 orders now. It has been a reason that my daughter has blossomed from the difficulties she has with being an autistic young adult. She adores working in her shop out in a little garage on our farm. A place that she cleaned out, re-did and finished for her needs. She is most happy out there, putzing about, working with wood, by herself, and helping to generate funds for the family budget. It has been the best thing ever for her self esteem and personal contentment. And it’s been keeping me and her sister Jessy, very busy! (We handle all her customer service needs and do all the packing and management of orders.)
So, you just never know what a little birthday gift might work into!
Oh boy! Is Maggie excited!
She got a whole box full of lovely wood turning blanks to work on her new lathe that she got for Christmas! She is very excited. 14 species of wood, 14 each! Osage, black walnut, white oak, tulip popular, sycamore, hickory… and more!
She has done a few things on her lathe, but honestly, she’s been so busy with orders, she just hasn’t had a lot of time to give it a good whirl! She wants to learn to make drop spindles as well as spinning wheel tools and other things like beautiful crochet hooks and such! She just loves her wood working!
Can’t wait to share with you all some of the beautiful creations that will come from her hands!
It’s really been amazing, all the good attention, orders and well wishes that we have gotten at the start of our new venture. Maggie is the main craftsperson, she makes nearly everything in our shop offering. Jessy, her sister and myself, Sherri, her mom, we help a little with the final sanding and finishing, when Maggie is a bit behind. And she is often a little behind because she is getting so many orders!
Everything we do is made to order. We just haven’t had a chance to get caught up and make extra stock yet! And with over 40 products in many different wood choices, chances are, even if we did have a lot of things in stock, it might not be the exact thing you wanted. Our goal is to start to stock a lot of the things that are commonly ordered… our weaving/nalbinding needles are very popular. So are the finger pick shuttles and stick shuttles. Those are a little easier to make then our beautiful inkle looms, for example. Maggie tries to make a few extra when she can, when she is set up to say, make wool diz or needles. It does help.
I hope folks have a little patience as we go through this learning curve and growing pains! I can’t hardly believe that we have only been at this for 7 months now! Just amazing. I can’t wait to see what 7 years looks like! We have so many ideas and protoypes to work on and test! Just wait till you see what we have planned!
In the meanwhile, we will keep burning the midnight oil to do our VERY best to get orders out in a very timely manner!