October of 2019 I sat scrolling through the endless images of holiday crafts on my phone, which like many women is my nightly ritual, I suddenly stopped at a photo of several rustic Christmas trees made from vintage wooden doors. “Ohhh these are Stinkin Cute!” I told Kerry. “Can you make me one of these?” I asked him. And with that “Stinkin Cute Trees” was born.
With always a joy for craft making and repurposing old furniture, at the time we had a booth in an antique shop in Columbiana Ohio so after locating some antique doors we decided to make a few and see if they would sell. 21 trees were originally cut, framed and mounted on bases from several solid wooden doors with the hopes of selling at least a dozen of them. Little did we know what we had started.
Showing our creations to family, and friends at my job at the hospital, then delivering several to the antique shop, all 21 were gone in just 3 days. Kerry and I looked at each other in shock as more requests began to pour in. Seven days a week for the next 6 weeks we worked to create as many of these hit trees as possible. 171 were made in all, selling every one before the season was up and with requests still coming in. After a few days to catch our breath and many discussions concerning the possibilities of producing them on a mass scale, it was decided to close our antique booth and focus all of our efforts on the trees. On January 1st 2020 we began.
Anyone starting their own business will tell you that
the first year is always the toughest. Discussing the venture endlessly, we thought we had covered every possible pro and con of starting a business of this nature but little did we know that as we were in our infant stages of creation, a monster determined to destroy everyone’s way of life was riding with a first class airline ticket on its way to America. Covid-19.
Presenting our items for consideration to several major events and receiving overwhelming enthusiasm, several storage trailers were purchased along with masses of tools and supplies. Our “veranda” was enclosed as a “tree room workshop” and a huge overhang was added to the back of our home. We were gearing up to produce 1,000 trees.
In today’s world of repurposing, we feel good about giving these discarded doors a new life and an all new purpose to carry on. Each tree is handcrafted with no two the same. Many retain their original colors while some are painted festive colors such as red, green and black. Each is then distressed mounted on hand crafted bases and adorned with authentic hardware, doorknobs and decorative hooks, perfect for hanging wreaths, signs, etc.
Not only did the trees take on a life of their own, but began to be the topic of our discussion 24 hours a day 7 days a week. We now produce trees all year long. In addition to the “Big Trees” which range in size from 4 to over 8 feet tall, a line of small “tabletop” trees were also created from fragments of the doors as well as a line of hand sewn fabric trees, many made from vintage quilts.