I have had such a wonderful time creating and writing this weekly (sometimes every other week) Etsy feature. It has given me the chance to share a lot of great art and creativity to The Sunday Sparkle readers, as well as allowing the people behind the work a chance to shine. My goal is to create a well-deserving spotlight of the hard-working families, young couples paying off student loans, or a passionate artist following their dream.
This week I turn the spotlight onto the Moss family, an appropriate last name I might say, Kaylee and Justin Moss are the creators of The Moss Woodshop. Moss Wood, a collection of art and everyday pieces such as frames, planters and shelves are made with salvaged wood and collected driftwood with a well-worn, beautiful aesthetic and sometimes moss adding as an accent.
The Moss family is from Deer Park, Washington, a small town in the vast beauty of the Northwest. I can imagine the nature that surrounds them is tremendously inspirational and lends a hand to the collection of their weathered materials. Another huge source of inspiration came from Justin’s father, Justin spent a lot of time woodworking with his father growing up and describes him as a man who can build anything. The Moss family is looking forward to sharing their skills with their two small children as they grow up.
Nature is truly remarkable as seen in these pieces by The Moss Woodshop. The shelf is a stunning piece to hold a special family trinket.
Q&A with Justin and Kaylee:
1. When did you start your etsy shop?
I’ve always had a passion for woodworking ever since I was young helping in my dad’s workshop. Instead of buying gifts for birthdays, I’d often build wooden toys or knickknacks.
In high school I carved a wooden Doberman for a girl I had a crush on, I spent about 30 hours on that thing (one of those embarrassing memories I’ve tried to block out!)
About 5 years ago, I started working as a carpenter for a small construction business, which has helped me gain a lot of experience in all aspects of construction and finish woodworking. A couple of winters ago work was really slow, so we decided to have a handmade Christmas. I had salvaged some cedar boards from my brother’s old fence, and saw potential in the weathered, gray wood. I used some of the cedar to frame a mirror and build a little rustic shelf for my sister. I also built some little wooden boats for all the kids in the family – they were just like the ones my dad used to make for us when we were young.
I found that I really enjoyed working with reclaimed wood, and started constantly thinking of new things to build with it. We had some friends who had told us about Etsy, so we decided to give it a try. We opened the shop in January of 2011 with just a couple of barn wood items, and made our first sale within a week. Soon after, I started adding driftwood shelves to the shop, and they are now our most popular product.
2. How would you describe your collection?
Earthy, natural. Since our items are built using reclaimed wood, the character of each piece has already been created in its earlier environment, and then put together by hand with a clean design that turns it into a piece of functional, natural art.
3. Describe a typical day in your life?
Our days can be pretty hectic, since I have to juggle a full-time job along with my Etsy shop. (Not that I’m complaining – I love that I have freedom in building my products while still having the security of my day job.)
My day goes something like this: Wake up, drink coffee, (my coffee does not taste good – I think I’m becoming a coffee snob.) Drive to work (pick up another coffee on the way,) load up the work van and head to to job (at lunch break, I find my full, cold cup of coffee in the van.) A lot of times when I get home from work I need to package/drop off sold orders, or work on made-to-order items that need to be shipped. I let the kids help me package orders, they love crunching up newspaper and stuffing it in the boxes. In the evenings we spend time together as a family before bed.
I’m blessed to be able to stay home with our two kiddos, Makensey, 4 1/2, and Uriah, 3. Our schedule is pretty relaxed, which I love. Some mornings I get up with Justin before work, so that after he leaves I can (hopefully) have some quiet time before the kids wake up. Other mornings I sleep until a little one jumps into bed with me. In between cooking, cleaning, reading with the kids, teaching ABCs and memory verses, going for bike rides and walks to the park, I check convos and emails. At nap time I’ll usually be getting orders ready to ship, photographing products in the back yard, or editing photos and listing new items. Or on Pinterest. Or reading my favorite blogs. Mostly the last one, though. When Justin gets home we sometimes finish packaging/shipping, or we just hang out and make dinner together (I’m also VERY blessed with a husband who loves to cook!) Lately we’ve been cooking in our NEW (almost finished) kitchen, and eating outside, which is awesome. Then comes the bedtime routine, with toothbrushes, pj’s, and maybe a couple of songs or stories involved, and then Justin and I have an hour or so to watch a show or relax before we start it all over again.
4. What is your favorite thing to do on a day off?
I love to take the kids fishing, or for walks in the woods, camping, or anything outdoor related.
I honestly can’t WAIT until we have a day off to go collect driftwood. Does that count?
Sunday Sparkle side note: It totally counts Kaylee and sounds like an awesome day.
5. What inspires you?
Newly found, unique pieces of wood. I’m also inspired by the freedom I have to make things however I think they should be. It’s motivating to see that customers appreciate my art.
Did I mention Pinterst and blogs? I’m inspired by other people’s creativity, by nature, and my kids. Inspiration is one of the best feelings – I hate not to act on it.
6. What is your favorite thing in your home?
The things I love the most in my home are the sentimental ones. I have the dining set that I grew up eating at every day, an antique hope chest that my parents bought me for my 17th birthday, handmade blankets from our grandmas, the bed Justin built me, and the drawings I’ve done of our babies. I guess any house could be filled with “stuff”, but for me, a house feels more like a home when it’s filled with things that remind me that I’m loved.
To visit their websites:
The Moss family kids Makensey and Uriah and a few snippets of their home life.
Many thanks to the Moss family and happiness to you all!