Well, it's been about five years in the making, but we are now ready to take a leap of faith and launch Just Beyond the Cottonwoods! Our desire in this venture is to provide unique, thoughtful products that enhance your home with functionality, purpose, and simplicity. We've realized that it's those little, meaningful touches that set some products apart, and it's those products we intend to provide here at Just Beyond the Cottonwoods. There is no better compliment than for us to have new (or old) friends decorate their home with our handcrafted products. Quality and creativity take a lot of time, but we enjoy the journey each piece takes and the satisfaction of knowing we provided something that will be enjoyed for years to come. Our goal is not to manufacture products on an assembly line but to use our hands to create products that have been worked with life and touched with character. Everything is created in our home...just beyond the cottonwoods in Mechanicsburg Ohio.
Recently, upon hearing that I was starting a business, a friend of mine (hey Jen!) asked, "Why?". Now, she didn't mean a sarcastic "Why". What she really desired to know was my thought process in trying to juggle something like this with being a homeschool mom of three boys, a Challenge A Director (homeschool coop tutor), a full time homemaker, cook, wife, and what seems like a million other things. My friend is always asking deep questions to make me think, and I'm so glad she asked this one. It reminded me to keep my focus on why I am starting this adventure in the first place. I've been making things for the last three decades. For the past 15 years, I've been making creative products for our home such as pillows, curtains, shelves, wall decor, etc., and a desire grew in me to make products to sell just like my parents used to make many years ago. It hasn't been until the last year that the thought of having a little creative business was placed on my heart. The problem though was that I simply couldn't figure out what to make. I had lots of ideas rolling around, and I had dabbled in lots of areas from time to time. I just didn't know what would appeal to others necessarily. Then one day, while leaving the class that I tutor, my wooden crate filled with supplies broke. I believe it was my third one actually. Pencils, notes, paper, books, and a variety of other items spilled all over the parking lot. Argh! Why couldn't a crate last more than 6 months worth of uses? And then a thought hit me, why couldn't we could just build our own crate? I talked to my hubby about it, and he set out with me to design and make beautiful, functional, and most of all, durable crates. And that's where it started. From there we began making and using the crates to fill with gifts for weddings, baby showers, graduations, etc. Then I started to make products that represented a thought or idea behind it or had some meaningful function. By this time, I also started to look at my home differently and began to edit it so that the items inside reflected the precious people that live within. Here we are a short time later, ready to share with anyone that has a similar appreciation. We and each of our three boys have enjoyed the entire process. One of the greatest compliments we have enjoyed has been when a friend sends a picture of a gift displayed in his/her home that we made and gifted him/her with to show our love. Every Just Beyond the Cottonwoods product has been handcrafted and heart designed in our home which really does lie just beyond the cottonwoods. We have no intention to mass produce these products (many will be one of a kind or custom made), but we will use the best of our God granted abilities to make products that are just simply intentional. Thank you for sharing in our journey, and we'll look for you just beyond the cottonwoods. May God bless you and your families as He has ours.
Tom & Nik