Chats with Creatives: Carlie of Wellwood Designs

Meet Carlie.

Carlie is a fellow small shop owner and she makes some amazing home and nursery wood signs! We “met” when I worked with her to create a new website for her and her husband’s growing business, Wellwood Designs. It was so great to work with a fellow woodworker and I love seeing other mamas being successful and following their creative passion. Over the course of her design, I knew I had to get to know her better and was super excited when she agreed to be featured in one of my chats! She is a multi-passionate creative, a work at home mama, a fellow Jenna Kutcher and Ashlyn Writes fangirl and is making big moves for herself and her family! I cannot wait for you to get to know her more as well!

 

Important things first, Who’s your favorite Disney Princess? And why?

It would have to be Cinderella. It’s the first Disney Princess movie I remember watching as a kid and I loved the birds, mice and of course her happy ending.

What is your best quality in your personal opinion? And then ask your husband what he thinks is your best quality. 

I think it would be my determination. When I set my mind to something I see it through, even if I hit a million bumps in the road. My husband thinks it is my honesty, as he says “I never lie” which is true, except when I tell him he did a great job folding the towels, LOL!

When and how did you begin or find your creative passion?

I was always creative as a kid but it began again in 2016 when we bought our first home. I wanted to make it feel like OUR home and kept leaving stores empty handed, so I started making our own decor.

If you could go anywhere in the world for 2 weeks, where would you go and what would you do?

Jamaica! We actually got married there. I would definitely have some jerk chicken and go to Dunns River Falls again.

What is something you’ve always dreamed of doing or attaining that you know is a realistic goal you can achieve someday? 

I want to buy an old farmhouse style fixer-upper. I love design and so appreciate the character of old homes. Imagine lots of white and shiplap, wood floors, cozy yet minimal with a big garage! We have been keeping our eye out for the perfect house with no luck so far!

If you were stranded on a deserted island, what three things would you have and why?

My kids and hubs, because they follow me everywhere, LOL. My glasses because I have horrible sight without them. And probably a to-do-list because I always have an actual handwritten one shoved in my pocket.

What is one way you balance personal life and business life especially when working from home? Is there any process or routine that you recommend for other mompreneurs who struggle with working at home with little one’s running around? Do you ever wish you had childcare or help watching them?

I’m still working on finding a good balance.I try plan properly so I can take a day or here or there and do that work at night. My daughter starts school in September so I think that will help with my balance a bit more. My advice would be to not let others influence you in the decision you make— whether you do daycare, keep them home or a mix of both!

If you could give your 18 year old self one piece of advice, what would it be? 

Spend more intentional time with your grandparents and ask to hear more of their stories growing up. I lost them both when they were semi-young and it was unexpected. Also, don’t stress about the future, everything will fall into place.

Being a mom is tough work, let alone running a business on top of it. What has been the biggest struggle for you?

MOM-GUILT 100%. They stay home with me so I feel guilty when I can’t play with them all the time but then I feel bad thinking about sending them to a babysitter. 

How and when did you decide to get into woodworking? Tell us about your process.

In 2016, I started making painted pallet signs to decorate our home but in 2018, I saw a video of a scroll sawer, knowing nothing about it, just that I wanted to go it. The next day I bought a second-hand scroll saw and started teaching myself. Now, after a lot of practice, scrolling is what takes the least amount of time in our process— for most designs anyways. Painting the cutouts is definitely a labour of love. To create a finish as smooth as possible, we paint, sand and repeat until it is perfect!

Tell me about working with your hubs, how does that go and what are each of your roles?

We have completely different personality but work great together ( most of the time.) Ben purchases all the materials we need and cuts the backings for the signs. He also has a full time job outside of our business so he helps stain, package and deliver whenever he has the chance. I wear all the other hats. Scrolling, painting and finishing the signs. Customer service, social media and all the other fun things!

What makes you most happy about running your small business? And what stresses you out? 

What makes me most happy is that I get to make beautiful heirlooms for our customers all while watching my kids grow. The unpredictability stresses me out because I am a super planner. I love to know exactly what is going to happen and when and that doesn’t always happen while running your own business. Some weeks we get a decent amount of order and others we are swamped. Since we like to keep our turn around time low, this can cause a lot of late nights! I would love to be able to hire someone to package and deliver out orders to take some stress off my plate!

What are your other creative passions outside of crafting home decor?

Since starting my own business, I’ve found a love for all things business related, such as copywriting, brand storytelling and social media marketing. I hope to be able offer these service in the near future as I know it can be a learning curve when all you want to do is focus on your product! I also love photography. I take most of our product photos. 

What is your 5 year plan? Do you see your company evolving or shifting a certain direction? Or just along for the ride? Are there any moves you want to make in terms of outsourcing either a part of your process?

I want to keep Wellwood Designs a small business so you always get that personal experience and I can continue to make all of our products. I hope to hire someone to do our packaging and delivery. Even though I can do our own bookkeeping, I also hope to our source this. I always put it in the back burner!

If you could change anything about your business or your process right this instance, what would it be?

Packaging orders! We definitely need to find a less time consuming, but still super protective, way to get our orders out.

What is one thing (or more) you would invest in today if you had $2000 to spend on your creative passion? 

A mastermind! This is a group of like minded people mentoring each other. Sharing education, experiences and keeping each other accountable. They say it takes a village to raise a child, I believe the same about businesses. I think this would be impactful for my business because I always want to continue learning and I think learning from others experiences is a great way.

What is one piece of advice that you were given that has been the most impactful during your entrepreneurial journey? 

“Done is better than perfect” I think I first heard this from Jenna Kutcher but have hear it many times since. I am a perfectionist, so I will hold myself back unless I implement this advice. I think if I wait until something is “perfect” someone else would have already had it done.

In turn, what is one piece of advice you’d give to other looking to start their own venture? 

Just go for it! I believe as long as you have your “why”— WHY does your business exist? What inspires you to get out of bed in the morning? What drives you to keep doing what you’re doing? You can figure out all the nitty-gritty later.

 


Takeaways from Carlie

Just go for it!

You guys, don’t be afraid to follow your heart. If something makes you happy, and makes sense for your life and your circumstance (I mean come on, we have to be somewhat logical as well), take the leap and do what makes you happy to wake up everyday. Now, as a perpetual side hustler, I know it doesn’t always make sense to just do whatever you want, right away, just definitely be striving for whatever your end goal is and keep pushing but make sure you take the time to appreciate where you’ve been as well.

It takes a village

Another mention of how important finding your tribe and community is for growing your creative business. It’s so important to surround yourself with like minded individuals so that you can grow and learn daily. I am so grateful for the community over competition vibe that is so present in our creative industry that both Carlie and I follow, it’s such an important support system and sounding board!

“Mom guilt” is real for us creatives

But we have to remember that we are doing these things for the betterment of our families. Yes, it’s hard to balance and we are constantly struggling with whether we are being a crappy mom or not, but believe me. You aren’t. You are doing an amazing job. Actually, as long as you conscious of this feeling of guilt, it means you are doing something right and not oblivious, you are probably doing things daily to make sure you are keeping the important things in focus as well as your business.

 


I hope you guys enjoyed getting to know Carlie more and now do me a favor and go check her out and give her a follow! She is such an amazing maker and mama and I am so glad I’ve had the opportunity to work with her!

Check out her work here: Wellwood Designs

And follow her here on Instagram!

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