We recently met with Sam Squailia to talk about her handmade shop, RusticCraft Designs, aftcra‘s featured store for February. Find out the story being RusticCraft Designs, tricks to how she handcrafts beautiful woodwork pieces, and where Sam finds her inspiration for RusticCraft Designs in our interview.
1. Tell us about RusticCraft Designs.
Sam & Nick Squailia are behind RusticCraft Designs, where we do woodworking and hand engravings, like cutting boards, wine racks, ring boxes, business card holders and many others. We work and live in Fitchburg, Massachusetts.
2. What is your background, and your husband’s background?
I (Sam) am a building designer in the field of architecture and engineering, and my husband Nick is a Woodworker/Carpenter/Builder. So we get along well together – I mostly design our products and Nick brings those designs to life, and sometimes remakes them, and remakes them again.
3. Tell us about how RusticCraft Designs got started.
When we bought our home, I wanted Nick to make us solid wood rustic tables. Soon after Nick found some amazing live edge slabs and fashioned us some awesome wood furniture. He loved doing that so much that he made a couple more and I started posting them on Craigslist. They were selling a little here and a little there, and that was an AWESOME feeling!
We needed to grow beyond Craigslist. We also really needed to be able to ship our products around the world. We came to the conclusion that what we really needed were smaller tables that we could fit in a box. At that moment I was looking at my cheap and cracked bamboo cutting boards and I got inspired to make solid wood cutting boards on feet, like mini tables. This way I CAN fit a table in a box and ship it! The cutting boards were popular, and we started making more things. Now we work like crazy all the time, which is just fantastic.
Now RusticCraft’s 3rd anniversary is coming up March 2nd 2015! Nick and I have been designing/building for years and years as a trade.
4. How did you come up with the name RusticCraft Designs?
The name RusticCraft Designs took a few weeks to really nail down – we wanted a name that wasn’t our own last name and we wanted a name that was versatile yet still would reflect what we do. What we do is generally things that are rustic, and “craft” is taken from “craftsmen”. I liked the flow of the name. Creating a logo took almost as long as the name too!
5. How do you create your work?
We use mostly reclaimed lumber from barns, demolished/burned buildings, and salvaged lumber from small-scale tree cuts or fallen trees. I offer custom designing and hand engrave nearly everything we sell.
6. What is RusticCraft Designs’ next exciting project?
We just came up with a new wall hanging wine rack – horizontal, that also holds wine glasses! I have to perfect the pictures and create the listing for that, but the first one Nick made of Reclaimed Chestnut and it just looks amazing!
7. What is a quote that you personally live by?
“Leave everything a little better than you found it.” It’s something that stuck with me since Girl Scouts many years ago. I think about that a lot, whether it’s saving a piece of something old and re-fashioning it, to working to create a better local community. It’s a great little sentiment that always reminds me that giving to others reaps the greatest rewards.
8. Why did you choose to join aftcra?
I loved the focus on handmade, the logo, and clever name is fabulous! The website was very nicely laid out, and I just saw a great foundation for a fabulous handmade sales platform.
9. What is one piece of advice you would share with other small business owners?
Make something that you love to make, but make sure it’s something that people want.
Get regular updates from RusticCraft Designs! Connect with their social profiles here:
Get featured on aftcra’s homepage! Interested in becoming aftcra’s Featured Store of the month? Send an email to email@example.com and we will send you the requirements. All requests will be considered to become the next aftcra Featured Store.