Is the Extra Juice Worth the Squeeze?

When you’re a creative in a workshop, discovering new woods, finishes, tools and edging can make for a mighty fun sandbox to experiment. Our workshop has been bustling this year as we’ve made pieces for special events, increased our custom shipments, and created additional options for our Collection. When you’re a craftsman, it’s not only an evaluation of can we make a lovely gift box, but can we make it in a quality, timely and profitable way?

Changing out the type of wood, for example, can add significant time to the finishing and refinement of a gift box. Another variable is using rough cut lumber versus commercial lumber. It’s beautiful, however, the time from start to finished product has to be considered. We’ve realized, if we can’t be confident that we can repeat the quality, for a minimum order of 25+ boxes, in a reasonable amount of time (and the time part is key), then the answer is no. Beauty can’t outweigh economics.

Adding decorative corners made from other hardwoods is another place that can add unique detail, yet impact timelines. For now, the cost of that time commitment still outweighs the benefits of adding those specialty additions. And that’s okay.

Part of building a business around craftsmanship and creativity is knowing when to be done, at least for a time. An endless supply of choices often results in confusion as clients try to choose and become overwhelmed, and the attention of the team is spread across too many offerings. Part of creative talent is understanding customer needs upfront and adding value by narrowing the field. A curated line of beautiful options is a wonderful thing. Sometimes, the extra juice of “more” isn’t worth the squeeze.

Now Boarding...How Cutting Boards Serve Up a First-Class Gift

If you’re tired, dare I say “bored,” of traditional gifts, welcome an old friend with a new look to the neighborhood and make it a block party! A chopping block kind of occasion.

The standard cutting board has a fresh, new gifting style, thanks to the finishes, wood, and tools now available. Even color combinations can vary depending on the wood, adding a deep, rich appearance that highlights the artisan appeal. Red oak, mahogany, and maple are a few of the woods we use but take your pick. 

If you want to add a personal touch, pair your cutting board with a unique accessory that matches a specific style or passion. 

If cooking is a favorite pastime, a veggie chopper (or cheese cutter), matched with a cutting board is a thoughtful option for crunch time decisions

For folks who rock the look of ceramic shot glasses and limes, we pair our hand-crafted boards with an iron-forged slicing knife to keep it dicey! Given our #ruggedstyle we also like to use a strip of leather to tie pieces together.

Small is mighty, despite what some may say. Having a compact (5x7) board handy for quick jobs like slicing lemons, onions or cherry tomatoes is perfect. It’s still big enough to be useful, yet small enough to tuck away. Classic edging can make a big difference too, creating a sleeker look.

In terms of maintenance, a splash of Howard Cutting Board Oil will do the trick every three to four months to keep it looking spectacular. Beautiful and easy! (Any of the cutting boards shown above can be added to our gift boxes using the Custom page form.) 

The good news is that custom tools and wood options have elevated the old idea of a cutting board. There’s no need to be a chip off the old block anymore.