Firefly Handmade Fall Market 2017 Artisan Profile - BoWood Company
Entrepreneurs must bring passion and drive to their craft in order to succeed and the owners of BoWood Company take this commitment seriously. TJ and Payton, the fearless partners of this handmade wooden cutting board and utensil venture, are packing up their five kids to drive twelve hours to Firefly Handmade Fall Market. An impressive feat for any parent, let alone a dedicated business owner! These hard-working brothers-in-law not only are steadfast to their journey, but to their craft. BoWood Company’s products are built using only the highest quality sustainable or renewable woods.
TJ, a classically trained carpenter and woodworker, joined forces with Payton, an engineer by trade, in 2016 and they have been shipping their wares across the world ever since! We’re so excited to have these talented souls make their Colorado debut at Firefly Handmade Fall Market as they are just as fun as they are devoted. Who doesn’t want to meet a craftsman who takes their pancake flipping seriously? BoWood’s spatula has been designed wider with extra sharp edges to help you tell breakfast who’s boss. We found time to catch up with these cookie baking connoisseurs and had to know more!
How did you begin your handmade journey?
TJ has worked with wood for half of his life doing finish trim in houses and cabinetry so it was a natural transition for us to start creating kitchen products. It all started when Payton's wife, Alexa (food blogger at simplerootswellness.com), asked TJ to make her a cutting board. After seeing the cutting board he made for her we had others ask if he could make them some and eventually we started playing around with some designs of kitchen utensils. This was a 2 year process that resulted in us joining our first show in June 2016 where we ended up with such a positive response that we’ve continually added more shows to our schedule and continued to expand our product line to what we have today. In October 2016 we launched our website and online store and continue to ship products all over the world.
What materials do you work with? Why?
We work with over 15 different woods from all over the world. Our main product line uses domestically sourced woods such as Walnut, Cherry and Maple. We’ve been lucky enough to be able to source most of it locally from suppliers in our area as well as farmers that have had wood in barns drying for a number of years. It’s always great to hear the stories of people who have harvested wood from their property and are looking for someone to put it to good use. We work very hard to make sure that all cutting boards sold by us are from sources that provide certified sustainable or renewable woods.
What inspires your work?
We aspire to provide people with kitchen products that are not only functional, but also give them something that helps them make their kitchen beautiful. Not many people will look at a plastic spatula and think twice about it, but when they see a quality piece of handmade wooden utensils they are interested in the story behind it. We aspire to hand craft our pieces to provide our customers with an extremely functional and beautiful piece.
How far is the drive from Iowa to Colorado? What motivated you to come all this way to sell your wares at our fall market?
It’s a 12-hour drive for us in Eastern Iowa to Boulder, but we’re excited to be in a new and unique environment with people that have never heard of us before. We enjoy sharing our products with new people and helping them to understand not only the varying uses for our products but also the health benefits of using wood over plastic and metal.
Why did you feel that there was a void in the market regarding wooden kitchen products? How do you fill that void?
So many people (us included previously) never think about the utensils they use and the affect they have not only on your pots and pans, but also on your health. When they see a quality piece of handmade wooden utensil it helps them feel inspired to be a better cook.
You claim your products are built to last. Can you tell us more about that guarantee?
Yes, with proper care our wooden utensils and cutting boards will last long enough to pass down to the next generation. There are specific care instructions that help allow them to look better and last longer and we spend a few minutes with each customer to make sure they know how to care for their purchase and have all of their questions answered. We also bottle our own Wood Oil and Wood Butter to help keep the utensils and cutting boards looking good for years to come.
What is your favorite product right now?
Our favorite product is our Spurtle. It’s always fun explaining this utensil to people as most have never seen it let alone use it. It’s such a universal tool that once people realize how many things they can do with that one utensil they get a surprised look on their face. It’s the first utensil that both of us grab when we’re cooking as you can use it to stir soups and stews, scramble eggs, sauté vegetables, brown meats and even use it to frost cakes if you want. It has a curved front and a flat back to help you do basically anything you need to do when cooking.
Why are you proud to be a Firefly Handmade Market Artisan?
Handmade artisans are such experts in what they do as they know every last detail that goes into everything they make and we’re always excited when we can partner with so many great artisans to show off our products and be a part of that community.
We are thrilled to have BoWood Company join Firefly Handmade Fall Market at this year's Downtown Boulder Fall Fest on the Pearl Street Mall - September 16 and 17. In the meantime you can connect with them here: