Vendor Highlight – Start Small Decor

Spring Bada Bing is just around the corner! We are so excited for this year’s show. We believe it will be one of our best yet! We have incredibly talented makers taking part in Spring Bada Bing and we wanted our customers to have the opportunity to get to know them a little bit better, so we will be highlighting several of them between now and the big day. Check back daily!

Richmond Craft Mafia’s Spring Bada Bing – at Hardywood Park Craft Brewery

April 21st 11am-6pm

Meet Heidi from Start Small Decor

How did you get started making your products?

I have always loved woodworking, and two years ago I realized that although woodworking can’t pay all of the bills quite yet, I could find ways to “Start Small”. I am drawn to geometric modern patterns combined with rustic wood so the tessellations were a natural design for me to highlight in my art.

How long have you been making your products?

I have always been a woodworker, making furniture/items for my own home (and even my wedding favors!) but I have been making wooden art for sale for about two years.

Do you have any new products debuting this Spring?

Yes! This winter we began incorporating some more linear pieces into the collection. We will always love our tessellations, but some customers prefer a more linear piece which we often create using paints in an ombre palette.

Do you have any long term goals for your business?

Our “Start Small” concept is all about incorporating your dreams into every day life. Even if I can’t live 100% of my dream every day and woodwork as my sole income source, you can bet that living 10% of that dream is better than 0! I strive to take that 10% and increase it over time so I can spend more time woodworking. Along the way I hope to help others (especially women!) learn about woodworking and find ways to live 10% of their dream every day.

Tell us about your process.

Generally I select the wood (pine, cedar, maple, oak, rough pallets) and plane it down to a smooth finish (although some we leave rough). Then I begin cutting repetitive shapes of a very specific size so they will interlock perfectly. After the pieces are cut we sand, select oil/stain or paint colors (where I rely heavily on my wife Julie), and finish the pieces. Finally we glue all of the pieces into their final pattern on a thin board, trim, attach a frame and hanging hardware.

Of all of your products what is your favorite and why?

Though they are small, I love the metallic pinwheels. I think they can make an awesome statement in a group on a wall and I love the combination of a metallic finish and wood grain.

Which of your products is most time consuming to make and why?

Any of our pieces that feature reclaimed pallet wood take some extra time. It can be amazing to take a rough dirty pallet, disassemble it, plane it down, find gorgeous red oak, and create a tessellation. With that said, it is MUCH quicker to purchase oak boards, but not quite as fun!

What is your most popular product? Why do you think it’s so popular?

Our pencil pencil holders! Though they aren’t as fun and fulfilling for me to create as the tessellations, customers love these cute desk accessories and they are very popular for teacher gifts.

What drives you to continue making? Who/what is your inspiration?

Woodworking is my stress relief. We recently moved back to RVA and a woodshop space was critical in the house search – luckily we found a great option and converted a finished basement into my shop. When I am in the woodshop with a game on the TV, my apron on and covered in sawdust I am in the zone. Although the items I create may vary over time, I will always be a woodworker.

Tell us about your most memorable day as a maker?

After I moved to Richmond I signed up for a small show – mostly to get a feel for what it was like to set up my booth and talk to people about my art. Previously I had mostly sold my items through personal connections/social media. The day was amazing and I received so much support from both the maker community AND my dear friends that came by to support me. Even a gentleman that works at Home Depot and often helps us out came to support me! I was so touched and felt so loved and supported by everyone. I hope I can support others as they try to live their dreams in some small way as they have supported me.

Do you have any pets?

Yes – we have a dog, Murphy. He is a rescue and is some sort of mutt that includes terrier and maybe dachshund. He love peanut butter and playing fetch.