In the early morning, as the sun peeks up above the icy waters of Lake Superior, a new day greets me with all the possibilities it holds.
I start the coffee and stoke the fire.
I reach for a coffee cup, my hand gravitating to one of the many handcrafted mugs I’ve collected throughout the years.
There’s just something extra pleasing about drinking from a mug that is one of a kind, knowing that it was formed by the hands of an artisan whose story is etched in its form.
Behind every piece of art is a story. The embodiment of that story is part of what makes handcrafted goods so special. At Bailey Builds, the story is built in layers, coming together to create something unique and beautiful, to be enjoyed for years to come.
Our business started with the integral use of reclaimed wood, and is still the essential component of our classic collections. I have always loved the act of taking something that was discarded, giving it a new purpose, and transforming it into something beautiful. Each piece of salvaged wood had a story before I found it. I love when I have the privilege of knowing its history, and being able to infiltrate its past into the story I create in my art. I’ve used wood from old barns standing long before my time. I’ve created custom pieces with wood that holds sentimental value to the customer I’ve created it for. One customer gave us wood from their grandfather’s couch so that the memories could live on through the art. I also created a special piece that utilized the wood from an arbor that one couple used in their wedding. It’s a beautiful experience to have the privilege of transforming special memories into keepsakes.
One of my favorite uses of reclaimed wood was our Zenith City Collection. We were given some lumber that was gleaned from the renovation of the oldest homestead recorded in Duluth. That wood inspired me to create a collection that represented the beauty and heritage of our city. There was depth to those pieces that could only be had through the deep history that lived in the very grain of those old pieces of wood.
There is another layer to the story of handcrafted goods. It is the very essence of the crafter who created it. I love to think about the artisans behind the different pieces I own, and how their life and their story impacts the work of their hands. At Bailey Builds, we have a story that makes its mark on the art that we create. Our story started with a dream.
A dream to do what we love, believing that we could make our passions a means to provide for our family. Over the past six and a half years, through the ups and downs, through the thrills and routine, we have been able to build a business out of our passions and the creativity that flows when left unhindered.
As our business grows, the story doesn’t end with just Nathanael and I. We have been so blessed to bring on a team of over ten people, with stories of their own, that are weaved into the greater tapestry of Bailey Builds. Our team is comprised of a variety of life stages, with diverse backgrounds, skill sets, and individual passions. As each team member does their part, this diversity adds to the layers of our art, like the harmonies of a stringed ensemble.
At Bailey Builds, we love to tell a story. We love to use our art to share other people’s stories. That is why we use our platform to raise awareness and support for at least one non-profit organization every year. Last year we were able to raise money through our art to support the work of Safe Haven, a local shelter and resource center for survivors of Domestic Violence. This year, we helped bring awareness to the real fight against childhood hunger in our own communities, through supporting Project Joy. It takes a village! Our gift is our art and our voice. The gift is fully realized when our awesome Bailey Builds friends invest in those great organizations through the purchase of our art. This, in itself, is a beautiful story of community.
When you purchase handcrafted art, the story comes full circle. You play a role in the harmonious rhythm of small business and local economy. The connection you find with the art that you purchase adds another layer to the beautiful story still unfolding. I believe that the entrepreneurial spirit that played an integral role in the foundation and strength of our country is still an imperative ingredient to the health and wellbeing of its identity. Let this be another incentive for buying local, handcrafted goods. You are supporting the very heartbeat and sustainability of local, small business.
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