When we first opened up shop, we gathered supplies like you normally would to get your business going. We happened upon a pile of wood from a demolished barn in Skagit County and thought it would be something that we could at least test on. It was dirty but not warped. Once it was sanded down a bit, it's natural beauty revealed itself from underneath years of damage from the elements. We just had to give it a new life.
We decided on something small for various reasons. While it was gorgeous underneath all the layers of damage, there were dings and chips in the boards. Which made it unusable for large projects. Simple keychains is what we settled on.
One instantly notable thing we saw was that cutting the blanks for our keychains was the beautiful charred look around the edges. It echoed an ancient Japanese wood burning/sealing technique called Shou Sugi Ban. Although, Shou Sugi Ban traditionally uses cedar wood in that technique and 99% of our reclaimed wood is oak. The extremely hot laser beam seals the edges much like how Shou Sugi Ban works. I used to be on my dad & brother's wood cutting crew when I was a young kid. I mostly knew what type of woods we were cutting and it was my job to just stack it nicely in the back of our work truck. I had to do quite a bit of research on wood types when we started in 2014. To educate myself on how certain woods cut and their appearance. It was fun to compare that traditional Japanese technique to our modern work when we analyzed our product.
One other thing to note about our keychains, due to the laser cutting and the sanding that we do, they have a beautiful aroma. We've had many customers and looky-loos pick them up and smell them. Everyone always asks if that's weird. It's totally not! They smell so good. I encourage everyone to smell them as well as some of our other products too.
We've had a quite a few of our retailers recently pick up our keychains. I mention to each buyer that they are made of reclaimed wood and they are always excited to learn that! We've sourced all of the wood from Skagit, Snohomish, King, Whatcom and Island Counties right here in Washington. Our garage and storage shed is a mess because of it, but we just can't pass it up! I really wanted to share that bit of information about our keychains since there's so much positivity about using reclaimed wood. :)
Lasers and love - Thea