Thursday, June 4, 2009

Featured Seller - Handmade Wood Gifts

What part of the world are you in?

We are located in South East Michigan.

What does customer service mean to you?

Making sure that the customer is happy with what they receive. We are always prompt with email communication and love to provide customers with their specific custom request. It doesn’t matter if the customer is spending $20 or $200 on a pen, it is important to us that they enjoy it and find that it is worth its value. The same goes for any of the other Hand Made Wood Gifts that we offer.

What is your most memorable experience with a customer?

Probably the most memorable moment was when we got our first custom request for a very expensive puzzle pen. A Puzzle Pen starts off as a hand full of jig saw puzzle pieces made out of a variety of exotic woods that gets assembled and glued together before being turning into a pen. It is a very labor intensive process, and pricey, but the final result is very stunning. This is the most expensive pen that we have sold to date, and it reaffirmed for us that there are people that will pay for the quality and uniqueness of Hand Made Wood Gifts. Hopefully we will be able to build many more memorable moments in the future!

What sets you apart from other sellers who are selling similar items?

I would say our attention to quality. I take my time on each pen, and use a durable finish, not a quick friction wax like some other turners do. I started using that method and over time I noticed that the pen I used daily was starting to look worn. I did not want my customers to have that same experience, so now I spend longer working on a pen to ensure each one has a finish on it that gives it durability, shine, and protects the wood.

How did you learn the skills that make you successful today?

Woodworking, in some form or another, goes back 3 generations in my family, so I have always been familiar with it. My personal passion for wood working came from watching David Marks on his show “WoodWorks” on the DIY Network. I began to do more work with wood and started reading wood working forums. These forums can be a wealth of knowledge regarding design and technique input.

What is your goal for the next year?

Our goal is to always be growing. In the spirit of Dave Ramsey we are growing without debt. If that takes longer, then that is ok. We would rather worry about quality products and not treat our customers like dollar signs. We plan on adding more wine stoppers, salt and pepper mills, as well as some other items like exotic wood boxes and crosses.

What keeps you motivated when sales are slow?

Fortunately, sales are not what motivates us! They are a by product of the passion that we have and what we love to do. However, sales are important because they allow us to add new items and more product lines, therefore allowing us to offer more to our customers. The more sales we have the faster we will grow. Being in business with my wife, and the constant love and encouragement I get from her, doesn’t hurt either!

What do you do to attract new clients and encourage repeat business?

We are always looking for new ways to promote our business. Word of mouth has proven to be the best method so far. We try to get our website name out there on various blogs and forums. While we signed up at Esty a while ago, we just got our shop going and are actively viewing the Alchemy section to suggest our products to people looking for wood gifts. Maybe in the future we will go to art shows and things like that. When people can feel and see the actual product they are much more impressed.

If you could share one piece of advice with someone who is considering opening their own store of handmade items, what would it be?

Make sure that you love and believe in what you make and sell, and don’t shortchange yourself on what you think your items are worth. You aren’t a mass producer of cheap junk; you are a creator of unique, individual items.

If you send Derek at Handmade Wood Gifts an email about this feature, he will happily give you 15% off your order that you place in the months of June/ July 2009!

Handmade Wood Gifts offers a lovely variety of items from the handcrafted pen you see above to: wine stoppers, pill cases, keychains, customizable desk sets with features likes name plates, mounted pen, business card slot and clock.

A terrific selection of wood is available to create your custom piece, including: Blood Wood, Bubinga, Cherry, Cocobolo, Leopard Wood, Mahogony, Maple/ Spalted Maple, Red Oak, Padauk, Purple Heart, East Indian Rose Wood, Wenge, & Zebra Wood.

ADMIN COMMENT: My fav is the Zebra Wood!

What caught our attention about Handmade Wood Gifts, other than the beautiful craftsmanship of their handmade pieces, was the fact that Derek and his wife run this wonderful family business! They have the opportunity to work with their siblings as well, which would be a terrific blessing. We are quite envious! Thank you so much Derek for sharing your talents with us, we wish you much success.

Please visit their Websites/ Online Stores, located at: and


  1. Hi! Left a present for you on my blog

  2. Happy, happy Christmas, that can win us back to the delusions of our childhood days, recall to the old man the pleasures of his youth, and transport the traveler back to his own fireside and quiet home!Keep it up Nice blog.

    Hi!!.. hope a good week end and good blogging!!!