Get to know the owners of Cotton Wood Concepts. A creative husband and wife team that offers unique signs, custom tumblers, shirts, and gifts! You may have seen their patented Florida HOME and Home Grown designs in shops and local handmade markets around town. If you haven't, trust me, you will soon. Find out more about this dynamic duo below.
Where did your business name come from?
Cotton Wood Concepts came from merging most of our creative endeavors at the time (2015). We were just starting into signs and shirts. We are both artistically inclined and love to create and do many things ourselves. Airbrushing, motorcycle customization and redesign, home decor, powdercoating, etc were also in our repertoire. We are always creating and brainstorming, so to pin us down to just shirts and signs was limiting. That's where the "concepts" came in. Cotton and wood also have an organic feel, and lends itself to the cottonwood naming as well and ties into handmade and home.
What made you take this leap into being your own boss?
I've done a few MLMs in the past (unsuccessfully) and was on the verge of doing another one. My husband spoke of his support for my vision for Cotton Wood Concepts and said dive into that. You're the boss, and shine when you're selling our own things. You're still working for someone else technically and not original or true to you if you're doing an MLM. This was the secret to the other failures. It wasn't authentic, and I hold myself back when there is no authenticity. I can't be fake. Cotton Wood Concepts has allowed us to pursue this side business as much as we can and work together feeding off of each other's ideas, energy, feedback, and business sense. While it isn't a complete full time gig, yet, we see glimpes of what could be down the road, and it's exciting, keeps us working, focused, and making smart choices.
What is your favorite quote and why?
Can we have 2? The Yoda, "Do or do not, there is no try" has been a mantra ever since preparing for the birth of our first child. At the time it represented focusing on your goals and ideal situation and outcome without allowing the fears or whatifs to influence what we wanted. Preparing for anything, but unwavering in our mental pursuit of what we wanted (natural, out of hospital birth). Fear is a big obstacle in life, but it should not have control. The irony of the quote though is that you still have to "try" or do. I think it's more about not having the fear to take on what you want or need to do regardless of the outcome. Just saying or thinking, "try" is weak and sets you up for the less desired outcome or failure. Planning to "do" is more focused and removes the control of fear. This is one of our popular signs and has been a guiding quote since 2011.
The other quote I recently came across when briefly studying the art and artist, Roy Lichtenstein. It conveys a lot of how we feel regarding the creative process and what I am unable to express clearly when asked why or how I do something. "Art is not just the technical part. Inside the artist there is a sense of how things should be placed. There is no rational way to explain that sense, but it guides where everything goes. If an artist tried to copy other artists' methods, he or she would not feel free to create." As a husband and wife team we often combat this with each other when helping with developing designs or actually making or remaking items for our booths. Parker is definitely one who wants to be free to create and has a different approach or vision than I do, but these feeding of changing concepts, pushing design limits or what is popular and fine tuning ideas guides us and often leads to better. It's fun, but in the moment seems like a typical marriage argument or struggle, when really it's two artists having a discussion!
Will you be offering anything special for shoppers that will be attending market ?
We are planning on offering sign workshop make + takes priced $15-45 depending on selection.
Is there anything you would like the public to know about you?
We are a husband and wife team and have been Jacksonville residents for over 10 years. Megan is a die hard "Friends" and "Gilmore Girls" fan. Parker executes many of our products and is a student of many crafts including wood working, powder coating, welding, and screenprinting. We are avid Crossfitters, help with the Jacksonville FaithRx chapter, and attend Eleven22. We love Jax, and Florida, and being active in our community. This influences a lot of our designs and is a big part of our Florida HOME and Home Grown designs--conveying what makes Florida home (or home away from home), special, and why we (and others) love Florida! We are expanding to more markets throughout the year as we are able to, accept orders via our website and messages, love to do custom and bulk orders, and are expanding to offer more DIY classes at venues around town and in your home!
VISIT COTTON WOOD CONCEPT ON ETSY or LIKE THEM ON FACEBOOK
Swing by the Handmade Collectives Spring Market, at Riverside Park in Jacksonville, Florida on Saturday, May 5 from 11am-4pm and see what they have to offer or get a personalized design for your mom, dad, or grad!