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Member Profiles

Cree Kelley: Backwoods Beds

Academy Of Handmade

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Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself and your business: We make solid wood handcrafted beds and other furniture items. It started out of necessity, needing a bunk bed - quickly grew to a hobby and now it is my life. We only purchase our materials locally in Southern California from Mom and Pop small hardware stores (Ganahl - being the largest) - we also highly stress that fixing the economy starts within your own community first. We sell to anyone who wants something made for themselves that they had a huge part in designing.

Q: What are your favorite materials to work with? Wood - obviously. I love to use Fir - it is the misfit of wood. Fir is not quite known for furniture like Oak or Maple. I get really excited when I find reclaimed wood that I can use. I also make my own milk paints and paste waxes to finish the beds off with, as well as offer the traditional stains that can be purchased at the hardware stores.

Q: Who inspires you? Weird architectural things that most people take for granted. Bridges, piers, sidewalks, buildings and anything really old. (Seriously anything odd and old, a handkerchief, a light bulb, phone or a lunch box). I am drawn to the lines of the items.

Q: Name three guilty pleasures of yours:
Beer - I won't lie, I'm a sucker for a good IPA.

Q: What is your favorite part of being a maker or supporting makers? The customers look and reaction when they receive the product is always the proverbial carrot - but I love that after putting in 14 hour days, your body is dog tired and you still must to do more to make it perfect. The drive and passion is almost as good as the satisfaction and reward you get from your customers. It's a job well done that has no words or comparison that can be explained properly. Other makers naturally get this feeling, I am sure, but it really is very hard to describe.

Q: As a professional in the booming handmade economy, what part of your work do you find most difficult? Being able to turn it off. I can't. The designing aspect, dreaming, sketching - making a U turn so I could get a better picture of something that inspired me. I can't turn it off and just be.

Q: What drives your creative process? The want and need to make something that my customers have only dreamed about, not settled for, but dreamed about. I like to think that I help their "dream" rooms come to life.

Q: Where can people find your stuff?