Meet Summer Schultz. This crafty maker is an artist and woodworker creating one of a kind pieces. Read on to learn how Summer decided to pursue her passion for making full-time.
Introduce us to you: who you are, where you’re from – all the important details.
My name is Summer Schultz. I am an artist and maker looking to inspire and create one of a kind pieces that speak to your soul. I grew up in Cleveland Ohio and moved to Columbus as a young adult where I now live with my beautiful wife Leeanne and our two dogs Benny and June.
Have you always had a creative side or did someone help you find it?
I was always that child with the marker stained hands and paint under my nails. I can remember making my own board games, greeting cards, and even hand puppets. I studied Fine Arts at Kent State University and found my love for carpentry shortly after.
As a young woman I found it very challenging to do things for myself. I was always great at taking care of others but I lost myself somewhere in the mix of a few rough relationships. My therapist at the time suggested I pick one thing to do just for me and follow through with it. I had really wanted a patio furniture set so I decided to build it. With only a jigsaw and a commitment to my well-being, a few weeks later I had a beautiful patio set.
After I made that it was as if I became my friends “go to” person. “Could you make me a kitchen island? How about a coffee table? Do you think you could paint a portrait of my father? How about a mural on the side of this business? I really need a dining room table but my space is weird. Could you help me?”. Other’s dreams and ideas became my creations for years.
Have you turned your passion for creating into your day job?
I have! I reached a point in the summer of 2018 where I couldn’t keep up with the work being requested of me. After countless conversations with my wife, and all the internal battles, I decided to leave my corporate job as an Operations Manager and pursue my creative career. It was not an easy decision, but when I finally let go of the fear I realized what is the worst thing that could happen? I fail miserably and I get a job but at least I know I tried. Good news: it is going well!
Do trends help guide what you’re creating? And if so, how do you identify them?
I wouldn’t say trends guide what I am creating, my clients do. However, trends provide insight to my clients’ style, wants, and aide in our conversation. I know this may just blow your mind, but Pinterest is my jam when it comes to identifying trends. I follow other makers on Instagram and research techniques often. I am and will always be a learner. I believe it is essential to anyone’s growth to continue to educate themselves in their craft. Life is always changing, and I too refuse to remain stagnant. Plus I am never bored!
What trends are you seeing pop-up right now?
Mid Century Modern Furniture is all over the place. Minimalism and minimalist furniture is a close second. Live Edge wood slabs and resin pieces are on the rise as well. My favorite part about each of these is the ability to maintain the integrity of the wood. Wood is beautiful and deserves to be respected and appreciated. As long as the build and finish is strong, the wood will speak for itself.
Who (or what) gets you excited about the work you do?
I am a problem solver. My clients’ odd or dysfunctional spaces really get my creative juices flowing. I hate that they have been frustrated or disliked their space for so long but when I can create a beautiful and functional piece for them that just makes my heart full. Seeing them look at the piece for the first time reminds me of a child on Christmas morning and honestly what is more magically than a child that still believes in Santa?
What’s one piece of advice you’d share with other makers?
Be gentle with yourself. Celebrate your successes every single day. I don’t care if the success is not getting a splinter. Artists and makers are extremely self-critical and it is very easy to lose yourself in what you could have done better or where you see the flaws. A few years back my old boss asked me to imagine being in a relationship with the voice in my head. She asked me to think about the conversations I was having. She then asked what my friends would say about the relationship I was in. I quickly realized I was in an abusive relationship and had to change it. Self-care is critical to your well-being.
What goal(s) are you working toward?
Putting systems and people in place in order to scale. Business is great and I quickly realized I need support.
What’s your creative mantra and why?
“I create with intention and put love in everything I do.” As I mentioned earlier it is very easy to get lost in your thoughts and be hard on yourself. If I continue to create with intention and love, my experience and my client’s experience will be great.
What’s on your studio playlist?
Beyonce, Shakira, Young the Giant, and Diplomat’s Son.
When you’re not creating what are you up to?
I am a huge fan of food and spending quality time with my friends and family. I don’t always get the chance to spend a lot of time with them, but when I do, my wife and I like to host dinners. There are few things in life that are better than a full belly and laughing around the table with the ones you love.
Makers make the crafting world go ‘round. Are you a maker who wants to be featured on Darice? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org – we’re looking forward to meeting you!
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