Local Couple Builds Custom-Made Wooden Creations

Writer  /  Christy Heitger-Ewing

Throughout their marriage, whenever Melissa Edwards was out shopping with her husband, Chris and pointed out something made of wood that she liked, he would respond, “Oh, I can make that!”

He could…and he did.

“He’s made a lot of our furniture,” Melissa says. “And he’s taught me so now I make things, too. We both like to work with our hands. I’d like to think I’m just as handy as he is with the tools.”

When the couple was brainstorming how they could pull in supplemental income, a light bulb went off in their heads, and in November 2016, they launched their family business, Wood 2 Wow.

The pair, who both work full-time (he’s an equipment tech for IU hospitals and she’s an oral surgery technician), wanted their side gig to be something they could do together so they wouldn’t have to spend more time apart. So they work out of their garage. Chris often builds the pieces and Melissa applies paint or polyurethane to them.

At any given time, the Edwards’ usually have a half a dozen orders to fill, each of which typically takes 4-6 weeks to complete. Roughly 80 percent of their orders are custom-made.

“People will often send us a picture and say, ‘Can you make something similar for me?’” Melissa says.

In the future, Melissa hopes to open a shop in town. Schedules are just a bit too harried right now with three children to run around. If the couple does have free time, however, they make their own creations and sell them online or at craft and hobby shows. For instance, last Christmas Melissa made vintage sleds as holiday décor that was a big hit.

“I pre-made 20-25 of them and they sold immediately,” says Melissa, whose favorite part of the business is interacting with members of the Avon community.

“Every day I get messages from people telling me that they love our craftsmanship and will definitely come back to us for future projects,” Melissa says. “Those words are motivating and keep us going when we get tired.”

The couple has produced all sorts of different projects — everything from clocks to coffee tables, serving trays to signs, office desks to doggie beds. They’ve made fishing pole holders and Harley Davidson helmet holders. You name it, they make it.

For example, a customer asked the Edwards if they could make a decorative storage spot for her cat’s litter box. Tired of the eyesore, she wanted a cabinet that would contain the litterbox and designed in such a way that her felines could covertly enter and exit.

“We make a lot of items that you wouldn’t find in a store,” says Melissa, referencing the time a woman contacted her to share that her family had a decades-old walnut tree that had stood in their backyard ever since her daughter was very young. Her tire swing hung from this tree. Her playhouse was made from this tree. A lot of sentimental value and memories were tied into this giant walnut tree. Sadly, it died and had to be cut down. The mother wanted to make a gift out of the tree’s wood. She had two long pieces of wood, which Melissa and Chris put through a planer to square up. They then fashioned floating shelves out of the boards.

“When the customer picked them up, she teared up. And when her daughter received the gift, she cried, too,” Melissa says. “Those are my favorite kinds of projects because they have special meaning for the families.”

To see more of Chris and Melissa’s wooden creations, search “Wood 2 Wow” on Facebook.

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