Matt is a Software Engineer by schooling, a Product Manager by career, and an embracer of chaos by hobby.
My ultimate goal is to build a business that I can run with my family, that allows us to do the things we love and helps us sustain the life that we have with me working in Technology companies. It's a big hill to climb, but what is it they say about trees? "The best time to plant a tree is now" or whatever the quote is.
To get started, I have found ways to leverage my propensity to being a bit random in my interests. You will find that on this site, I have mostly listed the things that I make. Anything on the site that can be remade, is listed as such. Anything that's a one time item will clearly be labeled as a one-off.
The materials I have and will continue to use include wood, cement, resin, and to be honest just about whatever the hell I want. I tend to either get an idea or see someone else doing something and try it out. Eventually, I hope to find a rabbit hole to go down where I can make similar things and explore different ways of delivering them.
The themes I have a tendency to stick to are:
- Functional - things that are useful, they aren't there to just sit around and be pretty. Bird Houses, Squirrel houses, worm towers, wall-shelves, and other items that provide some utility.
- Plant related - I have enjoyed making pots out of cement and wood, propogation stations out of wood and glass.
- Art - I like to explore what other people are doing and sharing online and as such, I will try all kinds of things that aren't functional and exist to be looked at and enjoyed. These are likely to be those one-off items I mentioned.
The problem I have is that I am too picky about the things I do, so in order to get past that, I am not focusing on what some people would call "fine woodworking" or "fine" anything. I am embracing the chaos, trying things to see if they work, and accepting them for what they are - rather than trying to get anything perfect. This gives me more freedom to be ok with mistakes or flaws in the materials, or even just me not knowing what is traditionally accepted as proper. I am trying to have fun and enjoy myself, while hopefully building a business that I can come to rely on full time.
I am also into some random other things. With my oldest kiddo, I started collecting trading cards, identifying which cards to sell to show her the value of collectibles. It was a way to explore a game she wanted to play and to see what sort of opportunities exist for me outside of the handmade crafting world I am exploring with SprySpruce.
Some other things I enjoy include going to thrift stores, buying and selling things I know people will enjoy, and trying new random shit that may or may not work out.
Today, SprySpruce is a website featuring handmade items from Colorado but it started out quite differently. Originally, this was a project site for me to explore ecommerce and learn from what it meant to build a shopify site, find products, and figure out how to sell them online. It was a failure.
The first products I tried to list were woodworking tools and supplies that I found from various manufacturers, with the intent to try to build a brand - I thought "this should be pretty easy!". LOL, I had no idea what I was doing. I started working with a buddy online and we created a couple of other sites, some of which did pretty well. https://barndoors.forsale and https://musthaveskirts.com.
Our first items were a Colorado Flag, a Texas flag, a Propagation block, and a game called Kubb. From there, we have grown as Matt explores new items to make and we get requests from customers.
The wood items we sell are made from many different types of wood, but some of the coolest wood we use is beetlekill pine. It's sad that the trees had to die how they died, but their beauty lives on with the blue stain that happens to the wood and in the items we make.