As part of our Christmas and New Year special, we reached out to local Tyneside makers and sellers who are transforming used materials into something special. This edition features Deadwood Studio, who have a range of stunning upcycled Christmas decorations using driftwood, including some extraordinary Driftwood Stars.
Why did you start selling on Etsy?
"When Deadwood Studio first began, Etsy was a fantastic platform to use, not only in getting our handmade products and brand out there but even to eliminate the extortionate costs that quite often comes with setting up a website, especially in the early stages of a business start-up, so it’s really great for small businesses in that respect. Additionally, due to the nature of the products being handmade, Etsy highly focuses around selling crafty and handmade products so it was a no-brainer really!"
Why is working with recycled/upcycled materials important?
"Due to our current eco climate, it’s imperative to be mindful about the type of products we make and materials we use, yet also, just as equally important to consider that eventually, no thanks to our ‘throw away’ culture, there is a huge possibility that the items at some stage of their life could be thrown away (although we never encourage this!) but how damaging that often is to the environment.
"Our mission, ultimately, is to create products that are natural, free-from plastic, non-damaging to the planet, eco-friendly – using recycled materials such as driftwood that we’d salvage from our coastlines, which in a nutshell, is essentially wood that has fallen into the sea, drifting for variable amounts of time and washing up ashore, most often from trees that have been severely damaged from storms, and of course, living in the UK along with our temperamental and unpredictable weather... we seemingly get A LOT!
"We thoroughly believe that if businesses didn’t supply products that cause harm to our planet, it wouldn’t instigate a rise in demand for it by consumers, and vice versa (because this obviously is a vicious circle, and one we are desperately trying to break!) which is why we’re truly dedicated to creating a whole range of earth-conscious handmade home décor from recycled and recyclable waste in the hope that this will eventually encourage other businesses to do the same."
How do you feel about Christmas shopping?
"Christmas, as many of us know it, is a period that generates tons of waste, and I mean TONS! It’s astonishing in a heart-breaking kind of way as it’s classed as the most wasteful time of the year.
"And rightly so, you can only imagine the kind of stuff that goes to waste, to name a few, unwanted presents, Christmas decorations, all the Christmas paper wrap – and sadly not the best kind, because it’s the type that can’t even be recycled afterwards! It’s one of the things we feel very passionately about, and also one of the main reasons we made it a priority to use packaging made from recycled waste, that can also be further recycled later on.
"It’s always fantastic when people support small businesses, not necessarily just ours, but others generally. One of our business aims has always been to try and bridge the gap between handmade items and those that are factory made, so not charging too much more than high street stores but enough to encourage customers to buy from us instead and in return receive a solely unique item that fully supports the wellbeing of our planet."
Tell us about a favourite item that you’ve made?
"Although our Christmas Trees are definitely one of our bestsellers, (especially now that we’ve incorporated various wood colour options for customers to choose from, always a plus!) I must say my personal favourite item is our Driftwood Stars. There’s a bit of a story behind this. Last year I’d been asked to make a star as a bespoke one off item, with nothing else to go off, I’d allocated some time aside to fully develop a Driftwood Star for the individual, turns out in the end the customer had actually meant a tiny star to add on the Driftwood Christmas Tree she had earlier purchased from me but I had ended up making a much bigger hanging star, so it was a complete fluke, yet worked in my favour, as I eventually started selling them and then later on, developing larger Driftwood Stars!"
Where can people find you?
"As mentioned earlier we currently have a shop on Etsy (deadwoodstudio for those interested, so come check us out), although we are hoping to establish our own website in 2022 at some stage, so keep your eyes peeled for www.deadwoodstudio.co.uk to go live very shortly, followed with a whole new eco-friendly home décor range that we’re excited to share with all of you in the new year. We are also available on Facebook as well as Instagram so come find us and share with us some eco love!“.