As a lady run business, we are HUGE cheerleaders for other girls who are beating to their own drums and making things happen. We find ourselves continuously inspired by the creativity, fierceness, generosity, and sacrifice of so many lady entrepreneurs! Honestly, I don’t think Sam and I are alone in this. Have you heard about Joanna Waterfall’s Yellow Conference? If not, you have got to check out how they are empowering creative women to grow their business while changing the world for the good. Then there is the edgy comedy from Netflix titled Girlboss, that only goes to show that the population rooting for female run businesses is only widening and expanding.
Yep, we are routinely geeking out over ladies who are fearless in their warrior-like stampede towards building their own personal empires, passion-projects, and mark on our world. I guess that is why we are so freaking excited about this amazing gal. Have you heard of Janine Stone of If You Give a Girl a Saw yet? If you haven’t, then say “hello” to the rock that you may have been living under. LOL! No, seriously…Janine is a rockstar! Her creativity seems boundless, and I am not sure that “fear” is even in her vocabulary. If winning USA Today’s Best Home & Garden Maker of the Year for 2016 isn’t enough to impress, this gal has been outfitting some darn sleek restaurants, stores, and coffee shops up and down the coast of California.
We love how Janine is not shy to tackle any sized project, and she does it with so much excellence!
We were stoked to to have a personal tour of her workshop. The tools of her trade were so inspirational…but my favorite aspect was the lack of artificial lighting. We were so inspired by how she refused to put in a ton of lighting in her space. Her intention was to keep a commitment to herself to end her day with the light. Honestly, that is something that almost all of us entrepreneurs struggle with….female or male!
Her beautiful installations range in size from small coasters and trays to full sized counters and tables for entire restaurants. I am telling you….she is fearless! I think most of us entrepreneurs have to have a bit of the crazy in us, a bit of the hopeful, a bit of the naive. You have to have something inside you that not only dreams, but makes you step off the ledge in faith. And when you find yourself not crashing to the ground, there is such a rush!
Catch the passion as she describes the birth of If You Give a Girl a Saw in her own words:
My name’s Janine Stone, I’m the Owner / Woodworker behind If You Give a Girl a Saw. To say that becoming a woodworker was the most unexpected turn of events in my lifetime so far is an understatement. But I’d be out of my mind if I told you it’s not one of the single greatest things I’ve been honored enough to experience.
It’s impossible to predict what the future holds. But in my humble opinion, that’s where adventure breeds and life’s curve balls are thrown. Because let’s be real, planning’s for fools.
Allow me to take you back and start from the beginning.
Over the last few years, I’d mastered the unfortunate “skill” of neatly packing away enough treasures in a one bedroom apartment to fill 4 houses. So as you can imagine, nightmare struck when my fellow and I packed up one summer and moved into a studio. A studio with enough windows and sunlight to make your heart explode, a porch, a backyard from the tropics, and only one showstopper: no closet. No problem. I threw a couple armoires on the porch, because honestly, a little fresh air’s good for ya when you’re in nothing but your skinnies picking out clothes in the morning. And that left me with one last dilemma: weatherproof shoe storage. Weatherproof shoe storage however, happens to not exist, due to the fact that much of the civilized world keeps their shoes in their homes.
That same fella has a shop in town, so when I bought mass amounts of 2″ x 4″s and plywood from home depot, I went directly to that doorstep to beg for help. When I arrived, seeing him fully engulfed in a project of his own, I asked if he could show me how to make “just one cut” on the saw and assured him, despite my own doubts, I would figure the rest out on my own.
One cut later and I lost all sanity. My mind was racing with concepts, designs and ideas that couldn’t be materialized fast enough. How in the name of all that is holy could I close my eyes at night knowing there was a workshop waiting for me the next morning? I was 5 years old again, every morning felt like Christmas and nothing would ever be the same. When I wasn’t at my real job, I was cutting everything in sight, in half, sawdust was everywhere and the honeymoon phase was in full effect.
After completing the shoe rack, a coffee table, window boxes, a breakfast tray, side table and headboard, my studio was full, my heart was fuller, and beginning a search for a lucrative way to continue building went without question. The answer to my prayers? Etsy.
Etsy, for me, was one of those things you feel like you’ve been subconsciously waiting for your whole life and then it smacks you in the face, leaving you to wonder how you ever lived without it.
It was raining, my favorite weather, and also an entirely unimportant fact to this story; but it’s what made these moments stand out to me. I love cookies. I love cookies more than almost anything, which until this particular moment, had never benefited my life, and had rather only hindered my health. But in this moment, raining and craving cookies, the book “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” crossed my mind. If you give a girl a saw, your once immaculate shop will become filled to the brink with sawdust, your home will begin to accumulate mass amounts of furniture and those pieces of furniture will cycle out weekly leaving you constantly wondering if you’ve come home to the right house. If you give a girl a saw, the need to buy clothes will be replaced by the undying urgency to buy every tool, and make-up and nail polish will slowly be replaced by dirt, wood stain, paint and general filth. And just like that, If You Give a Girl a Saw was born.
Ask anyone who knows me and they’ll tell you I’ve never been one to stay on the same track for a lengthy period of time. I’m easily excited by new concepts and ideas, and it’s never long before the next venture grabs me by the britches and I’m off and running.
This time, however, things feel different. There’s a strong sense of permanence. And I dig it every day.
I encourage you all to create your livelihood from what you’re truly passionate about. Try new things, experiment, soak in every moment, but just get out there and do what you love.
Janine Stone – Owner / Woodworker
Fearlessness and beauty! Janine has got them nailed!
And all of that fearlessness and beauty is wrapped up in a tiny package that is so kind, warm, and engaging. Visiting with Janine was like a breath of fresh air in our busy week. Isn’t it always great to carve out moments with your girlfriends?
The best is how kinetic and contagious the creativity is when a bunch of “Girlbosses” get together. I know that some of you may have been curious about our little hints on Insta. Well, not to give anything away, but we have definitely been dreaming and scheming with Janine of If You Give a Girl a Saw, and we couldn’t be more excited! We were so inspired, that we wanted to play, too!!!
Good things are coming peeps! I hope, in the meantime, you are inspired by such a fantastic human being who is making it happen. Doing her thang and smiling with laughing eyes while she creates!