Business Name: Copper & Pine Website: shopcopperandpine.com Established: 2017
Can you please fully explain your business or product line?
Copper & Pine creates simplistic necklaces and earrings that put the focus completely on Manitoba Nature. Each one of a kind piece contains real bits of the beautiful outdoors that surround us every day. Pendants are created from reclaimed copper pipe that is hand-cut, stripped and sanded before being used to encapsulate all sorts of flora and fauna.
With the local maker community continuing to grow, what makes you stand out from the rest?
Each piece of jewelry is handcrafted by Jessica and takes a few weeks to create, nothing is mass-produced here! The nature used is all picked respectfully, leaving lots for the bees and other creatures that depend on it. Plus, every item comes with a tag printed on seed paper to help replace the nature.
What made you realize that you had a product that could be shared with others?
Copper & Pine originally was born to preserve pet fur & cremation ashes in necklaces, as a way for owners to remember their beloved lost pets. Preserving nature came as the second step for people to be able to wear nature that was special to them. Creating custom pieces is still a huge part of Copper & Pine and we’re hoping to open the waitlist again in the spring!
What has been your biggest success as a maker? Biggest struggle you’ve overcome?
I would say my biggest success as a maker came down to one conversation with my 6-year- old. We were walking at the mall and he noticed two women pass us, and they were both wearing Copper & Pine necklaces. First of all, seeing something you made from nothing “out in the wild” is the most incredible feeling, but then he pointed out that not only was he “proud of me” for selling those, but he understood that that translated into his new snow pants we were there to buy. Having that moment of him realizing that all my hard work really went back into helping our family was amazing.
Being able to have the time and organization has been a huge struggle for me. The process of creating the pieces is extremely time-intensive, cutting up the copper pipe, the sanding, preserving, more sanding, prepping the nature by drying or pressing (let alone getting out there to find the nature); there seems to be a million steps.
As I’m only able to do this part-time and also be a stay at home mom, I struggle to keep up. It’s a great problem to have, but one that weighs on me.
I think another problem makers tend to have is actually paying themselves for the amount of time things take. Sometimes there seems to be a thought that if something is handmade, it should be cheaper, but it’s not the case. My pricing reflects my supplies, hardware, packaging, and all the details. If I were to pay myself a wage, my pricing would have to change dramatically and my sales would suffer. I think it’s a balance we all have to work through.
Any advice that you would tell someone hoping to start up their own business or product line?
My advice for anyone starting up their own business, is that you have to be unique, enjoy it, and you have to be all in.
If someone else is already doing it, let them. Find your own thing. When I started up, I was really worried about copying anyone else even subconsciously. So when I started making prototypes with some resin and old pipe from the garage, I refused to look for tutorials. I deleted Pinterest. I wanted to figure it all out for myself, all the trial and error.
I didn’t want to copy another business or person, I wanted to be able to feel that pride that I created something, it took forever and a million prototypes, but it came from me. It made my process more difficult, expensive and stressful but the end result is my own. I didn’t start anything that will change the world, but it’s changed mine.
Since starting, I’ve had messages from new businesses making very similar products and they want to know where I get my supplies or ask for problem-solving tips. I think everyone has to find their own path, do their own thing and there’s room for everyone.
Please share any upcoming events (physical events, virtual sales, etc.) that you think Winnipeggers would be interested in!
Next up Copper & Pine will be participating in #petitmagasinwpg – an online event with a group of wonderfully talented makers.