Danae is a creative entrepreneur who creates beautiful woodburning pieces. She creates pieces that range from coasters and magnets, to spoons and signs, and even coffee mug racks and crayon holders! Danae took a moment to tell us more about Out On a Limb and her experience as a small business owner, so we’ll let her take it from here.
Tell us a bit about Out On a Limb and yourself…
My name is Danae Brown and I run Out On A Limb. I have been married to my husband, David, for almost 3 years and we currently live in Raleigh, NC. My husband is in school to be a nurse and I work full time as a teacher for students with severe disabilities. We both have a desire for Out On A Limb to become my full time job. Our business’s focus is wood burning and wood working. Our products are mostly home décor, such as signs, kitchen decorations, coasters and magnets, and more. We enjoy creating and working with wood and thus put that into our business. Our families have been so supportive and helpful as we have started this adventure!
One of the first products I decided to try was branch coasters. We had some small trees we took down in our yard and I used those to make coasters. My father-in-law actually mentioned one day I should try to find a way to like brand or burn on them letters or something. So one day in Michael’s we stumbled upon a wood burning tool and I was like maybe this would burn on my coasters words and such. We purchased it and here we are today, so in love with wood burning!
What prompted you to turn this into a business?
I wasn’t happy with my full-time job at the time, but knew I still wanted to work doing something. My husband and I built our dining room table and enjoyed working and building together. So I got to thinking: maybe wood working can in some way help me find a way to do what I really want to do. I started selling at a local farmer’s market that was free for vendors and as I sold I realized that maybe I could actually do this full time eventually. I started an Etsy shop and have continued to attend craft fairs. I still have a ways to go to get where I want to be, but the work is worth it!
What is the inspiration behind your designs?
I try to think of items or products that I myself would enjoy or find useful. I try to create unique items that people would be excited to have. As far as words and sayings I use, I try to ask people what they would be interested in, as well as just my own preferences. I enjoy Bible verses and try to display that in my work as much as possible.
How do you balance working and entrepreneurship?
It can be very difficult to be working full time and having building Out On a Limb up on the side. I am in a position now where I do not have to take work or stress home with me, so I am able to have my evenings and weekends free to create. Right now the load is very doable, as I am still growing everything and discovering what is going to work best for my shop. As it grows, it will probably be harder to balance.
What is your biggest challenge as a creative entrepreneur?
Right now it is marketing and promoting my small business. There are so many creatives out there making amazing products. It is hard to get noticed and seen by the masses with so many people trying to market their stuff as well. That is where the balance can be strained between working and the business. I could research and promote all day, but I have limited time to do that and still create the products I need to for customers.
I enjoy being able to make something myself. I love to see people happy and excited about something you created just for them. It is fun to have an outlet that utilizes different gifts and talents. I like the idea of being able to have the control over my products and how I conduct business.