Wild Child Bohemian on Etsy
Updated: Nov 17, 2019
Handmade natural wood eco-friendly baby rattles, blocks, and gifts.
Today I'm featuring an Etsy shop called Wild Child Bohemian. Sounds like something right up my alley, right? Wild Child Bohemian features handmade, natural and eco-friendly wood baby rattles, building blocks, wands, and more!
I came across Wild Child Bohemian on Instagram and figured it'd be a great choice for my first small business feature. At first, I only wanted to talk about the products and maybe mention a little about the owner, but from her "about me" page, I could tell that she was one interesting chick! I sent her a few questions and I was not disappointed!
So, let's get to know this groovy lady and about her Etsy store, shall we?
Hello, Brae! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I am a mom of 6 from 13 down to 15 months. My husband is the love of my life, and the most
supportive person in the world. He makes all of this possible because it's not the kind of thing I can do around my children, or just during a nap- it takes a lot of time, and the power tools can be dangerous. We live in Utah in a small town, which I LOVE, but I have some mixed feelings about this upcoming winter season. Fall and winter are my favorite, and I love rain and snow- but it's also very difficult to turn wood out in the cold. I really REALLY need a workshop. Right now I just turn in my "garage" which is really just a covered carport.
I currently work part time from home for an online shoe company- I answer emails and run their social media, specifically Facebook. As far as my own business goes, I used to make cold process soaps, but that market is so saturated now, and I didn't really enjoy it as much as I should for as much time it took. I basically can make anything. I've MADE everything once or twice. I just really enjoy creating and making lovely things. My oldest son, who is 12, has told me that if I were a superhero, my power would be to rearrange matter- because I could just take anything and make something else out of it.
My most favorite thing of all is being a mom, and my rattles, which are for babies just kind of goes along with that. We also have a dog, Rocket Dog, who is a pitbull and has a bad rap because of her breed, but she's such a mommy to my kids, I could probably just let her do all the work. Think Nana from Peter Pan.
As a mom of 6, what does your daily routine look like?
Things with 6 kids are getting easier now that they are all getting to be older and in school. Right now I have kids in 8th, 7th, 5th, 2nd and all day Kindergarten, and my baby is the only one at home. My day starts at 6 am, and I work online for 4 hours. So at 10, I finish work, and play with my baby, then around 11 she has lunch and goes down for her nap. As you can imagine, for 8 people in a house, I have a ton of laundry, so that occupies a lot of my time- I love laundry though because I can binge watch angsty teen movies while I fold- and then I rerun Friends while I hang and put away clothes. At about 3 my kids start coming home from school, and my baby wakes up from her nap. From there, they all have chores (even the 5 year old) and they have homework they have to do. My older two are in honors classes, band, and cross country team so there's always somewhere I have to drop someone off at or pick them up from. The 2nd grader also is in the dual immersion Portuguese language program, which is inconsequential to my schedule except that he sometimes talks to me in Portuguese and I don't understand him. But I think it's good stuff, because he usually hugs me after.
As for my rattle schedule, I'm only able to work on them on Saturdays when my husband is home to maintain the littlest, busiest of all of us. I am typically able to turn out about 5-7 rattles on any given saturday and still quit early enough to do some fun stuff with my family in the afternoon and evening.
What's your favorite kind of wood to work with and why?
I was surprised to find that there are only specific woods you can use for baby toys that will be chewed on and tasted. I kind of thought all wood was equal, but it's not. Babies shouldn't chew on soft woods, such as poplar or oak- they tend to splinter when wet, so if a baby drools a lot or they have sharp little teeth that can dent and damage the wood, it's not safe. They can get splinters in their lips or tongue. Ouch! And woods that have leftover oils or sap such as pine or olive woods aren't good for babies either. Pine sap can actually burn a baby's mouth, and it can be poisonous. Olive oil isn't dangerous, but it's still something your child could be ingesting that you just don't know about. Also, some woods, like Aspen, can actually have medicinal properties. And again, that's not something you want your child to chew on.
Fruit and nut woods are usually good. (Fun fact: even those who have nut allergies will not have allergies to the wood itself.) Hardwoods, too. So my main woods that I use are Cherry, Maple, Walnut, Purple Heart and Padauk woods. These are all hardwoods, beautiful in color, and completely safe for babies. Out of these, I think the Cherry is the easiest to turn (it's the most pliable) and if I am trying a new design or learning a new skill, I like to start with Cherry because it's the most forgiving and most likely to do what I want it to. Walnut is definitely the most popular among my customers and for good reason- it always reveals GORGEOUS grain and color patterns.
Why did you chose the name "Wild Child Bohemian" for the name of your store?
I wanted the name of my shop to not only reflect what it IS, I wanted it to invoke a specific type of feeling when someone heard it's name. I chose "Wild Child" because I make (mostly) children's toys. They're natural, organic, environmentally friendly, and completely one-of-a-kind. And I wanted it to invoke the very essence of childhood. Children are naturally curious and honest and hilarious and intense. "Wild Child" is a very apt description as well as a common Bohemian quip. A boho/gypsy type style is how I'd describe the way I look and dress and how my life and home is. So this was tacked on the end to tie in everything altogether. I toyed with other ideas that I maybe had liked a little more, but I felt like they were misleading in one way or another, but Wild Child Bohemian, to me, conjures the vision of a bonnet and linen clad cherubic baby among sunflowers and thunderous rain.
What's your personal motto?
My personal motto. Well, there's this quote by Ernest Hemingway that says "There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit at a typewriter and bleed." So, I'm not writing anything when I am creating rattles, but I think this applies to any kind of art. Whether you're painting, writing, sculpting, cutting wood- whatever you're doing, it just sort of comes out of you- at least it does if you're doing it right. I stand there in front of a piece of wood on my lathe and the majority of the time I literally have no idea what it's going to look like before I carve it. I don't usually have a plan, I just get started. I first shave everything away so that it's uniform and asymmetrically cylindrical. And then I just start carving away. It hasn't failed me yet. To me, this is like bleeding into my work.
Just for fun: Do you think pumpkin spice lattes are overrated? Are you kidding, pumpkin spice is the elixir of life. Now, I don't drink coffee, so "latte" specifically isn't my thing, but I LOVE me a pumpkin steamer. Pumpkin cookies, pumpkin bread (I took my husband pumpkin bread on our first date, and he still to this day maintains that that's how I won his heart) pumpkin roll, pumpkin crunch cake... I eat pumpkin all year long. LOL!
If you like what you read here, please be sure to check out Brae's shop, Wild Child Bohemian on Etsy!