As of when I am writing this, my shop is technically on hiatus. But if you want a ring that badly, hit me up and I’ll hook you up. So here’s the story with this little project:
Fact 1: My dad is as talented of a woodworker as they get.
Fact 2: My hipster cross country coach had a wedding band with a wood inlay.
And that’s how inspiration hits. So I saw my coach’s ring and was like “hey that’s pretty neat, but what if the whole ring was wooden?” and I was off. A week later my dad and I were in his workshop experimenting with different ring concepts, as pictured. I learned a little bit about woodworking, and after picking a couple models to stick with, set out on my own. A couple weeks later I opened my Etsy shop under the name “Humilis Rings” but here’s something funny: there was already a Humilis Rings! They were based in Assisi, and because I like to be a tiny bit original, I changed the name to Modesto (meaning “modest” in Latin, if you couldn’t figure that out for yourself). My first customers were my grandparents. No shame in that, they’re the best. But a week after, I had my first order. Some girl out of Seattle. Woo!
Over the next eight months or so, business boomed (for me that is), and I began selling a couple rings each week, selling around town a little bit as well. At first I was so jazzed that anyone cared to actually pay for something I made that I was charging only $5.00 for the rings and nothing for shipping. Now it doesn’t take a genius to guess that my profit margins were slim. In fact, early on I think I might have lost some money on sales. After a while I wised up and upped the price to $8.00, which didn’t seem to damage my sales at all. Thanks to wood scraps from my dad, manufacturing costs were virtually nil, so I was basically just covering shipping (and let me tell you, using US Standard Mail and praying that my ring-bearing cushioned-enveloped arrived on time was quite the headache).
I thought about expanding my little cottage business a few times, but ultimately wasn’t passionate about the artisan ring business enough to go for it. What it could have been, the world will never know.
When I went to college I put my shop on hiatus. I’m unsure if I’ll reopen in the future. Either way, it was pretty darn fun. I sold about 100 rings, didn’t make a ton of money, but I did make a couple people’s wedding rings (not to rip on the quality of my stuff, but I wouldn’t recommend banking on these things to last a lifetime) which is a fun talking point with people I guess. Plus I learned some basic woodworking skills which is pretty neat. And best of all: I have a pretty swell collection of funky looking wooden rings that I can rock when I go out. Win, win, win.