Hi there! My name's Janine Stone, I'm the Owner / Woodworker behind If You Give a Girl a Saw. If I told you that entering the world of woodworking was the most unexpected turn of events in my life so far, that would be a drastic understatement. But I'd be out of my mind if I didn't follow that by telling you that it's one of the single greatest things I've been honored enough to experience and the horror of imagining life had I never discovered the saw keeps me up at night on occasion. What I'm trying to say is, woodworking is life!
It all began two and a half years ago when I moved into a closet-less studio apartment, bringing with me more clothes than I could feasibly wear in any given lifetime (from what I hear, admitting you have a problem is the first step to recovery). I had to get pretty creative with space and turned everything into hidden / multi-functional storage. I bought a couple armoires and put them out on my 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, which happens to not exist for obvious reasons.
My boyfriend at the time has a shop in town, so I showed up on his doorstep with mass amounts of wood in hopes that he could throw something quick and easy together. However, I arrived to find him engulfed in a project and instead asked if he could show me how to make “just one cut” on the saw – assuring him, despite my own doubts, that 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 had I led a happy life before this discovery? My excitement levels turned me into a five year old, 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, nail polish was replaced by wood stain, make up was replaced by paint overspray, and all those clothes I mentioned before were replaced with dusty shop rags that, due to their level of filth, could only loosely be defined as “clothes”.
After completing the shoe rack, a coffee table, window / flower boxes, a breakfast tray, side table and a headboard, my studio was full, my heart was fuller, and beginning the search for a lucrative way to continue building went without question.
I created an Etsy shop on a whim, really just to see if there was a market for what I was creating. However, in order to make an account, I needed to have a business name – a thought I hadn't yet entertained. 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 really hindered more so than benefited my health. But with the rain bringing on a mean craving for 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, she'll replace sleep with coffee, build things until she can't feel her hands or physically keep her eyes open any longer and she'll be happier than any clam as ever been. And just like that, If You Give a Girl a Saw was born, I was reborn, and I've never looked back for a second!
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.
Create your livelihood from what you're truly passionate about. Try new things, experiment, soak in every moment, just get out there and do what you love. (But don't let me tell you what to do, I'm not your mom.)
Janine Stone – Owner / Woodworker