Meet the Maker: Wood & Twine
Wood & Twine: the name is deceptively straight forward for the intricate string art installations that best friends Jessica England and Melody Niemann create for their Louisville-based company. Right now, you can check out their largest piece – a six foot Kentucky outline – brightening the walls of our Northfield store.
At the root of Wood & Twine, though, is Melody and Jessica’s friendship. Long before their company was even an idea, some serendipitous class schedules and a shared love of crafting brought them together while attending the University of Louisville. With the same major (in marketing) and double minors, Jessica and Melody were seeing each other everywhere.
But it was finally a mandatory accounting class that solidified their partnership. “It was the most horrible class ever – we ended up just helping each other get through it, ” says Jessica.
“I always joke that it was a friendship formed of the mutual hatred – hatred of accounting,” adds Melody.
Exploring different types of crafts and art projects became a way for Jessica and Melody to hang out. They took watercolor classes, practiced calligraphy and even attempted an ill-fated mosaic project (“glass shards were everywhere”), before eventually pursuing string art.
Melody says, “I’ve always been prone to crafting. Doing local DIY projects wasn’t abnormal for me, coming from a crafting family.”
When they started creating string art, they found they liked working in the different medium – raw materials versus more traditional canvas and paint. Something about the hands-on process was appealing, and they were excited to come up with new designs to try.
“It’s not about the finished product, it’s about you in the moment creating something,” Jessica says.
Going into business with a best friend can be tricky, but Jessica and Melody are good at balancing each others’ work style while still being supportive.
“When we see the other one getting overwhelmed or starting to get burned out, the other one jumps right in and takes on more. We tend to stagger the work load, so when one of us is swamped at our other jobs, the other will take over, ” says Melody.
Jessica says, “It’s not something we really even have to vocalize.”
Both being from the Louisville area, they started their business with state outlines of Kentucky and the Louisville skyline (Fun side note: each still keeps one of the two original pieces they created in their homes as inspiration).
Since then, they’ve expanded to include other Louisville-themed designs, as well as designs inspired by nature, quotes, and symbols.
Their partnership works well because though their design ideas sometimes differ, they both respect the other’s design sense and collaborate to come up with a cohesive brand. They take inspiration from their individual interests, like succulents or coffee, and then divide the projects based on their personal aesthetic preference.
“Jessica takes on all the pink orders for me,” jokes Melody.
Even with their different style, it’s easy to see from Wood & Twine’s playful designs that they have a lot of fun working together.
One thing they both agree on? Heine Brothers’ visits! Jessica prefers our Caramella and Melody recommends the Bee Keeper.
Looking for your own piece from Wood & Twine? They take custom requests through their Etsy shop, or you can find some of their signature Louisville pieces in boutiques around the city.