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Daily Inspiration: Meet Brittany Cayton

Today we’d like to introduce you to Brittany Cayton. 

Hi Brittany, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
During 2020, I was left with the option to either twiddle my thumbs with worry or find solace in the extra time given during quarantine. With the second option in mind, I ordered two small whittling kits for my husband and I to take up a new hobby. Slowly, tinkering turned into recognizable objects, late nights paved the way to sparks of creativity and a deep passion grew for the tangible little objects I could form and build with my own two hands. It wasn’t long before my children took notice and wanted to play with my little wooden creations. I felt proud to see their imaginations unfold as they held the warm wooden pieces in their tiny hands, knowing I had made and given them that opportunity away from screens…away from broken plastic pieces and whirling lights. I now had my own little in-house R&D team. The ideas and suggestions kept flowing with the optimistic hopes of it becoming something more. From the chaos rose my passion for woodworking and the concept of WhittleWorks. 

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Anything worthwhile is certainly something to fight for. My first experience with WhittleWorks was such a surprising boom that it took up all of my time, so there were certainly growing pains juggling my family and project due dates. There was also the matter of funneling orders through the correct pathway to not only make scheduling easier but gain recognition and legitimacy of a small business. While I still get most of my orders through word of mouth, referrals, and social media platforms, we have started getting orders another route that will help build this reputation. The family juggling is something I don’t foresee mastering because I will always want as much time as possible with my kids and husband, but also the constant pull to fulfill my passions and take things to the next level. 

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
At this point, my work focuses on open play wooden children’s toys. I want to provide the opportunity for magic and imaginative play, eventually growing to provide more items for thought-provoking, life skills, and educational needs. There are however multiple other things that WhittleWorks has made on request to simply tests and grow my skills including signs, charcuterie boards, holiday decor, and even sewn dolls and goods. I am proud of the time, love, and craftsmanship that I put into each piece and I think that also sets me apart from the fast cheap pieces that can be found elsewhere. If I make a piece for my kids that can withstand the test of time, then I want it to be the same for yours. 

If we knew you growing up, how would we have described you?
Growing up I had a very busy ever-changing life. My days were full with Archery, Shooting, horseback riding, swim team, dive, ballet, soccer, and so on. While I appreciate a well-rounded person and try to do the same for my own kids, the times I cherished most and where my creativity was grown, were with my father. Watching him weld, forming sculptures and detail indicative of a master. Him telling a little 5-year-old me to get some paint and decorate the outdoor chairs with whatever I wanted. Him pulling his pocketknife on a camping trip and showing me a little face carving into the side of a tree…these stood out. Eventually, even through my rebellious phase where I would have rather driven 120 miles per hour down the freeway on my street bike than do anything else, he always pulled me back into the world of imagination and creativity showing me the homes that he built…the ironwork on a custom gate, the 20-foot tree he put in a middle of one living room, the tile work in a bathroom only the owner would ever see. From that, my quiet moments have always been full of painting, writing, song. Thank you, Daddy. 

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