Featured Maker: Hanna Dausch
Operating an independent business is a journey, and no two paths are the same. We welcome you to meet the folks behind some of our favorite businesses as they share their stories, the fuel behind their craft, and the passion that keeps them making.
This month, we are so excited to introduce you to Hanna Dausch!
Hanna Dausch. Photo courtesy of Hanna Dausch.
About Hanna Dausch Woodworking:
Q: Tell us about how your work came to be.
A: I am originally from Pittsburgh, but most recently from Chicago where I attended The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. I lived there for about five years while focusing on woodworking as sculpture in relation to historic preservation. I became a carpenter that restored historic houses built in the early 1900’s, but soon got tired of working in the Chicago wind and cold.
I moved back to Pittsburgh and was trying to find a way to make work again when, in October 2019, I opened my own woodworking studio, and here we are! While in Chicago, I became homesick and thought of all of the things that reminded me of home and my family. The atmosphere of my house, the pieces of furniture that held memories of my childhood, the handcrafted objects that told stories of my family, ultimately the warmth a home brings. The details of a house hold memories and tell stories, keeping the past alive and unraveling it. My woodworking grew out of this and became a conversation between the past, present, and future of craftsmanship strengthened by family and traditions. It is made to add warmth and intimacy to the home.
Roo! Photo courtesy of Hanna Dausch.
Q: What does a typical day or week look like to you?
A: There is no typical day for me. Recently, I got a puppy, Roo, and all of my effort I put into planning and scheduling has gone out the window! I try to go to the woodshop 5 days/week for 8-10 hours/day, but with a puppy that doesn't always happen. Some days I never make it to the shop and others I only go for half a day and spend the other half at home carving. I am trying to learn to be flexible and ok without a typical day. As long as I feel productive and happy at the end of the day, then I'd consider that a successful day!
Q: Is there any interesting trivia or a fun fact behind your brand you'd like to share?
A: I never in a million years thought I would have my own business. I come from a family of small businesses - my mother, father, and grandparents each had their own small business. I never thought about it or even considered it. But after graduating and going through a couple of jobs that weren't the right fit, I panicked and decided to give it a go. And now I can't think of anything better than owning my own business!
A variety of vases. Photo courtesy of Hanna Dausch.
Q: Can you divulge your secret to staying energized and inspired?
- Make work you love. If you're always making what other people like, then you will become miserable and forget why you started.
- Take breaks. Rest is just as important as work.
- Have other hobbies and interests. When you get tired of working, you need to have something else to go to clear your mind.
Q: What’s your advice for overcoming challenges in the independent biz space? Is there any advice you'd give your younger self starting out?
A: If I could give any advice to my younger self it would be that there is no right or wrong way to do something. Everyone will try to tell you how to do something, how to get somewhere, and how to achieve. There is no one way, it is the way that works for you. If you don't listen to yourself first then you will never get anywhere.
My advice for overcoming challenges in small business is something my dad taught me. He always said to constantly change it up, make new work, and have new ideas. If you keep doing the same thing then you'll never get anywhere, you have to keep it new and interesting.
Q: What do you feel sets you apart in the independent biz/maker space?
A: What I feel sets me apart is my way of working. I am a business of one so everything I do starts and ends with me. I am not much of a planner and especially not a drawer. I like to have ideas in my head and start by trying to make them - sometimes they work and sometimes they don't but it's all about learning in the process. I am a visual learner and I find it very valuable when I mess up because it gives me new ways of thinking how to fix the problem or how to come up with a new solution. This way I have no limits and I get to further understand my work in the process. Everything I make has love, anger, satisfaction, disappointment, curiosity, and all of the emotions you feel while producing something. My work is a piece of me and I love that.
Q: We are in awe of your lathe + hand-turning process—what’s the story behind it?
A: I first became interested in woodworking because my grandfather was a woodworker. He primarily worked on the lathe and my mom would tell me stories about him making fires at night in the basement to stay warm while turning on the lathe. Though I never met him, because he passed before I was born, I fell in love with his work that still fills my childhood home. At the time, I was going to school for sculpture and slowly started spending more time in the woodshop. I asked the managers of the shop to show me how to use the lathe and that was that, I was hooked. I haven't stopped going to the shop since.
About Hanna - and, go!
Q: What’s your go-to coffee and/or tea order?
A: Light Roast w/ whole milk.
Q: Markets or Online Shop?
A: Online Shop.
Q: While working/making: Podcasts, Playlists, or Streaming?
Q: Early Bird or Night Owl?
A: Early bird.
Q: Instagram or TikTok?
Q: Summer Markets or Holiday Markets?
A: Holiday markets.
Boards in a variety of woods. Photo courtesy of Hanna Dausch.
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