What It's About
These drumsticks are on fire!
Words of Wisdom
Ella's sticks are now in full swing, attracting the attention of celebrity drummers, like Carrie Underwood’s drummer, Garrett Goodwin. Meanwhile, the Instagram posts from the account she created were drawing the attention of both musicians and non-musicians alike.
Her best tip: using time-lapse videos of her work creations. Ella said people love the videos she posts, and often watch them over and over.
The word pyrography means writing with fire and has been used by ancient Egyptian and African tribes since the dawn of time. It’s been said by pyrographer Robert Boyer that pyrography started when early man “created designs using the charred remains of their fires.”
Notes from Chris
Episode 784Ella Cordial-Brockelsby is a full-time graphic designer for a large newspaper company. When she’s not busy at her day job, she used to paint and hand letter windows for businesses. Then, in what sounds like another project we need to learn about sometime, she also used to paint race cars. Ella now spends her evenings and weekends as a pyrographer for her Etsy store, Cordial Greetings. What’s pyrography you ask? It is “the act of producing drawings on wood or leather by using heated tools or flame.” Ella stumbled into this line of work when her mother passed away and left her with a lot of art supplies and tools. Digging through the tools awakened Ella’s inner-muse, and before long, that muse led to her burning elegant, eye-catching designs into wooden objects. She made a wine box as a gift for a relative. Shortly after, another relative requested the same thing. It was also around this time that Ella’s husband lost his job of 20 years. Needing more household income, she realized that she might be able to monetize her pyrography skills into a profitable project. At this point, she was mainly selling to family members—$5 here, $20 there—it wasn’t really a moneymaker. So she started thinking outside the wine box. She knew Etsy was the place to sell handmade goods online, so she figured “why not?” She didn’t know a lot of people in the area and didn’t have a platform to draw from. But with that Etsy shop, she could reach all kinds of people, no matter where they lived. It took a month and a half to get her first sale, but by early fall of 2017, the holiday season gave her a big boost. People were taking notice … and they weren’t just noticing, they were buying too. Ella was wood burning everything from signs to plaques to wooden oars. But what truly set her apart in the wood-burning space was her custom drumsticks. In less than a year, she had a percussive bestseller on her hands: those wooden drumsticks were ablaze! She could hand draw, hand wood burn, and hand paints a variety of designs. This set her apart in the industry because most customized drumsticks were made with machine laser burners. No machine can do what Ella does because of the way she wraps her designs around the drumsticks. While most laser engravers only burn text, Ella offers fancier designs and colors, even hand-painting items upon request. Ella’s excited and believes she’s just getting started. Her Etsy shop is only a year and a half old. In her words, “Not a lot of people know about me yet.” She plans to continue marketing to bands and musicians of all genres as well as offering to add logos and signatures on drumsticks. Her long-term goal is for Cordial Greetings to ignite into her full-time work. That’s why she wants to fan the flames and keep stoking the fire.
MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
- Cordial Greetings: Check out Ella's custom blazing drumsticks (and other pyrographic creations) at her Etsy shop
- Philadelphia Lover Maps Out $35,000/Year Side Hustle: A neuroscientist turned marketing manager moonlights as an artist, selling original papercut designs on Etsy with very little marketing
- Communications Teacher Turns Love of Journaling Into Etsy Shop: In her search for a side hustle, this college communications instructor turns to her love of journaling. She then learns to manufacture a custom product from overseas and sell it back at home
- Trader Joe’s Sign Artist Earns $43,200 Selling Tea-Stained Prints: Discovering the art of tea-stained prints using publicly available (and free!) art, a Trader Joe’s employee begins earning $3,600 a month selling custom prints online
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