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Hidden Gems: Meet Bobby & Michele Johnson of Colors Of The Wood

Today we’d like to introduce you to Bobby & Michele Johnson. 

Hi Bobby & Michele, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
Thank you! I’ll start with what our business is – Our business is called Colors Of The Wood – we are a husband-and-wife woodworking small business that creates handcrafted wooden kitchen and home decor like cutting boards, serving trays, charcuterie boards, bottle openers, coasters, key holders, ornaments, keychains, gift tags, and hearts! We work with over 30 different types of wood and everything is the natural color of that wood. We do anything from wedding gifts, housewarming gifts, corporate gifts for an event, closing gifts with realtors, holiday gifts, or a custom butcher block for a kitchen! We own a laser engraver so we can personalize anything that is picked out as well and we love to make each piece special for that buyer. 

Now for how it all started in July 2017 – Bobby is the artist and the builder and is the one that started off doing the business mostly on his own the first couple years. Bobby has always had a creative outlet and is a true artist at heart. He loves to work with his hands and create something to give to the world. It was a mix of not loving his corporate job and wanting that creative outlet that he fell into getting into woodworking. He was able to combine his love for art and teaching himself how to woodwork to merge the two together into creating beautiful pieces that others grew to love. This allowed him to take the leap to quit his corporate job, and open up our retail store in downtown Northville in summer of 2018. In 2020, we quickly realized that things were growing, and he needed more time to build in order to keep the inventory what it needed to be in our storefront. 

This led to Michele making the big decision to also leave the corporate world to join Bobby in Colors Of The Wood full time. Michele became the one to be in the retail store full time and took over all communication with our customers so that Bobby could focus on building. Everything in our store is handmade and created by us and not someone else, so Bobby definitely needed the build time! Michele loves talking to the wonderful people in our community every day and hearing the kind words about her husband’s art. Helping someone to pick out a special gift feels very rewarding and meaningful. This has been a really fun transition that has helped us grow and truly team up with our business that we are so proud of. 

As for the future, we definitely know at this point that we will be doing this as both of our long-term careers, and couldn’t be more excited! We feel very fortunate to be able to provide for our family by doing something that we truly love as well. 

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?
I think every small business will have its little challenges no matter what, but that is how we learn and know what may be the right way to move forward! Sometimes it does take some trial and error to know what works best. For us, I think perhaps the biggest challenge has been balancing our personal lives with two little kids, it can be a lot to manage but is more than worth it! 

It can also be hard having the pressure knowing that the harder that the two of us work, the more we will succeed, we do not have a set hourly rate or salary like many jobs, so it is very much in our hands to create the path that we want and to never lose the momentum. Working for ourselves is the best feeling and absolutely freeing, even if it comes with the pressure of making all decisions on our own. 

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know?
Our business is called Colors Of The Wood – we are a husband-and-wife woodworking small business that creates handcrafted wooden kitchen and home decor. 

We specialize in things like cutting boards, serving trays, charcuterie boards, bottle openers, coasters, key holders, ornaments, keychains, gift tags, and hearts! We are known for working with over 30 different types of wood, and everything is the natural color of that wood (we don’t stain or dye anything). 

For our customers – our products can be anything from wedding gifts, housewarming gifts, corporate gifts for an event, closing gifts with realtors, holiday gifts, or a custom butcher block for a kitchen! We own a laser engraver so we can personalize anything that is picked out as well and we love to make each piece special for that buyer. Whether it is a logo or a last name, we can engrave many different things onto our pieces, and that makes it so much fun! 

The part of our brand that we are the most proud of is that everything in our retail store is completely handmade and creating by us, and not made by someone else. I believe this sets us apart from other retail stores, along with being able to personalize items as well which we really enjoy doing. Even though we are a small business, we also have the ability to do larger corporate orders, and that has been a great opportunity in helping us grow. 

We would want our readers to know that we love to work with other local businesses, and love to be a part of our community. We also enjoy creating items that are special and unique to what that buyer is looking for. So, whether it is a personal order for a wedding gift, talking with a local realtor about closing gifts, or connecting with other businesses for a corporate event, we truly care and love what we do and want it to work well on both sides! 

So maybe we end on discussing what matters most to you and why?
It matters to us that we create everything that we sell and are not sourcing it from somewhere else! We also just love being a part of our community here in Northville which is where we both grew up. We love the personal ties we get to have in connecting with others while running our business. We also love personalizing our items with our laser engraver so that it is special to that person. And lastly, Bobby just loves to build, so he is grateful to be doing what he loves. And Michele is grateful in being able to play the role in sharing it with the world! 

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