Hey, Brandi and Dan graves. So happy to have you on the program today. How are you guys doing good. Happy to be here. Welcome. Thank you for making time and taking time out of your busy day. We want to good. We want to take some time just to let the audience get to know you a little bit. Tell us where you live.
Brandi: We are in Sebastopol, California. So it’s Sonoma county. We’re about 20 miles from the Sonoma coastline. So an hour, like, see, I’ve heard this recently in California, we say we, we call distance by how long it takes to get places. I just think this is how everybody does it, but we’re about an hour north of San Francisco.
Kathy: Okay. Very good. Well, I’ve seen some of the pictures on your Instagram post and it is beautiful. There’s something about the, the woods in the Northwest. There’s so deep and rich and Moss hanging and growing on the, what did they call the trees that fall down that. Then become fertilizer for other trees.
Brandi: Yeah. There’s all the whole ecosystem, constantly evolving.
Danny: Every winter. We’ll hear a loud crash somewhere on the property and that process will be starting itself. So we’re familiar with it. I don’t know if you know the terminology.
Kathy: Yeah. Well, what led you guys to that area?
Brandi: Well, we are actually, we’re both from California. We’re from the central valley.
And when we got married, I was going to school at the San Francisco art Institute and Dan was working over here. So we came over to the bay area. I’d never really expecting to be here as long as we have been, which is almost. 20 years now. Yeah, so we moved, we knew we didn’t want to live in San Francisco proper.
I had lived there before and Dan didn’t want to live there specifically. We wanted to live in a bit of a more rural environment. I think
Danny: we’re kind of both kind of naturally rural too. We were both raised out in the country and I, I, I think this was Sonoma county is kind of the fit for people who work in San Francisco and want to escape the urban jungle.
So we’re, we’re, we’re probably. Pretty common story for people getting out of the city proper and being out in the
Brandi: it’s commutable. But you’re not you’re, you’re just far enough away over the bridge that you’re not a part of the whole bay area driving and yeah.
Kathy: Feels like a world away. And how long have you guys been married?
We’re recording this in, um, March of 2021. So at this point, how many years?
Danny: Well, we are sneaking up on 20 in October
Brandi: and October. Shocking time does go by
Danny: so fast.
Brandi: I was 26 and Dan was 30. So we were really young, but I mean, time goes by. I, I feel still young. Doesn’t seem like 20 years have gone by.
Danny: Yeah, 50 is sneaking up on me. I, I don’t know. I don’t feel any different than I did when I was 15. So
Kathy: that is true. I feel a little different than 15 maybe, but my mind is stuck at about 40, you know, that’s where I see myself.
And then I look in the mirror and I’m like, Nope, not 40
Brandi: funny. Yeah.
Kathy: I picked up from some of your posts that you guys met though, pretty young. How old were you when you met and tell us a little bit about how you met?
Brandi: Well, we’re from the same hometown. We didn’t know each other growing up, but, um, we met when
Danny: close together that we didn’t know each other growing up, but I think our, our, like w w you know, this is, we live kind of a lifestyle in the central valley that I think is probably not super common anymore, but I, we both
kind of grew up in the, we, I lived in the same house for the first 18 years of my life. And Brandy did for a huge chunk of hers. And, um, our homes that we grew up in were what, two miles apart? Three miles apart.
Brandi: Yeah. So we’re both from Turlock, California, which is right in the heart of the Central Valley.
And when we were kids, it was a big, um, You know, agricultural community, which it still is, but it’s, it’s expanded significantly since we were kids. So both of our families have that had been there for a couple of generations and lots of crossover that we knew, but we didn’t, we didn’t know each other. We went to different schools.
And then, um, we met when I was 18. I was actually just leaving to go to college and Dan was leaving to go to law school and we met like right at that little period of time and, and Dan wanted to date me immediately, but he was young.
Danny: I, I knew that I wanted to marry her from the moment I saw her.
Seriously. Yeah. I just knew I just, you know what, sometimes, you know, and I just never gave up.
Kathy: Yeah. Oh, my goodness. Had you dated much Dan or no,
Danny: no, no, no. I, you know, I, no, not really. I was, uh, I guess I was kind of socially awkward.
Brandi: Yeah. Yeah. So, so we met and I, you know, we were instant friends and I thought Dan was really smart and really like, like magnetic and, um, But it was a little rough, rough around the edges!
We stayed friends for a long time. He went to law school. I was at college, he was in the army and we would kind of connect back and forth over time. And then it was 2000 that we, it was at 2000. Then we got married. Oh, 2001 that we, um, like reconnected and we got married two months later.
Danny: I was, I was kind of like back from a I’d done a bunch of pretty extensive military training.
So I’d been at, I’d been back in North Carolina and you’d been living in San Francisco and, and we had this summer, the summer of 2001, where I was back into her lock and she was back into her lock and actually her sister, and brother-in-law invited us to attend like a concert, like, so open air concert together and, and they said, Hey, Brandi’s going, do you want to go?
And I said, yes, of course. I want to go. And I was, I was, I was 30 at that time you were 26 and, uh,
We got, yeah. So we got together and decided to get married right away. And then, um, Got married in October and, and, but 911 had just happened in September and Dan was in the national guard and was, um, what is it called? Stop lock. Is that the stop loss? So he like was gone our entire first like, we, we got together, got married and like three months later we were married and he was gone.
It was a weird first year. Well
Danny: first 2 years because we didn’t, we didn’t really live together full time until about 2003, I went to Afghanistan and early mid ’02 .
Kathy: Oh, the sacrifices you, military families pay. I have a couple of nephews that are, one’s air force, and one is Navy and it is, we appreciate so much the sacrifices that the family makes because it impacts everybody kind of like the entrepreneur, right. So that. That is really fast, two months. How did you guys know that you were the others forever?
Danny: Well, like I said, I had known for eight years, so it was, you know, it was really funny. Um, yeah, it was really funny because I remember like after that concert we were talking and she said, well, well, Dan I mean, I can’t, I can’t be your girlfriend. I mean, it’s just, I, I’m not going to be your girlfriend. And I said, well, I love you.
And I, I mean, and it’s like, and then we started just kind of, we started kind of going out, uh, we were, we went out a couple more times after that. Yeah. I
Brandi: don’t know. I don’t know how to describe it. It just was like, the spark went off in the right. The time was right. And, um, I just, I just knew,
Danny: I think also though, you know, here’s the thing that I think gets lost in, in relationships.
A lot of times, modernly is like we had so much shared context. So, you know, when I told my dad, Hey, I, I I’m going to marry Brandy. Um, he said, oh, well, you know, I knew her grandfather and I knew her great uncle. And, you know, I think kind of growing up in that same relatively small town. Yeah. Kind of added a certain, um, certain security to the fact that, you know, these two families joining was a very natural thing.
It was kind of, our people were kind of the same people, right?
Brandi: Context is such a huge thing that I think a lot of. Kids just don’t don’t have in the same way now, you know, they don’t have the same, like crossover, you can’t like vet the people in the same way. So yeah, I think it’s a real blessing over all these years.
It’s also just been so awesome. Cause our families are from the same place, so it’s made holidays and things like that a lot easier.
Kathy: That is so nice. And that, that is a really interesting perspective, you know, now that I think of it because. I moved around a lot, growing up, we moved some with our kids. Yeah. So it, it is almost an exception anymore that you have that growing up experience and so much in common. I mean, what we know about healthy relationships, it is very unusual anymore to find two people that grew up in the same area. And so to your point of having a lot in common, and we know that a lot of long-term marriages are long-term because there’s, there’s a lot of overlap in different areas, you know, common interests, common faith, common, like you said, I mean, how cool that your dad, Dan, knew Brandy’s grandfather?
I think that’s awesome. So that’s, that’s a cool perspective. What are three words that you would use to describe the other.
Danny: That’s a tough one. I mean, you know, Brandy is compassionate, I think much more so than I am, but she’s very compassionate and empathetic. Uh, she’s beautiful. Um, and then I think, um, the third word is one that she’s kind of utilized, I think in a couple of her posts, but.
Feisty. I, you know, I think we both got, um, a certain amount of feistiness is, is one word for it, but I think you could also say kind of a determination. Uh she’s she’s got a lot of grit, so those are my three and I think I did pretty well. And I think I, I got that pretty good. And I didn’t prep that that was right off the cuff
Brandi: okay. I would say first for Dan is loyal. I think that is, um, just, I think like what, like one of his like absolute core values and he lives it out in his life. And I think it’s a character trait that I don’t know, kind of sometimes gets lost in the shuffle these days. So I really admire that about him. He’s enthusiastic.
He’s definitely energetic and enthusiastic and game for almost anything. And I, I think he really. Can be credited. I mean, not, not only in all of the different, like aspects of his life, but he’s really good at like keeping the morale up in our family, which I really appreciate it. It’s a huge, that’s a huge, big deal.
And I think he’s heroic too. I think he is self-sacrificing and heroic. And now that was 4, but heroic and self sacrificing are kind of the same. So.
Kathy: Well, I don’t care if you do five. I think that’s wonderful to have more words than you can describe. Those are really good. And when you say heroic and I think of the family, but you guys have how many kids?
Three. Three kids.
Brandi: How old are they? Henry is our oldest, he’s 16. Joe is 13 and Inga is 10, almost 11, but I’m going to be in denial until March 29th
Kathy: for the next 10 years, you know? Yeah. Very good. What is a book or a person that has influenced, maybe shaped the person you are today?
Brandi: Well, I would say, I think I would say my dad. My dad passed away about 16 years ago, but, um, he and I were very close and he was, um, he was feisty. He was,
yeah, he was, you know, he was hot headed and he was like impassioned, but he was also completely compassionate and dynamic in his mind. He was always the question, like always, always asking questions of people and things and interested, like genuinely interested in life and living and fully living his life.
He was an entrepreneur as was his father. And so I don’t, I never really sort of expected myself to go down that road. But, um, it’s fun looking back on it sort of thinking of the seeds that were sown, you know what I mean, years ago? I, um, I think my dad for sure is, is, you know, one of the most formative people in my life.
Danny: Hmm. Well, I, I have to say my dad too. I mean, you know, my dad was a small town preacher, and he just lived this life of self-sacrifice and of compassion. And he really was one of those people who met other people in the poorest aspects of society, exactly where they were and, uh, and, and was there for them.
And. You know, he was really busy when I was a kid. I like a small town preacher is like a small town, uh, fireman. I mean, I don’t remember us ever having a conversation or ever having a meal where he wasn’t on the phone with somebody that had a problem that needed his help. And when I was a kid, I know that that was really, he was really working, worked hard on, on his church and super important to them.
But you know, when we were both adults. Uh, we really were able to like have this great, uh, relationship and friendship and, and his advice and wisdom and, uh, all those different things he provided for me were just invaluable. And interestingly enough, we were super different personalities because like, you know, he didn’t describe me as particularly compassionate or, or, or, or.
Interested in the same exact, um, ability, the same exact ability to meet people in that same exact, uh, uh, nonjudgmental or perfect way that my dad was. But he definitely, uh, is the person I would say, let me put it this way when you’re in those moments of indecision. And you’re trying to think of whose advice you would like right now.
Well, I, it would, it’d be dads and you know what? He gave me enough before he passed away in 2012, he gave me enough to where it’s like, I know what he would say in this circumstance. So I, I have a pretty good idea where he would want me to fall out. So
Brandi: I think you’re more like him than you think
Kathy: well, I’m sorry to hear that you both lost your fathers, especially being such important people to you, and so young, which leaves you kind of with a lot on your shoulders. And I’m curious how, out of their influence, how has that informed your own parenting?
Brandi: Hmm, that’s a good question.
Danny: Hmm. Well, you know, I, I would say for me, we always talked about everything in my household.
So in our family, we like really value like a lot of dialogue. So we sit around the table and we talk politics and culture and current events and, and broad worldview issues that I think. A lot of people either avoid having themselves or having with their kids. And, uh, I think that’s probably where my dad, uh, influenced my parenting.
It’s a, and I think, uh, interestingly enough, my dad was very respectful of. My individual personhood from a very young age, uh, there was never this idea of the child, um, not being an individual worthy of expression or acknowledgement. And I think that’s kind of really important to us with our parenting technique.
It’s, um, kind of this recognition of the innate humanity of the, the kids, despite the fact that, okay, they don’t have the experience, they don’t have the years, they need some guidance, but at the same time, every single day, they come up with something that I haven’t exactly thought of in that way. And, uh, it’s a really valuable, uh, exchange, I think.
Brandi: I would say, you know, my dad, my dad was ever undeterred. He was, he was very much like forward moving. And I think in a lot of ways, he was just very brave. You know, he, he just kind of kept going forward, kept looking forward. And I think that that has, I can buckle under the pressure of sentimentality sometimes too much.
And I think I do always remember like my dad was, my dad was brave and he was always looking at the road ahead. And I think, um, you know, that’s the kind of parent I want to be. It’s a good example for me to keep returning to kids really need their parents to be brave and undeterred. And I think that’s been a huge, um, example that has kind of continued on.
The other thing is Henry, my oldest was just a baby when my dad got sick and I was in art school, I was in grad school at the time and it, it gave me, I sort of had this moment of time. I was able to sort of pull out of everything and go, um, Help my mom and be with my dad during that time. And I think it was a good moment in my life where I was able to kind of look inward at where I was spending my time and what mattered.
And I think it did kind of then lead me down certain other roads in my life. I’ve I’ve homeschooled the kids since they were little. And I don’t know if I would have like, taken that opportunity if not, for being, if not for pulling back a little bit. So I think. I think that was another thing he did for me, that I didn’t necessarily want him to do, you know,
Kathy: how beautiful to be able to see the gift, even in the pain.
Brandi: Yeah, absolutely.
Danny: Well, and her dad, I, you know, he and I were friends and, you know, there were many, many years where Brandi would not have much to do with me and he and I would go get coffee and donuts or we’d hang out. So he was just a, he was a great, great friend of mine as well. So.
Kathy: Oh, what a wonderful relationship.
Danny: I think he was rooting
Kathy: very strategic. Dan
Danny: was kind of rooting for me. I think, you know, I didn’t think he didn’t want me to lose heart. Yeah.
Kathy: Yeah. That’s so great. Well, thanks for sharing all of that. You guys. I’d like to shift to your business, Savage Sublime. Tell us about the name. How did you come up with that and tell us what this business is?
Danny: Brandi and I, I have, I think we’ve always had kind of a lifelong fascination with the artifacts that. Kind of, uh, make up your life, you know, and, uh, we’ve also both had our interests have always been in like the creative process. We’ve both really enjoyed making things. Mine, I think have been a little more singular than hers have, but we started out making, granted was making cutting boards and I was making Viking axes.
Yeah. So, um, and I think, uh, We were thinking, well, what, what’s a good way to describe Viking axes and artists artisan kitchen equipment Savage Sublime. . Well,
Brandi: it’s also kind of an ongoing joke in our family. We like to sort of tiptoe around the idea of like, who’s who? You’ll never know,
Kathy: saw that in a post. Yeah. So it’s like, we’re going to keep you guessing sometimes it’s me
I, you now too,
Kathy: But do you know, I love that. So. Dan Viking axes. That is so random. How did that come about? So,
Danny: so, uh, Turlock, California, where we’re from is kind of, it is a Scandinavian enclave. So Brandi and axes. Both are of Scandinavian ancestry. So growing up, you know, um, you know, with a little bit of that kind of a Norwegian pride, Now there’s a whole story there, but you know, growing up with that kind of Norwegian pride and stuff like that, we always were, you know, talking about or looking at Viking history and stuff like that.
So I was really interested in it. And there was a company in Sweden that was making this really neat Viking acts. And I, I talked to the distributor and it was 700 bucks. And I said to myself, you know, I think I can make that. And so that’s kind of what inspired me to start making axes. And I think that was, I was probably six or seven years ago and the first.
axes I made, I think I made 10 axes that first year, and we like sold them at like a small local artisan market here in, uh, in the north bay. And, uh, that kind of set my trajectory on that. So I, I am, I make knives and Viking axes that, that are kind of, uh, have my own little signature, uh, look to them. So
Kathy: very cool.
What would be unique? Like if you went into a market that had some of your knives or, axes and somebody else’s. Is there something that would, a collector maybe, would say, oh, Dan made this
Danny: well. Yeah. And so I, you know, it’s really funny because you, uh, you know, when you talk about like books that influence you, I think we both like, actually are pretty rapacious readers.
So, um, there are like certain texts that you, you go back to for, for inspiration. And, um, there’s a book by Bill Wright called. Uh, Theater, Military Theater, Knives of World War II. And, uh, that kind of influences like my knife making design, which is largely based on found metal knives that were produced during World War II and just shipped out to our troops in mass, due to the equipment shortages of that period.
So that’s kind of where I get my knife inspiration.
Kathy: And Brandi, what, what led to cutting boards? How did you develop that interest?
Brandi: When we moved, um, to our home, which we’ve been in now, in Sebastopol for eight years, it was 10 acres and it’s, it was completely overgrown with poison oak, and berries and bushes and trees.
And one of the main trees on our property is California bay laurel. And. The California bay laurel is edible just like the Mediterranean bay that you usually buy at the grocery store. It’s just a little bit more potent. So people don’t use it as often. And I, we were just trying our very best to sort of push back the wilderness to kind of find our house, our place here.
And we kept cutting down trees. And I just kept thinking, like, I want to, just wish we could do something with these trees. We were using them for firewood and chipping them and things like that. And I just was obsessed this one year with like trying to make some cutting boards out of the trees so we, we have a friend who, uh, well we found if found a friend who has a mill and had some of it milled and it was like more beautiful than I ever expected.
And I really enjoy it, you know, because I’ve been home with kids for so long, I’ve spent. Just a lot of time in the kitchen. And you know how those like sort of menial tasks that fill up a lot of your day when your kids are little, they kind of. They kind of wear you down. And then at the same time, when they start to go away, you kind of look back on them with, you know, a real, like soft spot in your heart for them.
So, um, I very much love working with wood and I, and I remember when the kids were little, I would, you know, be like cutting on the cutting board. And I love that it like makes those knives, marks knife marks on the, on the wood. And it’s kind of this like, Really interesting poetic sort of marking of days and marking of time.
So when I made my first board, I was thrilled and like Dan said, we brought some of our stuff to market and they sold and it was, people were really interested in them. And then we’ve just kind of developed it from there. So I’ve gotten, I’ve gotten a lot better. I mean, my first board, I didn’t really know anything about what I was doing.
My grandfather was a carpenter and you know, we’ve always had tools and things like that around, but I hadn’t really, I took a, I took a class at witch shop class in high school, but that was the extent of any of the work I had done. And then I just kind of started to teach myself and then as I sold boards, we would buy like a new piece of equipment, a different sanding piece, a new band saw, things like that.
And I started to really enjoy it. And then I started carving into the boards, which really like ignited my creativity. I started really enjoying that, but I honestly, I just, I love that it’s this piece that like, I can put out there that is this sort of functional artwork, but then also like evolves over time with whoever is taking that and using it in their home.
You know, it’s just this kind of beautiful marking of days, I think. So.
Kathy: No. Fantastic. And you had said you, you were in art school. Did you have a direction for your art or a medium? That was your, favorite?
Brandi: Yeah. Yeah. I was doing, I was at the San Francisco art Institute and I was doing filmmaking. Specifically documentary filmmaking, but you know, honestly, it’s funny cause I remembered I’ve written about this too.
I remember at the time I love film. I love that. It’s these little pictures that are just moving. I love films so much, then any sort of like digital work that’s out there now, but, um, it’s this beautiful dancing and flickering of light, but it’s also like, so evanescent, you know, the film itself is a really, um, is, is really like delicate.
It falls apart over time. It’s, it’s all about this sort of like tiny moment in time that you create and then it’s gone and I. And I do, I did at the time and always really long to do more, to create something that was more of an object. And so I kind of think that, you know, I think my boards are sort of a, um, an, an object documentary in some ways, which I think has been really sort of fun to develop.
Kathy: Huh. I love that combination and, and how it evolved. Yeah. Yeah. So was there a point that you guys launched Savage Sublime or did it kind of grow a little, grow a little and you were like, Hey, I think we have a company here. Tell us about how the business has evolved.
Brandi: Yeah, well, our goal really in the beginning was just to, um, get a little kitty together so we could take our family on vacation.
That was sort of what we were working for. And in addition to like, have some crossover between our lives, other than just our kids, so that we could kind of have something to do together. It was really, we always really enjoyed doing that. So we started kind of selling things and then. You know, it, it started kind of doing a little better year by year and we were really enjoying it.
And we finally like pulled together a little, a little savings and went on a month long trip to Europe. And we were really like catching steam and feeling pretty good about it. Uh, kids have all been involved with it and really enjoy it. It’s a fun family thing to do together,
Danny: you know? And I think that like that.
So this hasn’t been our full source of income, but it’s definitely been something that has, has grown in terms of significance in that aspect. But I think that has been super valuable for us to have like this really fun thing to plan for into the future and then the collaboration on creative projects.
I, you know, um, like I said, Brandi and I have always both been very interested in the creative process and the fact that we’ve kind of had, uh, the same thing to pour our energies into, although we’re coming at it from the Savage side, there’s the Sublime side you know, um, as, as I think. I think it’s really been a gift to us in terms of like something that, you know, I think a lot of, uh, married couples with a lot of kids and, and, and especially with Brandi homeschooling and just life is so busy and everything goes by so fast.
And she talked about. Cutting boards marking that time and preserving that time. Well, I think any aspect of your life that you can share also kind of ends up marking that time. And this shared aspect of our life has been really a lot of fun. It’s been very cool. So I, you know, we, Brandi’s an entrepreneur and, um, you know, it is a business, but by the same token, it has been a great.
Team building exercise for our family.
Kathy: Cool. I often ask couples, and I didn’t ask you guys this, but if your marriage was a team sport, What would it be?
Brandi: I don’t really know anything about sports.
Danny: We are like
Brandi: March madness the other day. And I was like, is it, I don’t even know what
Danny: I mean. I would say we’re more like an infantry squad.
Kathy: Everybody has their marching orders.
Danny: So everybody’s got a job.
Kathy: Yeah. I’ve enjoyed watching the videos that are, are on your Instagram feed, Savage sublime. And just this it’s, it’s almost like a dance.
How you’re, working with each other.
Brandi: I think, you know, we really sort of treated as, as a play. You know what I mean? Like it’s, and I think that because of, because we’re able to do it here out of our home and our kids are able to be involved and then, you know, we started to sort of lace in some different, um, Vintage and, and found objects that we’ve been selling to.
So we’ve had fun, like when we’re out with our family hunting those down. So it, it has felt like a dance. I think that’s a good, good,
Danny: well, and you know, I think we’re, you know, the idea of curated collections has been really appealing to us because one, we, well, we’re both pretty hardcore flea market and antique store people.
So it’s been kind of fun to try to find some, some treasures too.
Brandi: We both, I’m sure you’ve picked up like really love this concept of the artifact. You know what I mean? When we can all go buy whatever we need at target or whatever, but, you know, these are the things that you kind of have in your home. And so having them be beautiful and special and have a story behind them, I think is something that we enjoy and we enjoy sharing with people.
And I think it’s a concept that people really kind of, um, understand too, and like to get behind.
Kathy: Awesome. When I was doing a little bit of looking at your website in preparation for this, I see that you have a release coming up. So I did sign up for your email list. So I get a notification because those boards are beautiful.
Brandi: I’m excited about this next release. It’s fun. It’s fun. I like releasing things in a collection cause it’s time to see how it all sort of comes together as a whole.
Kathy: Yeah, very much. So. So you’ve mentioned that you homeschool, you, the kids are involved in the work. How do you talk with your kids about the business?
Danny: Well, I, if we need something done, we say, do you want to go on vacation? Yeah. But you know, it’s funny. I think a family, it’s like an organism. Right. And so I think that, um, when they see, uh, our enthusiasm for something it’s contagious and they are also very, our kids are very vested in every aspect of what we do.
Um, it’s not. Again, everything happens around the kitchen table at about six o’clock every night. And a lot of times, the best way to move forward on the business is, is a topic of discussion. And the kids are right there and completely engaged. So, um, it’s. It has been a really cool
Brandi: It really is. I mean, and it’s cool to be able to sort of show them how to set goals and start to chipping away at it, whether it’s, you know, on a monetary level or on whatever level it is, I think they are getting to see that in action, which is really cool.
Danny: Kind of like, I think to kind of an introduction to like, Free market economics. You know, it’s been really cool to talk about the fact that we are really blessed to be able to produce something and through our labors, you know, create wealth to a certain extent. And it’s a great example for them in terms of like moving forward.
I think, you know, this idea of they’re stuck doing one thing. It’s not something we want them to feel. We want them to feel like, Hey, there is a world of possibility and that you can support yourself in any number of ways through entrepreneurship. So
Brandi: It’s fun too, to see them sort of take the ball and run with it, or is that the expression take the
all the time.
Danny: And it’s a sports analogy and it involves a foosball. I believe.
Brandi: My daughter, she’s she, so where we are in Sebastopol, the ground is very, uh, it’s clay dirt. It’s really, you know, miserable to plant in adobe. But, um, she like started digging up this clay and made it into a pot and figured out how to cast it in the, put it in the fire and like make a little kiln and then made a little pot.
And then she built herself a website the whole website. We were like,
Danny: Oh, yeah. I mean, I don’t want to take away from our business because now she’s a competitor, but Wanderlust studios, and she’s selling, uh, I want to say ashtrays, which is a weird choice. Cause we’ve
Kathy: how amazing though, that she has picked up your, your love for making things and just trying it right.
Brandi: Maybe it’ll work. Uh, it’s fun to watch. Yeah. I think that’s what it is. I love, I love that they just kind of have the guts to just give it a try and see what happens. And
Danny: Joe’s making a hang glider right now.
Brandi: What could go wrong? Exactly.
Kathy: I have to put. The bully of the neighborhood as the first one to go out on it or something. Yeah. A while back, our daughter told us about five Marys and I started watching, I kind of got addicted almost during the pandemic. It was just such a fun, bright place, right. To watch stories. And I think, did you guys go through their business school?
Brandi: Yeah, so I signed up for her, um, her little business school. About a year ago. I started, I love her on Instagram too. And I just felt like she was, she’s so authentic, you know, in her business style. And I also really feel, um, you know, like I don’t see myself as a farmer, although like going down or like in the agricultural industry, but.
I do use the wood that’s grown on our property. And I think I, I feel a real, uh, connection to rural yeah. America. I think that there’s a real, um, life force that comes out of rural America, that she is really good at like articulating and teaching how to sort of move forward. So I did her business course then.
I am still involved in her. She does, uh, she’s doing like a mastermind, so little small groups of people they get together and talk and share ideas. And that’s been just a huge education, really fun, such a, such a great investment of my time. It’s been, it’s been really awesome.
Kathy: How has that impacted your business?
Do you think.
Brandi: Well, I think, you know, like I said, before , I just started making these boards and then as I would make them and sell them, then I would buy whatever it was that I needed to do more and get better. The Five Mary’s was the first thing I had sort of invested in like as a future thing.
So it kind of lit a little fire. It kind of got me going a little bit. A little bit faster and you know, it’s great. It’s just always great to be sort of involved with people that are doing something similar that can kind of also help inspire and encourage you along the way she’s Mary is, uh, you know, she’s so great at social media.
She’s also, I feel like she’s kind of right at the. You know, she’s always sort of looking ahead sort of how to manage these things. And she’s been a great, a great mentor. I don’t know her personally, just through sort of communication.
Danny: Well, it’s funny too. It’s like, you know, in our home Mary’s kind of a celebrity, right?
So, you know, we, we. So it’s like all celebrities. I think, you know, if you’re watching somebody, you’re watching somebody, you know, on a movie and you feel like, well, yeah, you know, I really feel like I know Humphrey Bogart or something, you know, but it’s like, I mean, you know, it’s like, I think our family, we really feel like Mary is a part of our endeavor and I think.
The hard part when, when people consider themselves, um, makers or are involved in artisan work, is when you’re, when you’re trying to monetize that. Or you’re trying to make that into a real business and start to understand the dynamics of entrepreneurship. It’s, it’s much more of a science, I think then than Brandi and I are attuned to.
And I, the thing I’ve noticed, and I didn’t, I didn’t take course, but. As, uh, maybe, uh, as, as a part of the business, watching what Brandi’s learned. I think that what, what Mary’s been really good at has been kind of sharpening our focus on the business aspect of the creative process. And I think, um, that’s where a lot of,
artists in shops really go wrong, is they, they never figure out how to capture what they’re doing, um, from an entrepreneurship standpoint. And she’s been really good, uh, in terms of guiding us
Brandi: Yeah, absolutely. I think, you know, there’s, there’s the hobby and there’s a business and you have to, at some point decide what it is that you’re sort of going for.
So I think, um, it’s been working with her has been great in sort of helping define. Define that for me and for us.
Kathy: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. If anyone’s interested, their Instagram feed is just delightful. She posts so much, and I see her doing so many things and I don’t know when the woman sleeps, honestly.
What, what has been a high and a low since you have launched Savage Sublime?
Brandi: Well, you know, I would say that this year with the COVID, as so many people have struggled with different things, you know, we were starting to kind of build up a little bit of steam steam as we were going along with our markets.
And then with COVID this past year, everything was canceled, which forced me to put a website together because there was really no other options. So I think that was a great. High and low, you know what I mean? It was kind of a turning point for me. I’ve had been going online and I’m currently like rebuilding my website and working on sort of going further online.
But I think that has opened up a lot of doors for me, figuring out how to ship, do you know all those kinds of things, but I think it’s made it bigger in that I have. You know, a bigger place to play. I think that’s been, it was a low and then it kind of forced me into this position, but it, it, you know, I think it’s ultimately going to be really good change.
Danny: No, I’ll, I’m, I’m impossible to stop from just chiming in, but, you know, here’s what I would say. The whole shutdown, I really enjoyed the live markets and that was our entire focus really until the pandemic. We didn’t really have a internet presence or commerce or anything like that? It was all, uh, we would go, we’ll go to a couple of different festivals and a couple of different makers fairs, and we do two or three a year.
And I love just talking to people about what we were doing. It was, to me, that was so fun and it was fun to have the kids out there. And it was fun to just when, when somebody purchased something from you face to face after hearing you talk about it. To me, that was like really validating as a maker. So I, I really, when, when all of a sudden everything was canceled in 2020, to me, that was a real low point.
Yeah. I think it was when we kind of hit that low point that, uh, Brandi started working with, with Mary. And we did start kind of looking at this more from the context more in the context of like this, it needs to be, uh, an ongoing business. And actually, I think our internet revenue has
Brandi: been better.
Danny: They’ve been very seasonal. It’d be we’d have December would be, a rocket and then we wouldn’t sell again until June. And I think, I think it’s actually a lot more of a business now. So from that standpoint, it’s a high point, but I got to say, I can’t wait to get back out and like talk to people. I do miss that.
You miss the real, the marketing. It is
Brandi: really fun. It’s, it’s a lot more fun to see people face to face and. Yes.
Kathy: Yeah. I’ve had some pieces. We recently moved the beginning of December and we had everything in storage for like two and a half years. And we started going to Santa Fe. Oh my goodness. Well, on our honeymoon, which was several months after we actually married, we went on a backpacking trip in New Mexico.
Took a little side trip to Taos, ran out of money there. We had a VW bus, literally drove from Taos to Texas with a $20 $20 left. And we were scavenging coins, you know, from the VW bus, but we bought our first little piece of pottery that was made by a native American woman. And there was nothing particularly, it was never going to be a collector’s piece.
But I remember the woman I bought it from, she was an old woman. And when we unpacked this box, I had three or four that had just shattered. And I, I was so sad because I was like, I can’t replace them. It’s not about what I spent. We didn’t even spend a lot on them, but I remember that woman. So I have several pieces.
I’m not a big collector. I’d like to collect more art, but I definitely appreciate that fact of, I know who made this. In fact, I, I bought a piece in Santa Fe a couple of years ago. They had a children’s art festival. And this little girl, her name was Hannah. Same as our daughter. And she had made this there’s a little tiny black, you know, there’s a, uh, Black pottery that I forget which Pueblo is known for that, but this little girl had made this little black pot and I bought it.
And I said, I am going to say, I bought your first piece before you were famous, because it was beautiful. I love it.
Brandi: Yeah. And those are, that’s what you remember. You remember those things? I had so many of the little trinkets. Things we have around here. I can tell you exactly where I got it. What we were doing.
I remember it like brings me back in such a specific way.
Brandi: Yeah. We’d be like, yeah, we gather trinkets.
Kathy: But like you said, they have meaning, they’re not just things to stick up on a shelf, you know, order all of this collection. Yeah. So how do you split up the roles in the business?
Danny: I have nothing to do with the business side I make, I am not any, I, I don’t do anything with the business, but I can make things.
Brandi: He said, he’s the blade smith. Is that the word
Danny: I am? Yeah, I’m the I knives and axes are my focus and that’s what I do.
Kathy: Okay. All right. Okay. How do you guys keep the fun, friendship, and intimacy in your marriage with this busy life, raising kids and making things, traveling?
Brandi: Well, I think that, you know, like we have talked about, I think that in the beginning, this was this kind of grown-up play.
We were participating in, you know what I mean? We didn’t know. We weren’t, we were kind of like. Pretending to have a business and doing it together. And it was really fun. And I think that doing it together is part of the, part of the thing that keeps us connected. You know, it keeps us like-minded in certain things.
Years ago when the kids were really little, we lived in Petaluma, just a couple of towns over. Do you remember this? And we did. They do this big day of the dead thing and all the time, all the little shops and stuff downtown, and a friend of a friend of ours asked us to do a little alter in one of the store windows.
And we did it together. It was the first kind of art piece we had put together. And it was so fun. And I think it sort of. Inspired us to collaborate more in some of, in some of those ways. I think, I think it’s, I think that’s a big aspect of it. We also, both of us laugh a lot. We have a pretty good sense of humor.
So I think generally where we sort of keep the laughter going and neither of us are, you know, too, we get, we don’t, we don’t hold a grudge. We don’t hold the grudge. We don’t have the energy to hold a grudge too long. So I think, I think that’s hugely helpful.
Kathy: And, you know, when you have sharp, hatchets around.
you kinda want to stay on each other’s good side. Could be really dangerous household. Awesome. Well,
Danny: I think it’s, I don’t know that it’s I think the intentional decision to share a life is kind of what has sustained us both. I mean, I think that we’ve tried to be more intentional about like, uh, you know, having, setting time aside.
But I think that it’s definitely been, uh, the idea of collaborating, not just on the business, but like collaborating in terms of, where we want to go in the next 20 years has been something that’s kind of been our obsession lately. And I think I’m always kind of maintaining this idea of, uh, steadfastly desiring to go in the same direction.
Um, I think has been key.
Kathy: Yeah, it’s very important. There’s actually been research done that, um, talks about shared goals is one component of, especially for an entrepreneur marriage, lasting for years and years, and you guys are 20 years in and I hope you have 40 more at least. Yeah. Yeah.
Danny: The math you’ve got on my age might not work out, but yeah,
Kathy: well, we’ve been married 41 and my husband says, I think we’ve got another 30 years and I’m kind of like, Well, Hey, I hope so, but I
Danny: and works
Yeah. Yeah. Now you guys have been a delight to talk to, and I thank you so much for coming on the program and sharing just your story of this beautiful. Cutting boards and Savage knives, hatchets. So I just want to thank you and, um, wish you all the best with your future plans.
Danny: A lot of fun. Thank you so much.
Kathy: Thanks so much for listening and coming along on this journey with us. If you enjoyed this episode of bet, you know, someone else that might also find it helpful sharing an episode is super easy. You can also give a rating or leave a useful comment. And all of these things help the show rankings, which then helps others find the show.
Thank you. In advance for being an action taker, you can find a full transcript at kathyrushing.com. And if you have a burning a question or a comment you’d like to leave, you can now leave me a voicemail and I’ll include it in a future episode. Just click the link in the show notes and wallah. Your voice will show up in my inbox.
You’re building a life together. Make it a great one. See you next time. .