Meet Jennifer Braidwood, owner of Braid & Wood Design Studio. Made of high-quality hardwoods such as white oak & maple, all of Braidwood's plant hangers are hand-assembled here in San Diego. In the spirit of supporting local, we are thrilled to carry her products in our shop, especially as we head into the Holiday season. We had so much fun meeting her where we learned more about her products, her story, & her journey as a small business owner.
What was the inspiration behind Braid & Wood?
I wanted to spend my time and energy combining my two skill sets – Branding & marketing with my love for home décor and home design. And I really wanted a big lifestyle shift. My husband and I both quit our corporate jobs, sold our home, moved into an apartment and my husband started to work for a start-up and I started my own business creating beautiful products & beautiful spaces.
Which product is your favorite and why?
My favorite is the “V-hanger” for airplants. It was our second product and I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to do it again. I thought to myself, "Was this just a one time thing? Will I be able to create another product that people like just as much?" This "V-hanger" doing even better than the first product was such an accomplishment for me. It was so exciting to see the product line expand! I love the V-hanger because people are hesitant to drill holes in their ceilings so this was a solution for easy installation to hang on your wall. Airplant styling is super unique and new and more modern.
Do you have any tips on how to style your products at home?
My plant hangers are sold by size: small, medium, and large. It's important to make sure you have the appropriate size pot for your hanger. If you’re looking for somewhere to start, the large plant hanger looks really great on its own, but the best way to start is hanging your plant hanger in a corner with your favorite plant & pot. That’s the best way to add some interest to your space. If you’re going with a medium plant or small hanger, styling them in a group of two or three would work best.
What plant is your favorite?
Anything that thrives off of neglect. I’m so busy these days and so pothos, hoyas, silver satin pothos, philodendrons. And snake plants – you can throw those into a fire and they would still survive.
What’s your favorite part of owning a small business?
Everything falls on you – you’re totally responsible for your own success or failure. I love the creative freedom to do what I want, when I want, however I want. The small business community - Meeting other people who are grinding just as much as you are. The amount of help and cheering on from the small business community is the biggest thing that keeps me going. Everyone’s so willing to help & celebrate small wins with you & genuinely wants you to succeed.
Is there any advice you have for people who want to start their own business but are too hesitant?
Don’t sleep on the fact that it’ll be the hardest thing you’ll ever do -but one of the most rewarding things you’ll ever do. Running your own business, solving the problems -it’s unlike anything I’ve ever experienced in my life. Lean on your community. Don’t be afraid to say “I don’t know how to do this,” or “I’m not sure how to do this.” People want to help. Having a problem-solving mindset is one of the biggest things you need.
Thanks for meeting with us, Jenn! It was truly wonderful meeting a like-minded creative who was so willing to help a new small business like us. She's right - the small business community is one of the best parts of owning a business in San Diego. We're all here to cheer each other on & support each other!