Before we even started Art and Soule, we took the time to create a solid business plan to define what we wanted to do and what we would be. Among other things, we created 10 rules that govern our shop. Rule #2 is to be profitable. Profitability for our business is important to our customers. Why? If we don't turn a profit then we can't do this, which means we won't be here to serve you. Good news... we always turn a profit :)
Part of running a smart business is to reduce waste. It has a positive impact on the bottom line and is also environmentally friendly. Much like a good chef will try to use all the animal - both for profitability and also out of respect - so do we also try to use all of the materials that we bring into our shop.
With our wood rings we always have shavings. It was easy to figure out what to do with those. We made wood and resin rings like our popular Jack Daniels and Ebony resin ring. Resin scraps - often sharp little oddly shaped shards - didn't hold an immediate answer for us. Then we thought, "Hey. Why not turn the resin into... resin!" Sometimes the simplest answer makes the most sense :)
So, we began to experiment with recasting the scraps. After playing with many combinations of colors, we decided the best action was to cast them into blocks with clear resin. We found the blocks to be really cool. Each one was so different. We immediately knew we could make a truly special layered ring.
We chose to layer our first recycled resin block with cherry. Cherry had a clean, rich look that we knew wouldn't detract from the colorful resin. We were so overjoyed with the look of that first ring that we immediately added the idea to our collection. By playing around with scrap material we made a ring that has a high end, designer feel to it. And the best part... no two will ever be the same.
So, what's the value of using everything? Well, the most obvious answer is better profitability and less environmental impact. The greatest impact in our minds though is the chance to create something truly special out of... well... garbage. Instead of throwing stuff away, we added a ring to our collection that has become one of our most favorited items in our Etsy store and one of our most loved rings by our customers. They adore the windowed, almost stained glass look, and they appreciate that their ring will have no match in the world.
The biggest lesson... no matter your art or your craft, take another look at what you are about to throw away. There might be more there than meets the eye :)