The couple that creates together, stays together? It's certainly the case with Danny & Lauren Earl-- the husband-and-wife creative team behind Hey Esther! , a new Etsy shop featuring handmade clothing and toys for the modern kid. Inspired by their love of handmade goods and their adorable daughter Esther, Hey Esther! is the couple's passion project that naturally evolved into their first online venture.
Lauren has always been passionate about crafting things with her hands. She's been known to whip up some incredibly adorable outfits for Esther, and recently, the family's newest little addition, baby Cecilia. Danny is just as much into DIY, creating custom furniture and various woodwork projects for friends, family & clients.
I recently caught up with the crafty duo to chat, check out Danny's woodshop and of course, see their adorable little ones! Read on to learn more about how these busy parents keep their creative juices flowing by lovingly crafting awesome stuff for their little girls and other cool kids.
You're both such crafty, creative people; how'd you two meet?
Lauren: We met while working at Danny's uncle's stained glass shop, while we were both going to school in Utah. Danny had moved there from Las Vegas. I used to work at a stained glass shop back home in San Diego.
Clearly, your first little girl Esther was a big inspiration behind the Hey Esther! name. But what inspired you guys to start making and selling your wooden toys?
Lauren: Esther loves playing with blocks and she loves animals. We put the two together and made animal blocks for her and as gifts for friends and family.
What made you decide to use solid walnut wood?
Danny: Well, at first, we had lots of leftover walnut in the woodshop to start with. But ultimately, it came down to which type of wood could stand up to kids throwing, biting and banging! Walnut wood is stronger than most and has a lovely natural grain to it. We tested out other types of wood like pine and we weren't happy with how they dented and splintered. So walnut it is!
How did you get into carpentry and furniture making?
Danny: My dad has always done it as a hobby. I started helping out in his woodshop when I was about eight. It wasn't until I took up shop class in high school that I decided to start seriously building. It was around that time when people started asking me to build furniture for them. In my junior year, I built a cherry wood queen-sized bed that we still sleep in today.
Besides making things for your girls, what's your favorite project you've worked on so far?
Danny: I recently finished a custom-designed mid century modern bed made out of walnut wood for a client. The best part was the client allowed me full creative freedom in designing the bed. That was definitely a real treat.
Lauren, where do you usually find your inspiration as the designer for Hey Esther!
Danny would say Pinterest! Haha! And he's pretty much right. But one of my first designs was inspired by this elephant stamp he made for me. I was always sewing clothes for Esther, and I decided to make her this cute romper. I wanted to use a patterned soft jersey fabric, but only had solid gray at the time. So I used fabric paint and the elephant stamp to make it my own!
I posted a picture of Esther wearing the elephant romper and people started asking me to make it for them. Soon after, I decided to open our own Etsy shop.
Anything new you're both currently working on that you're especially excited about?
Danny: I'm working on a modern wood bike shelf.
Lauren: I'm super excited about this mid century modern wooden dollhouse I designed and Danny is building. I can't wait to start creating the mini mid-mod furniture and decor for inside the house!
>> Visit Hey Esther! Shop on Etsy for handmade, custom-designed creations for the modern kid!