Q&A with Make & Stow
Make & Stow is a fabulous family-run business based out of Salem, Oregon. We first discovered their beautiful handcrafted photo boxes on Instagram and have been hooked ever since! Their love and passion for their work is exemplary and we're proud to offer some of their products on 48 & sea.
Tell us a little about your background and how you got into woodwork.We are a family-run business started by David and Pamela McVey and their son and daughter-in-law, Erich and Amy McVey. Erich is a wedding photographer, and years ago he decided he wanted to create wood presentation boxes to deliver prints to his clients. Luckily, David and Pamela, own fine art & commercial framing stores, and have a ton of experience with wood and the kind of craftsmanship that something like this would require. Erich was able to work with his dad to design and build wood boxes for all of his clients. Over the years, Erich continually received questions from clients and fellow photographers alike asking where they could purchase wood boxes like the ones he used. So, after some thought, we decided to go into business together to create Make & Stow, so that we could offer these beautiful handmade wood boxes for photos and other keepsakes to everyone! The boards quickly followed as an additional item for Make & Stow, and actually came about quite organically. Charcuterie makes a frequent appearance at our family gatherings each week, and with all of the beautiful solid wood now at our fingertips for the boxes, we almost instantly began creating serving boards for our own use. Adding them to the official Make & Stow collection seemed like a natural next step.
What is most important to you when you set out to create a new product?
I think there are a few different things that are always top of mind when we create a new product. First and foremost, we ask ourselves, "Is it useful and needed by our customers?" We personally use our boxes and boards on a daily basis in our own homes, and feel so strongly in their usefulness, their beauty and their ability to elevate and celebrate not only the most epic of days (weddings) but also the more average yet equally important moments in life (family dinners with charcuterie on a serving board). We keep that in mind with every new product we create.
Where do you look for inspiration?We look to our own lives and experiences for inspiration. What do we love, wish we had, need to benefit ourselves or Erich's own photography clients? These are the things we continually ask ourselves when looking for inspiration. That way, we have a strong personal connection with every finished product, and can proudly stand behind every product we sell because we believe in it so passionately. It is so much fun to brainstorm ideas, think of what we can do next to most benefit our customers and grow Make & Stow in new ways. This is our family business, our livelihood, and our passion. It makes it easy to stay inspired when you love what you do (and who you get to do it with) so much!
What do you love about living and working in Oregon?We are born and raised Oregonians, and are completely in love with our beautiful sate! Oregon has so much natural beauty to offer, and our community's passion for the outdoors and simple, authentic living is something that continually inspires Make & Stow products and service. Where we live, we are surrounded by forests, greenery, and the rugged wilderness of Oregon. The beauty of the natural, solid wood we use for all Make & Stow products is certainly a reflection of our environment, and a way for us to bring part of the great outdoors in to our homes.
If you could do any other occupation, what would it be?This may sound like a cliche answer, but there is nothing else we would rather be doing! We love getting to work with our family, in the city we grew up in and in the state we love to explore. It's truly the best of all worlds, and something we hope we never take for granted.
What is your favorite artist in any field, living or dead?We're all really big music buffs, and are extremely lucky to have some close friends who make some of the best music in the world. Erich's childhood best friend, Daniel Jones, is in our favorite band, Symmetry/Symmetry. They're seriously so so good, and we always love it when they have a chance to play here in Oregon so we can watch them perform live!
What is next?
We have a few new projects in the works - our wheels are always turning! We are set to launch a new variation of our serving boards with more character (wood knots, interesting grain, live edges, etc.). These are personally my favorite kinds of boards. Boards with those "imperfections" have so much added beauty and depth! For the future of Make & Stow, we just hope to continue to grow, connect with our customers, and offer beautiful, timeless pieces that are cherished for years to come.
Thank you, Make & Stow for the wonderful insight into your company and family! To shop all Make & Stow products, click the link below.