Lucca Workshop is a small business in Cincinnati. Owner, Lindsey Estes, creates laser cut products in her beautiful Over-the-Rhine studio. She designs high quality unique goods that you cannot find anywhere else. Lucca is often celebrated as one of Etsy's best Makers! We interviewed this awesome local maker to learn more about her journey and her craft. Meet Lucca on June 3 at our Summer Maker Mart!
Tell us about your local business.
My name is Lindsey, and I am the owner, designer and machinist behind Lucca Workshop! Lucca is a retail shop and laser studio that specializes in wood and paper gifts, home decor and custom design. Our mission is to create natural, functional and affordable products; mixing the importance of using natural eco-conscious products and mixing beauty with function!
What drew you to your craft?
I was raised in my father's machine shop - I learned the trade of laser design and the perseverance of entrepreneurship from him. Being trained on creating highly detailed, industrial parts, I always knew the details of the machines were very similar to the detail of my drawing techniques. After my first year of University at CCAD, I quickly realized school was not the route for me. So with my love for linear design and symmetrical detail, I took my knowledge for machining and my love for functional, natural design and I started my own business!
What is your favorite thing you have ever made?
My favorite product to create is my greeting cards. We don't create just any normal greeting card here at Lucca. We have an array of laser cut wood, paper and floral cards! Creating cards is my stress reliever. They can be as goofy, creative and weird as I want them to be! Creating an item I have never seen before is my goal :)
What did you want to be when you grew up?
When I was a little girl my mom gave me a journal. Each day the journal prompted questions and you filled them out accordingly. I remember one of the questions at the intro of the journal was, "What do you want to do when you're older?" I wrote, "I want to be a mom, an artist and own a store." Here I am, 28, a mother to a little boy, a designer, and I have a small retail store in the heart of Cincinnati :)
What is your creative process?
The creative process here at Lucca consists of A LOT of design work. Many hours are spent every day designing, setting up our machines, testing designs and editing. All of our designs are created or sourced by Lucca. Even when we purchase artwork from other artists, there is an extensive process the design has to endure before it is ready to be created into a product. When people think laser machine they believe it's as simple as hitting 'print' on a printer - our process is MUCH more extensive than that. Aside from the countless hours designing, most of our time is spent prepping wood, sanding, staining, sealing, packaging, etc.. On top of our product line, we also create all of our packaging here at Lucca!
What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?
If I could give myself any advice, past and present me, DO WHAT YOU WANT! If you want to do something, create something, start a business, just DO IT. Stop waiting around for the right moment or to get people's opinions. The best time to start is NOW. And if you have an idea just run with it! The best way to test opinion is just to create the product and put it out there. It might not catch right away, it might not be perfect, but there is no better time to try than right now, and no one is going to see it unless you confidently put it out into the world. Do it. Do it NOW!
Why is it important to support local artists & makers?
It is important to support small and local because that is the way a city murmurs. Your money spent is a small investment in how you want the future to be. Supporting "small" is allowing all of us to have more availability to new jobs, creativity, new products and a thriving city! You are supporting a small business venture and allowing a product to be in this world that might not exist in a big box store.
Why do you love doing what you do?
I love doing what I do because I am able to freely create whatever I want. The moment I create a new product, I can stick it directly into my retail store and test the market. Although I regiment my schedule, design process and the way we run Lucca's retail store, I have a lot of flexibility in the fact that I can do whatever I want with my business! I am my own boss, and there is no one to direct me. If I believe something will work, all I have to do is try! :)
What advice do you have for other women who want to start their own businesses?
Advice I would lend to other business owners... If you want to create work for someone or a custom brand, just create it for them! Work for the companies you want to work for by presenting your work in front of them. Other companies are constantly in search of new products, designs and merchandising - the best way to get in front of them is to present yourself to them.
What is your favorite thing about exploring Ohio?
My favorite thing about Ohio is the community within the cities! Everyone is so willing to work within Ohio, support local, search local, shop local. It is really a unique location because there is SO MUCH to explore, shop and see. And everyone in Ohio seems to want to pay it forward within Ohio. Sometimes people think Ohio is just a barren farmland, but it is quite the opposite!