Salvage & Bloom is a small business located in Cincinnati. Owner, Lynda, creates unique flower sculptures from wood & metals. We interviewed this Ohio entrepreneur to learn more about her background and creative process. Meet Salvage & Bloom at our Summer Maker Mart on June 3, 2018.
Tell us about your local business.
I started Salvage & Bloom in 2012 here in Cincinnati. I make flower wall sculpture from wood, reclaimed wood and salvaged metal.
What drew you to your craft?
I was merely looking for a flower wreath to hang on my back porch and I couldn't find anything that looked like it would hold up to the elements. So, I went down to my barn and started cutting some old fence boards. Within a few hours, I had designed a flower.
What is your favorite thing you have ever made?
I make a lot of custom flowers for homes, restaurants and offices. I did a flower for a customer fighting breast cancer and she wanted pink ribbons and inspirational words on it. It was a challenge, but I thoroughly enjoyed the process. It gave me goosebumps when she described how happy the flower made her. That was when I realized I was finally where I wanted to be in my own life - making art, making flowers using reclaimed resources.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
I grew up in the Ohio 4-H Equine and Livestock program and competed in equestrian sports for many years. I wanted to be a professional equestrian or a writer. I wound up as a newspaper reporter for about 18 years, and I continued with horses as a hobby. On a side note, every one of my horses, dogs and cats have all been rescues. I'm so happy about that!
What is your creative process?
My mom taught me her love of gardening at an early age, so working in the garden was always a joy. Flowers in nature - a photo, a flower shop or garden - inspire my designs. I never get tired of flowers. Music also has a tremendous effect on my work. I've been a Jackson Browne fan for many years so his music rotates heavily in my Spotify library.
What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?
I would not have been so filled with self doubt. I failed many times at small business before I became successful. I finally learned to laser-focus on my one passion and become an expert at it. Once I did that, I began earning a good income, and I still do.
Why is it important to support local artists & makers?
As a consumer I feel so inundated with poorly made home decor junk that lasts for maybe one or two seasons and is then thrown out. In the long run, we wind up spending more money. Local makers create items that last. You get what you pay for - so when I buy locally, I know I'm helping our economy and buying something that was made with care, and yes, with love.
Why do you love doing what you do? When I am finished with a spray paint can, it actually becomes part of a future flower. Very little is thrown away in my process. I also love the fact that every flower I make is truly unique - like flowers in nature, no two are exactly alike. I also am always on the hunt for salvaged metal and wood. It all works together.
What advice do you have for other people who want to start their own businesses?
Don't be afraid to spend money on your business, and don't be afraid to fail. Every failure I had became a lesson learned.
What is your favorite thing about exploring Ohio?
My daughter is a junior at Ohio University so I am currently exploring that area when I visit her. But whether it's Cincinnati's rich music scene, the dedicated animal rescues in Ohio like the Last Chance Corral in Athens or Happy Trails Farm Animal Sanctuary in Ravenna, Ohio or enjoying the outdoors in one of Ohio's parks, there is always something new to discover. I was born and raised a Buckeye and I'm still finding new sites and events to enjoy.