Featured Artist

Handcrafting at Its Finest: Ingrained ‘N Wood – Melissa Fournier

By Published On: December 1st, 2023

Growing up in Stockport, NY, as the second child of four girls, Melissa Fournier spent most of her time outdoors with her sisters riding bikes, swimming, and exploring the woods around their home. Her favorite memories are the summers she spent with her aunts, uncles, and cousins vacationing in an RV and traveling from campground to campground. They swam, cooked hot dogs and hamburgers over campfires, boated on the lakes, and traveled around New York State. 

Crafting is a family affair

Melissa is a self-described “crafty” person as it was something that was always a part of her life growing up. Taught from a young age by her father who “is very smart and can do anything on his own,” her motto has always been, “If I can do it myself, I’ll do it myself.” Additionally, her grandfather owned and operated a number of ceramic businesses while her grandmother knitted and crafted in a variety of mediums. Melissa learned scrapbooking from her aunt, who she continues to craft with to this day. 

Once a month Melissa, along with her aunts, cousins, mom, and sisters, get together and have a family craft day. Melissa and her aunt brainstorm what the craft will be, and then her aunt gathers the supplies. They have made chunky hand-knitted blankets, “make yourself at home” door hangers embellished with greenery, scarecrows made out of wine bottles, painted pinecone floral bouquets, and picture frames with inspiring quotes vinyled to the glass. “It’s a lot of sharing, it’s a day away from the kids, we get to bond, and it’s always a good time.”

Making a go of it

After Melissa and her husband Mike had their second child, she decided she wanted to find something that would keep her occupied during her downtime that would also make some extra money for her family. Since she always enjoyed crafting, she thought it would be the perfect job for her to do from home. 

Melissa started by purchasing a “Cricut,” an electronic cutting machine that cuts designs from materials like paper, vinyl, card stock, and iron-on transfers. Then her husband bought her a C02 laser for Mother’s Day. A CO2 laser is a cutting tool that uses a focused laser to precisely cut a wide range of flat materials such as paper, wood, acrylic, and leather. For the most part, the designs work on any materials you choose. Melissa uploads the design to a computer program called Lightburn, connects it to the laser, and then cuts the design. 

Once Melissa had the machines, tools, and supplies she needed, she and her husband began renovating their backyard shed into a craft studio. “I started out in just a corner of the shed, then once my husband cleared the rest of the space out, I put up shelving, we did the floors, and now we are working on the walls.” She had everything she needed, but she had to teach herself how to use it all. “I learned everything on my own, there was a lot of trial and error, a lot of research, and a lot of tears.”

And then there was Etsy

Melissa came up with the name “Ingrained ‘N Wood” because “crafting is ingrained in me and I like working with wood.” She started her business in May 2020, and at the beginning was pretty much just doing it for fun. 

Then Melissa figured she would start up an Etsy page, post a few random gift items and see how they did. She also began to use a Facebook website auction page, which is essentially an auction page for moms who work at home. “It’s got a little bit of everything, all homemade, I could purchase things there and decided to sell there as well because it generated traffic to my Etsy site. I also use it to gauge what people like and don’t like. If I post something and it doesn’t get a lot of bids, I won’t post it again.” 

Going to the next level

Melissa’s store really began to take off in the winter with “baby’s first” Christmas ornaments, sippy cups with engraved baby names, and buffalo plaid initial ornaments. The business has continued to grow from there. And, now that her second child is in school and she has more time, she is ready to take the store to the next level. “If I could grow the shop more, I’d like to add larger items such as personalized signs, wedding signs, and wooden home decorations.” 

While planning ahead to the upcoming holiday season, Melissa created some new and exciting holiday gifts that include family tree signs, ornaments, personalized recipe boards, sippy cups, and earrings. With custom-made and individualized items like this, the holidays just became a lot more personal and special. •

Melissa has included a special 10% off on all items for the month of December. Simply use the code “MAINSTREETMAG” at checkout to get the discount. You can learn more about the items Melissa has available at etsy.com/shop/ingrainednwood. You can also reach her via email at ingrainednwood@gmail.com.