We had the good fortune of connecting with Molly Hodo and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Molly, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
It started as a simple plan with two last names coming together to form a business name for our acreage in the Cuyamaca Woods of Julian, California. We are a husband (Brian) and wife (Molly) team that wanted to live more simply and be creative in what they love – functional art handmade by both of them. Molly is a graphic designer, artist and marketing professional that worked for over 13 years in the commercial aerospace business, but wanted to step out of the big corporate world and enjoy being an artist again. Brian spent a lot of his years wood working just for a hobby and enjoying hours in the wood shop. He worked for over 14 years in the fire service and retired from CalFire in San Diego County a few years ago. We have a passion for designing and making custom handmade wood products and epoxy art (such as Handmade Cutting Boards, Charcuterie Boards, live edge furniture, epoxy beach wave boards) from area native woods, and also exotic hardwoods from around the world. We also offer personalized branding to make wood products even more special for the customer, and have provided local restaurants, wineries and caterer’s engraved, custom made, items for their companies. Our goal is to be able to make unique handmade items for people to create memories in their homes or work, all while keeping woodworking craftsmanship alive and thriving.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Merdo Acres designs and creates different wood products from area native woods and also exotic hard-woods purchased from a select few vendors in the San Diego area. Making functional art is first and fore-most important to us, but also just creating special pieces that people can enjoy in their home, office or as gifts for those special occasions. We specialize in one of a kind cutting boards, charcuterie boards, grazing boards, rustic live edge furniture, custom signs, fireplace mantels and much more. There are many places you can buy these types of items, but shopping local and supporting small business is what we, Merdo Acres, is all about. We started doing beach epoxy artwork a few years ago, and that has literally been the biggest high point for us. We sell the California beach epoxy boards the most, they are used for cutting boards, charcuterie boards and function art plus we ship them all over the United States. Woodworking is a craft that is slowly losing its following because of large manufacturers and machines that are doing all of the work, and not the actual people. Merdo Acres wants to be sure that everything we do is handcrafted and made by the two of us, not an actual machine or large business.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
The small town of Julian, CA has an old town feel, along with many unique, one of the kind shops that you don’t find in the big city. There’s plenty of hiking trails, horseback riding trails, off roading, adventure seeking activities to keep you busy for the full week that you are here!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
What makes us the proudest is doing all of this out of our wood shop at our house in the Cleveland National Forest, all while living completely off the grid powered by solar panels, batteries, generator and propane. What sets us apart is our undying work ethic to their craft, and hand making those special pieces for people to treasure for years to come. We are happy to be just a two person team, and want to keep is small and simple while creating pieces for others to enjoy – functional art! Definite shout out to other husband and wife teams making it work for them and their families!