It all seemed simple enough for licensed real estate agents, Pam Benziger and her husband Kevin. Create something special for their clients when purchasing a home.
An endeavor which began with making simple “Welcome” porch signs for clients, has blossomed to quite the side hustle for Pam via her business Handmade Blessings, as well as Handmade by You.
“We made 80 of them that year and I pretty much painted them all and he helped sand them,” Pam said of the double sided Welcome signs. “I loved it and it was so cool to be able to give them to people and see their reaction. If was fun.”
Before she knew it, other Realtors were requesting items for themselves as well as client gifts.
Self-described as creative and crafty, but not an artist, Pam began researching ideas and learning via YouTube to create original wood work signs, as well as on-line research and Facebook groups. Her work is currently sold on Amazon Homemade, as well as at Lori’s Frame Shoppe in downtown Oakdale.
The parent company of Handmade Blessings offers a variety of items for the customer looking for a unique and special gift. From signs, to lazy susans, blanket ladders and service trays, the farmhouse inspired décor is unique and all done by Pam herself in her home workshop.
She works with repurposed as well as cut and distressed wood, ensuring no two items leave the workshop the same. The primary business first began three years ago.
Close to a year and a half ago friends shared with Pam it would be a fun gathering/idea for a party to host sign making workshops. A paint party participant and enthusiast herself, the woodworker decided to give it a whirl. So became the start of Handmade by You. A workshop based business where clients host parties for friends to create their own one of a kind painted signs.
“Every sign is unique. Everyone goes home with something they love,” she said, noting that each hostess chooses from a few quotes which are pre-made by Pam in an adhesive stencil. She also provides paints and supplies for each guest to create something unique and special for themselves or a gift.
“That’s the cool thing too. Being able to create something that you really didn’t think you could,” she admitted.
Pam has hosted parties as large as a party of 30, which can be a handful, yet she’s found a way to manage so that guests still have the full experience.
“When I do parties that big, I start with the boards already stained,” she said. “I come with a couple different colors or background and let people pick which they want to start with and then they put the stencil on.”
While the business keeps her busy, Pam still manages to work part-time with husband Kevin on the real estate business. As a gift/workshop business the flow is a bit inconsistent. The crafter shared the holiday season is undoubtedly her busiest time, so in turn Kevin helps her as well.
“At Christmas time when things get really busy, he helps me,” she shared.
All and all the primarily referral based business doesn’t feel like work for the business owner. She shared it feels more like being paid to fulfill a hobby.
“The whole creative process, I love it,” she said. “Being able to create every day and share that and teaching other people how.”
Watching them learn they can do it is also part of the fun.
“I love seeing other people get excited about it. At least one person of every party comes in saying, oh I’m not crafty I can’t … this is not going to be good,” Pam confided.
But, she added, “they’re always astonished at the end” of the event that they have a sign they can be proud of.
To see Pam’s work or book a party visit www.handmadeblessings.com.