McLaren Family Crafts is co-owned and operated by Buddy and Margaret McLaren.
We are located in the rolling hills of Brown County, Indiana, just 15 minutes northeast of Nashville, Indiana.
Our mission statement:
“To further the legacy of crafting through the creation of crafted items as well as educating and supporting others in creating their own crafts.”
The short story is we have been producing crafts for ourselves and some family since approximately 2007, deciding in 2014 to go ahead with our dream of owning our own business and we began selling crafts to others we knew.
The long story is, well, longer.
Buddy’s side of the story:
Buddy’s dream for several years has been to make his woodworking hobby into a woodworking business. Even before he was married he thoroughly enjoyed making things with his hands. After getting married he didn’t have a lot of room to craft in but he still tried to.
In 2010 Margaret stumbled upon an article in a local newspaper about a woodworking school nearby, Marc Adams School of Woodworking. The next year, Buddy took a week-long class on basic woodworking with Michael Fortune and was hooked. Since then he has taken more week-long classes; two with Christopher Schwarz (Schoolbox, Hand Tool Immersion), one with Graham Blackburn (furniture design), one with Barry Gross (Fine Writing Instruments), one with Mitch Kohanek (finishing), and a Saturday class with Scott Grove (woodworking business). Buddy has enjoyed all of the classes, especially the Hand Tool Immersion class he took last year. He wrote about it on his blog. He hopes to continue taking classes at Marc Adams with the eventual goal of receiving their “Masters” designation. This designation is only given to woodworkers who complete a set number of classes on a certain set of topics with the end goal of a well-rounded, skilled woodworker. Buddy has already completed four of the nine requirements necessary.
For the business, Buddy has focused on developing his turning skills on the lathe and has recently acquired a bandsaw and a drill press to expand our sales. Despite the presence of these power tools in his shop, Buddy is very passionate about hand tool work. He looks forward to any day that allows him to get out in the shop and make shavings.
Margaret’s side of the story:
Margaret has also been dreaming of turning her crochet hobby into a business, in part so she can help free Buddy from the corporate grind. As a child she learned to knit from her grandmother but she unfortunately lost those skills, though she has tried to re-learn them recently. As a young adult, her crafting interests were latch hooking and cross stitching. She still enjoys both crafts when she has the time. After getting married to Buddy and having their first child, she decided to teach herself crochet from a book she bought. She has practiced a lot over the years, creating blankets and scarves a-plenty for their kids, for herself and Buddy, and for extended family members.
She then started to learn to sew (on the sewing machine and a little by hand) a couple years ago, but has only recently had a chance to improve her skills. She admits she needs improvements on sewing clothing, so she prefers to produce items like pillows and bags. Within the last year, she excitedly started to learn the art of hand piecing and hand quilting.
As if these weren’t enough crafts for her, she also has begun to help Buddy out in the shop a little after years of being an armchair woodworker.