Barbara Sauer-Davis first came to Generator as a fledgling woodworker looking to make use of the full suite of tools in our woodshop. Since then her skills and her small business have grown, and we’re thrilled to have her in this year’s cohort of our JumpStart entrepreneurship program. Barbara has a unique focus on using traditional craftsmanship techniques to make furniture that connects history, sustainability, and quality.

We hope you enjoy reading about Barbara’s woodworking journey in her own words.

Woodworking for me isn’t just about crafting furniture – it’s about weaving together history, craftsmanship, and community. I’m Barbara Sauer-Davis, the maker behind Wolf and Wood Thrush. Being a member at Generator, and now as an entrepreneur in their JumpStart business incubator, has allowed me to elevate my business to new heights.

At the heart of my practice is an appreciation for history and sustainability. Using traditional centuries-old techniques, I aim to forge connections between the past and the present. My commitment to sustainability drives me to challenge the disposable culture of mass-produced furniture and to craft pieces that transcend trends and are made to last.

My woodworking journey began at the Yestermorrow Design/Build School, where I took an 11- week certificate course that sparked my interest in historic craftsmanship. During the course I constructed a chair using only hand tools and fell in love with the process of crafting furniture by hand. After selling my final project, an old fashioned wooden coffee grinder, I launched an Etsy store and ventured into entrepreneurship. 

Joining Generator Makerspace in 2018 was transformative for my business. I was able to expand from the hand-carved spoons I was making at home to larger cutting boards and pieces of furniture that I could make in the woodshop. Being a member opened up so many opportunities, like accessing a full suite of tools and selling at the Art Hop and Holiday Humbug markets.

I’m now enrolled in Generator’s JumpStart program and I’m gaining guidance on all the logistics of running a small business. Before this class I was flying by the seat of my pants. Now I’m learning all the specific steps and skills I need to move my business forward – from taxes to marketing strategy. JumpStart has given me clarity on my business goals and a concrete roadmap for the future, empowering me to navigate entrepreneurship with purpose and direction.

As I work towards turning Wolf and Wood Thrush into a full-time career, Generator remains a vital resource for me. Generator members have given me advice, support and creative inspiration in what would otherwise be a very solitary pursuit. Its community, tools, and supportive environment have been instrumental in my growth as a woodworker and entrepreneur. 

JumpStart and Generator have given me the confidence to grow my business in ways I never thought possible. I hope they can continue to help other makers like me in the future.

Right now Generator is trying to raise $20,000 in community donations to unlock a $20,000 matching donation. These funds would provide vitally needed support for Generator’s educational programs.

We’re 25% of the way towards our goal. Will you join me in giving back to Generator?

Barbara Sauer-Davis

Thank you so much for sharing Barbara!

As a nonprofit Generator relies on community support to continue to offer our impactful programs and resources to makers like Parker. Will you give today to support Generator?

We currently have a fundraising goal to raise $20,000 in community donations to unlock an additional $20,000 match from our generous sponsors – which means if you give today your gift will have twice the impact!

Special thanks to our sponsors: