Vendor Highlight: Handy Dandy Brandy
MEET BRANDY WAYNE:
LONG BEACH’S LOCAL CRAFT GODDESS AND CUTTING BOARD CREATOR EXTRAORDINAIRE.
Many of our clients are familiar with the Handy Dandy Brandy logo, as it is on the tags on the cutting boards gifted to them by The Whipple Group upon purchasing their home. A cutting board is the perfect gift; there is nothing like that moment when preparing a meal in your kitchen and you realize your house is now a home, and you are making memories with that delicious meal in style.
Now, let’s visit Brandy Wayne in her workshop. A dozen cutting boards sit clamped in place, drying in the warm sun setting over her backyard in the Bluff Heights neighborhood of Long Beach, California. The boards, which are carefully selected and inspected by Wayne’s meticulous eye, are about to be sanded - they have already been cut, glued, shaped, and routed in her creative sanctuary which doubles as her garage. Getting them impeccably smooth and crack-resistant requires diligent work. Wayne is wearing protective goggles and coveralls that she’s not afraid of dirtying up - and the space surrounding her studio inevitably gets dirty with sawdust billowing all around.
“I take the boards outside to be sanded. The sun needs to be out, because between increasing grits in sandpaper, I spray it with water to raise the grain. The sun aids in drying the water off of the surface of the boards.”
Wayne begins this arduous process with 100 grit sandpaper, then the board is watered down and dried, a process that takes about ten minutes. She increases to 120 grit sandpaper, which is then watered and dried.
150, watered and dried.
180, watered and dried.
220, watered and dried.
240 (this is the point at which she plugs in her wood burning logo stamp, which takes another 25 minutes to heat up), watered and dried. After using the 320 grit sandpaper, she stamps her lovely logo and uses her final grit, 400. She then, with complete satisfaction, blows off the excess sawdust and oils the cutting board to perfection.
Brandy Wayne designs and builds her work with unmatched passion and curiosity. She doesn’t only make cutting boards, but Lazy-Susans, plant stands, cabinets, and even larger items such as a pergola she miraculously constructed in two days. Her talents in carpentry astound everyone around her as she continues to aspire to greater heights in her craft, feeling as though she’s barely touched the surface on what she’s capable of doing in the woodworking world. Her hands are always busy and up for another challenge, constantly looking to work on interesting new projects.
The business Handy Dandy Brandy was born when Wayne was laid off from a design job she went into immediately following college. On top of having earned a degree in Design from CSULB, she has a natural knack for creating as exemplified by the many collages that decorate the walls of her woodworking studio. She has always loved collaging, which requires cutting out different shapes, images, and words from various magazines or books and putting them all together to form a new creation. Woodworking seemed to be a natural progression of this hobby, as it requires fitting different pieces together to create a new and more interesting whole.
It is not only her background in design, but having the true heart of a creator that allows her to bring to life the fun shapes of her boards including smiley faces, daisies, fish, mushrooms, etc, and the community waits with bated breath for each new design. In fact, they are currently anticipating a new design of hers to be released in a matter of days on her social media account, @handydandy_brandy, which will undoubtedly sell out quickly. Wayne says that her major success is rooted in Long Beach, and that she wouldn’t be here without the entire community cheering her on and sharing her work by word of mouth. This overwhelming support via social media, from other businesses, or at local artist pop-ups allows this lumber queen to not only sell her original work but also continue coming up with new ideas and designs. Handy Dandy Brandy is an unstoppable force, and we can’t wait to see what she creates next.
You can learn more about Handy Dandy Brandy and shop her store at her website!