C/O Hammerhewn

Hammerhewn owners Avery and Jake Goulet shape wood into unique jewelry, furniture and decorations

When Jake and Avery Goulet started making cutting boards, coffee tables and wooden artworks as gifts for family and friends, the couple didn’t intend to turn their woodworking hobby into a business. That changed while quarantining after a trip to Europe earlier this year. The Goulets were motivated by the encouragement of their friends to start their online shop Hammerhewn in April 2020.

Hammerhewn sells a variety of wooden products such as keychains, jewellery, coasters, custom furniture and home decorations. The name comes from the term, hewing, which is the process of turning a freshly chopped log into lumber. Their products feature unique patterns and colours characteristic of exotic woods such as purpleheart, zebrawood, wenge and lacewood. No elaborate machines or equipment are involved in the process and everything is made at home.

“Everything is hand done, so everything might be a little bit wonky, but it’s what adds to the character of it. It’s like people. It’s unique and we think that that’s a selling feature,” said Avery.

“Everything is hand done, so everything might be a little bit wonky, but it’s what adds to the character of it. It’s like people. It’s unique and we think that that’s a selling feature,” said Avery.

Jake and Avery have always loved working on creative projects together. Their woodworking passion stems from Jake’s 15-year background in construction and Avery’s interest in craft projects. For Avery, these projects are a way to unleash her artistic side after working her customer service job all day.

It is important to Jake and Avery to run a zero-waste business. Zero-waste practices include reusing, reducing and recycling raw materials as well as employing responsible production and consumption methods. Jake and Avery do this by using every scrap piece of wood leftover from previous projects. Mixing and matching wood scraps contributes to the uniqueness of Hammerhewn’s designs. They also reduce waste by not hewing until they’ve picked out their favourite part of the wood and grain pattern and know exactly where they want to cut.

Caption: A few orders ready to be shipped! Like our boxes all stamped and ready to go? C/O Hammerhewn

“As we’re using every piece of it, we want to make sure it’s utilized the best and it’ll look the best too,” said Jake.

The wood recycling industry in North America is far less advanced than some other countries such as those in Europe due to the cheaply available virgin timber and the fact that landfills accept wood. However, there has been increasing momentum towards sustainable practices in the Canadian construction industry which produces 1.75 million metric tons of wood waste annually. There are also more zero-waste and environmental protection programs that are being implemented to protect over 6,400 trees listed as endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature list.

As Jake and Avery use exotic woods, some of which are endangered species, they prioritize being transparent with their customers about the production process and their effort to achieve an eco-friendly and sustainable business model. 

This transparency has also helped them connect to the greater community. On their Instagram, they run a series called #LocalLundi where they highlight the community’s favourite local businesses. The businesses are nominated by their followers and the duo selects them based on whether they are small and if the duo can provide real help. In return, the businesses usually promote Hammerhewn on their own social media.

Caption: For beautiful products for your home, check them out! Hamilton-based and handmade!
“All handmade products of Limitless Decor are created with a rustic, chic look and are unique to themselves. We employ high-quality materials because we want our products to last throughout the years and we know they will because we use the same ones in our Homes. We would never sell something we would not use ourselves.” Be sure to nominate your favourite local businesses for our free feature! C/O Hammerhewn

Through Hammerhewn, Jake and Avery have built relationships with fellow small business owners who are working from home. They have found this community to be supportive in helping them navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I find Hamilton is very warm and the people in it are very warm,” said Avery. “Everybody is happy with supporting the local business, so it’s nice to be a part of that ourselves too.”

“I find Hamilton is very warm and the people in it are very warm,” said Avery. “Everybody is happy with supporting the local business, so it’s nice to be a part of that ourselves too.”

The community also takes a major role in Hammerhewn’s design and production process. Jake and Avery receive a lot of feedback from the community and ask questions to their audience on social media about what they would like to see next. As a result, they craft many custom orders, which are their favourite part of the business. 

Currently, the couple is working on pet collars and more custom orders. They also look forward to introducing new products such as wood lighting in the future.

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