Connect
To Top

Inspiring Conversations with Erin and Scott Iler of Iler Woods

Today we’d like to introduce you to Erin and Scott Iler.

Hi Erin and Scott, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
About four years ago, we contemplated moving out of Los Angeles with our two children to slow down our pace of life; but we came to realize that it isn’t the space where you live that will make this shift, it is the mindset you have. So, how do you find farm life in an urban environment? Iler Woods believes you can have both.

We feel inspired and compelled to simplify life during the 21st century. Our desire and need to get back to basics has been overwhelming in our hearts and minds for the past ten years.

We are local artists who love craftsmanship. We are creative thinkers who want to share our passion for life with our readers and clients. However, we really didn’t know how to make this dream a reality.

Last July, a friend came to visit us. After visiting for a couple of hours while our girls had a social distance play date, she asked, “Did you know you are an urban homesteader?” We had no idea what that term meant.

As the girls played with the six baby chicks under the lemon tree, then went into the vegetable garden to pick tomatoes, Scott was building a twenty-foot pergola in our backyard dining area, and Hannah (our daughter) was washing basil to make a fresh pesto to accompany our dinner. . . Our friend smiled and said, “You belong in the MidWest.”

The next morning we received a text message and she said, “Inspiration time – have you ever thought of starting a business?”.

From that moment, our dream became the inception of Iler Woods. Little did we know that our friend was a talented web designer who offered her services free of charge with one caveat. . . to reimagine and build her backyard.

Scott and I were both in disbelief that someone would show such an act of kindness with nothing asked for in return. For the next month, we met with her almost daily to build the shell of Iler Woods.

We focused on our mission, our branding, our blog, our products for our online store, and the services we were willing to provide. Our goal was to launch September 1st, 2020.

Mind you, we are both teachers as well. So, we were preparing to teach via distance learning and launching a business simultaneously. This creative outlet became our “therapy so to speak.”

Our friend let us know the only way the outside world would know who we are was through personal engagement via online platforms. Hence, I launched the weekly blog first to allow followers to get to know us. Every Tuesday morning, a new post is published with topics ranging from 21st-century mindset to urban homesteading, to parenthood, to simplifying life. The passion to write again had been gnawing at me for quite sometime. So allowing myself to write for an hour each week was like giving myself time at a day spa. Writing was the perfect area for me to focus on with the business.

One month later, Scott launched Iler Woodworks Shop. This was a huge task. It went from hobby to production. We had to decide what made our items unique from other businesses. Scott had to consider which items he was willing to make consistently, what items would be seasonable, and how our items would be different from others.

So, When we began thinking about this adventure, we considered material and where we wanted to source it from. This was our key to finding a niche to the woodworking world. . .

Our desire is to leave a very small footprint on the earth.

In the 21st century, we feel priorities have shifted for many individuals and people are more willing to buy an item that has been repurposed. We get phone calls at least weekly from friends and neighbors who want to donate items to us to use for projects. Sometimes we take the items and we really do not have a project that we can use the materials on. But in time, each donation becomes a welcomed material.

Fast forward. . . we are approaching almost our one year Anniversary of the Birth of Iler Woods. We cannot believe that this dream has become a reality. A small business that launched during a pandemic is sparking warmth in homes and inspiration to people’s hearts.

Scott and I have heard multiple times from various people that we are the Chip and Joanna Gaines of LA. That is definitely an esteemed compliment!

As for our friend’s part of the deal, we definitely reimagined her backyard. She is now able to host monthly events with her family, friends, and church. One random act of kindness has trickled into an adventure for the Iler Woods family.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
The biggest challenge for us was to become savvy at using social media. We are not newbies by any means but our interest doesn’t lie in the world of social media; however we know the importance of using technology and we have learned a lot along the way. From learning how to manage our website to making a fruitful Instagram and Facebook page, all of this took time to learn and it definitely takes time to keep updated. Of course, we would love to have a larger following and site members to read our weekly blog, get updates on exclusive sales, and watch the process of Iler Woods projects.

The development of a brand is something that we poured ourselves into and the financial aspect is something to contend with as well. We are a small online business so when lumber prices go through the roof, we are heavily impacted. We try as hard as we can not to pass the higher price to our customers and in some cases, we have stopped making a certain product simply because it would not be financially sound for us to continue.

We do not/cannot compete with larger companies who can offer their charcuterie boards or decoupage posters for ten dollars. Our prices have to be a little higher simply because we don’t do mass production and often times a larger company will have inferior products. One of the tenets we started with and maintain is that we create top-quality products that are accessible to as many people as possible. Because we do not have assembly lines there is a challenge for us in making products. We do not make the same thing twice, we don’t use templates, everything is handmade so when we get orders of 20 charcuterie boards each has to be a bit different. Each piece could have a shape that differs ever so slightly, how dark the brand is, and definitely, no two pieces of wood are the same.

The Iler Woods commitment is that we make it when it is ordered, never before. This being the case, it may take a little longer for a customer to get a personalized charcuterie board curated for them. Our line of thinking may run counter to the 21st-century attitude of “now.”

Iler Woods is comfortable knowing that we may lose a few potential customers because quality takes time. The ones who stay are the ones who value what we do and appreciate the quality and art of handmade originality.

Great, so let’s talk business. Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
Iler Woods truly feels that home is not a place, it’s a feeling. Each home decor item aims to spark warmth in your heart.

Our desire is to leave a very small footprint on the earth. Most of our products are repurposed, upcycled, or reclaimed. What was once a piece of wood from a barn in Wisconsin is reclaimed and repurposed into a nightstand and old pallets make beautiful walls or coffee tables. A farm table that’s missing several pieces or has broken parts is upcycled back to life. We use reclaimed square nails when it is appropriate too. When we do need to purchase new product, we do our best to get it from independent shops and see to it that we are using fair trade lumber. Since we consider so many things in building, we know for sure that each piece of art we produce is one of a kind. Colors and materials may vary slightly but the essence will be the same. We are committed to the earth and its preservation while giving you top-quality products.

We offer so many different options on our website. From holiday gift shopping to weekly inspiration from Erin’s blog posts, to renovating backyards, to restoring furniture, and welcome home baskets for new neighbors, Iler Woods provides a plethora of services. Also, if you have a vision for a creation, Scott can make it happen. He loves the custom built projects that clients will propose to him.

We also love to collaborate. We try to buy from other local businesses as much as possible. It is not unusual for us to promote other small businesses and create giveaways. We truly want our fellow business owners to succeed and keep the American Dream a reality.

The Iler Woods brand is more than a fancy catchphrase. At our business, we strive to meet the needs of our customers no matter the ask. When a customer purchases one of our products, they are getting a piece of who we are because we pour all of ourselves Into what we do. At Iler Woods, we’re helping to make our piece of the world a little brighter. We hope you join us as we continue on our Journey.

Alright so before we go can you talk to us a bit about how people can work with you, collaborate with you or support you?
We cannot wait to have more people join the Iler Woods family! The first step is to become a site member at Ilerwoods.com. This will give you weekly updates about our blog posts, exclusive sales, updated events, and so much more. We also post a lot of our process work on Instagram and Facebook.

We know that with creativity comes collaboration. We want our business to embrace all types of artisans. During our past “12 Days of Iler Woods” holiday shop, we welcomed local artisans to showcase their creative talents and craftsmanship as well.

Our website has a page for artisans to be featured, showcase their products, and sell on our website yearlong. Contact us if you are interested at ilerwoods@gmail.com.

We love to support the local community and give back to our town. We do many nonprofit projects as well. Feel free to reach out to us if you have a project that you would like to collaborate with Iler Woods to bring to life.

If you have a corporate, school, or personal event that you would need a bulk amount of our products or a swag bag item, we can also provide this service!

Contact Info:


Image Credits:

Kelry Kirschenmann – photographer

Suggest a Story: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

More in Uncategorized

  • Hidden Gems: Local Businesses & Creatives You Should Know

    Every day we have a choice. We can support an up and coming podcaster, try a new family-run restaurant, join a...

    Local StoriesMay 11, 2022
  • VoyageLA FAQs

    We’ve prepared this FAQ about VoyageLA in an effort to ensure that anyone who is interested can have a full understanding...

    Local StoriesSeptember 23, 2018
  • The Future of Food

    We worked with the folks at Squarespace to find the most exciting and innovative local entrepreneurs in the LA area and...

    Local StoriesJune 29, 2017
  • The True Renegades

    Cindy Whitehead is a 70’s pro skateboarder who was inducted into the Skateboarding Hall of Fame in 2016, she is the...

    Cindy WhiteheadMay 11, 2017
  • Breaking Free of the Golden Handcuffs

    Jennifer Berson, the founder of JENERATION PR, shares her incredible story of breaking free from her golden handcuffs and pursing her...

    Jennifer BersonApril 25, 2017
  • Meet Coach Rick – MR NATURAL AMERICA – MR CONSISTENT

    Last week, I found myself sitting in my classic sports car in Compton, CA on a Friday evening with a flat...

    Rick VillasenorMarch 1, 2016