Today we’d like to introduce you to Lindsay Ash and Ron Braverman.
Ron has a background in Sales and Marketing but his art has been his lifelong passion. Lindsay studied Art History and has a great sense of design. The two had always wanted to work together but struggled to agree on a business. When they landed on their shared love of woodworking they knew they’d found the answer. She built furniture and he carved whales, her design sense and his eye for art were the perfect complement. As friends and family started to buy pieces they built a website, started an Instagram account and Starfish & Whale was born!
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Transitioning our love of making into a viable business has required a learning process. After putting in countless hours for a few months there were some real doubts about the viability of the business but we knew we’d prevail. Five months in Lindsay started working for the business full time to keep up with the orders!
Learning to work together as a couple has also been a challenge – having your own business can mean working 24/7. Living our dream of working together has made it totally worth all the sweat and tears.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with Starfish & Whale – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
We are proud that everything is made by hand, by us, in our shop, here in Los Angeles. We specialize in natural and nautical designs and we use the highest quality premium hardwoods. We have positioned Starfish & Whale as a luxury woodworking company; our pieces are functional art.
What sets up apart from other woodworking companies is that we specialize in serving boards that have nautical flare – whales and starfish in inlay motifs, whale-shaped boards, boat cleats as handles. Our serving pieces evoke coastal style and bring an element of whimsy to everyday life.
Our end grain cutting boards are a labor of love and feature book-matched wood grains. The beautiful patterns that emerge can be reminiscent of Gothic cathedral windows, ripples in water and even Japanese scroll paintings. They, along with our live edge pieces, are a love letter to the unparalleled beauty of nature.
We are also extremely proud of our custom work. We have made a wide range of pieces from family crests, to pieces based on children’s drawings to custom lines for chefs. We are humbled by the number of customers who return again and again for heirloom quality pieces designed to be passed from generation to generation.
We are set apart by our desire to make pieces perfect for our customers. Even if it cuts into our profits, we want to make things just right for our customers and will do all we can to provide the highest quality possible.
So, what’s next? Any big plans?
We are looking to expand and partner with more retail outlets. We love working directly with customers and now we’d love to grow our base. We are looking into scaling the products so we can be in multiple retail outlets. We are building prototypes that would be a great fit for national chains. We have begun to create custom lines for boutiques, chefs, caterers and homeware stores. It’s so gratifying to help our partners bring their vision to life.
We’re going to add the option to personalize any of our products, whether customers want names, initials, dates, you name it, it will no longer require a custom order to receive a customized piece.
Who knows, we might even take up cheese boards! We love designing food for photoshoots and it would be great to share our cheese boards with customers.
- $75 whale serving boards
- $145 yacht board with boat cleats
- $280 extra large end grain cutting board
- Website: starfishandwhale.com
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: starfishandwhale
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/starfishandwhale/
Chris Heltai (all photos of people)
Ron Braverman (all photos of products)