Today's dynamic duo is actually a dynamic trio!
We discovered today's trio when their products began popping up in our Instagram feed around Christmas time — just wait until you see the wrapping paper. Kristin bought a few and loves to take candle-lit showers with their Goji Berry, Jasmine, & Mint candle to relax after a rough day.
Beth, Hilaree, and Stephanie are working artists crafting one-of-a-kind products at their studio Birch & Goldberry. The details that goes into their handcrafted soap, soy wax candles and a variety of hand-painted paper goods is swoon-worthy.
We're so excited to have these ladies sharing about their partnership journey so far!
How do you collaborate together?
Beth: Working together has been sort of like having an assignment given to you in a studio art class; each individual can move in their own direction under the initial idea that we collaborate on, and using our own specific materials we can create a variety of products that end up circling back to that original collaborative idea we are working with.
Hillaree: We all head up different departments within our business, but come together for the overall look and aesthetic. Anytime you’re working with multiple people, having a unified vision is key.
Stephanie: Each of us is in charge of overseeing production of a specific product. Beth is our soapmaker, I (Stephanie) make the candles, and Hillaree creates all the hand-painted paper goods. Even though we are each responsible for a different Birch & Goldberry product, we are all heavily invested in creating a strong and cohesive brand. As a result, there is a lot of creative cross over; We plan our color palette’s very strategically, talk about what we want a new series of work to look/feel like, new products we can create. The best feeling is having people you can trust and lean on creatively and is the foundation for successful collaboration.
Why did you decide to become a duo (or trio) versus doing what you do solo?
Beth: Honestly, without Hillaree and Stephanie I would have never thought to turn soapmaking into something that could end up being a career. Working with such creative and immensely talented ladies is such an honor, and pushes me to work harder and do things I would never have done if I'd tried to do this solo.
Hillaree: I think our products and our brand as a whole are stronger with the three of us coming together to share ideas. Our current aesthetic is a combination of all our voices and opinions. There’s a real spark of energy that comes along with collaborating, and my favorite part of that process is coming up with ideas and plans that equally surprise and excite all of us.
Stephanie: Birch & Goldberry came about after we had all been out of school for a bit. We had seen a lot of friends and makers taking part in local markets and earning extra money, so we thought we would give it a try as a creative outlet/escape from normal life responsibilities. I probably never would have pursued a project like Birch & Goldberry without the support from Beth and Hillaree. The value of having people you wholeheartedly respect and count on is immeasurable for success.
What’s one challenge you have you faced in collaborating?
Beth: I think our collaboration is so unique in that most (I'd say 95%) of the time we agree completely on any issues regarding the direction we need to be moving or resolution of any issues that arise. Working with two beautiful sisters who can be very headstrong means I get to cast the tie-breaking vote if something comes up!
Hillaree: Along with the excitement of collaborating, there have been times where we’ve tried to make our different aesthetics mesh and realized it just wasn’t working. I think creating a cohesion between our different voices, coming up with a brand that is truly the reflection of all of our creative visions, has been the most exciting and challenging part of engaging in a collaboration.
Stephanie: I would say the biggest challenge has been finding an aesthetic that speaks for the three of us as a whole and not just one person. Trying to take the opinions and visions of three creative thinkers and roll it together to make a singular, cohesive brand is not always the easiest. It’s a learning experience everyday of trying to determine what is/isn’t working.
What's surprised you the most about your collaboration?
Beth: I’d say how well we work together! I’ve seen how collaborations can fall apart because of any number of issues, but it has been remarkable how effortless it seems sometimes to create and work together!
Hillaree: I think the most surprising and satisfying thing about our collaboration has been our ability to work together effectively not just on the creative end of things, but on the business side as well. Running Birch & Goldberry has been equal parts studio and office work, and we've all been able to create a really healthy and productive atmosphere.
Stephanie: The evolution of our company and brand. It is so surprising to look back on how we first packaged our products and what we were initially creating. When we started the company I was making quilted coasters! It’s very fortunate that our tastes and goals still align after 3 years of business.
Who’s your favorite dynamic duo? Fiction or nonfiction.
Beth: Jim and Dwight
Hillaree: Frodo and Sam! :)
Stephanie: Han Solo and Chewy!