As a young entrepreneur, Sarah Norwood started making wreaths as a way to earn money at 10 years old. “I would row my dory to the islands and gather sea lavender, making wreaths with mussel shells glued on. I would sit at my roadside stand and sell them every weekend.” Now, as an adult, Sarah has found a way to turn her childhood venture into her full-time job.
Starting an Etsy shop in 2011 called scarletsmile and selling wreaths in front of her home, Sarah’s business was slow to take off. Her big push came when she made the decision to send her children to a private school. At the time, her daughter Scarlet was coming home from kindergarten upset nearly every day. In the pursuit of her children’s happiness, Sarah knew that sending her daughters to a school that focused on nature-based, hands-on learning would be the solution. She worked to drive more sales so that she could send her girls to the private school. “This gave a whole new meaning to the name of my shop scarletsmile,” said Sarah.
Sarah uses all naturally found items to create her beautiful wreaths. She collects pinecones, lichen covered branches, moss, shells, rocks, twigs, evergreen, berries, and flowers. Her most popular pinecone wreaths take approximately an hour and a half to create, including the gathering process. Her most intricate wreath can take a total of 5 hours, and includes trips to two different beaches. “I don’t make much on this wreath, but I am always grateful when I sell one. It means a trip to the ocean for me.”
“We were free range kids. I remember at a very young age, my mom would set out cereal for me the night before. She’d say, ‘Wake up early, eat and go on an adventure!’ She freed me to wander the woods down to the ocean by myself. This was the start of me finding peace in nature.”
Sarah draws her inspiration from getting out and experiencing nature. “I mix textures, colors, movement, and structure around in my head on my walks.” She takes time to notice the natural beauty around her. “The curve and color of a branch, paired with the fresh green of moss. The striking red of dogwood branches in the bleakness of winter.” In her work, you can see how her experiences influence her beautiful creations.
Sarah will be opening Red Sky Studio to the public in July. She’ll be selling her original paintings, sculptures, and wreaths, as well as creations from her family members. Until then, you can shop her wreaths in our online store.