SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — If you have ever been to the Farmer’s Market of the Ozarks in Springfield, you know you can find good food and local artists.
One of those vendors is Mike Weber, who has been there for six years. He makes wooden spoons and earrings out of wood as well. He showed us the process in his shop in Walnut Shade.
Weber says he has 150 kinds of hardwood in his shop. Those include Myrtle, Oregon Myrtle, Purple Heart, another Myrtle, Bolivian Rosewood, and much more.
Weber was in the Marine Corps for 29 years and said he always knew he wanted to open a shop after retiring. His interest in woodworking started pretty early on.
“I started doing this when I was in seventh grade in an industrial arts class. I built a couple of bookcases, so that’s when I got to love woodworking,” Weber said.
After retiring, that interest became a hobby, then a passion and a business. Every Saturday, you can find Swan Creek Crafts at the Farmers Market of the Ozarks.
It all started with one simple request.
“My daughter said, make me a spoon for Christmas,” he said.
So he began figuring out the process.
“It’s like seventeen steps to make a regular spoon,” he said.
After mastering the spoons, Weber, again, was nudged by family to challenge himself and expand the business.
“My daughter said: ‘dad, you should make earrings.’ I said: ‘I don’t know anything about earrings.”
But, it turns out, she was right. Customers do love them, and Weber enjoys making them as well.
“Each one is its creation, and you gotta try to pick the right everything, texture, color, shape,” he says.
It takes a particular skill to make beautiful pieces and to make things a little more challenging and unique for him; Weber is left-handed and color blind.
“What are the factors that allow you to be successful with something like this? First, I think you have to have a passion for it, and people see it,” he said.
This is a one-man shop, but Weber says his wife does help him put the hardware on the earrings from time o time.
Weber says he plans on showing up at the Farmers Market of the Ozarks every Saturday it’s open for as long as he can.
“As long as I am a healthy individual,” he said. “And I still feel like I’m 30.”