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Daily Inspiration: Meet Karen Henderson

Today we’d like to introduce you to Karen Henderson.

Hi Karen, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself
My name is Karen and I create all of my work by hand. I also offer my handmade items on my website, Hendywood.com, and at my shops on Handmade at Amazon and Etsy.

I grew up and still live in Jacksonville, Florida. My mother was a teacher and my father was a carpenter. Therefore, I grew up in a household of modest means. The value of an education was not a choice, but a requirement.

If something was broken, you fixed it or you went without. Needless to say, I have always been comfortable around power tools and am a crafty person.

I am retired after many years teaching Earth Science to seventh and eighth graders and as a middle and high school academic advisor at The Bolles School. I now spend my time honing my skills in my workshop. I am also a wife, mother, and grandmother.

Years ago, my students nicknamed me Mrs. Hendy. I kept that name and considered it a privilege to be called Mrs. Hendy. Since I dabble in woodworking, another teacher suggested combining Hendy and wood creating the name Hendywood.

Hendywood is a one-woman business in Florida with a diverse selection of handmade jewelry and accessories. When creating the unique items offered, I strive to reclaim and re-purpose them as much as possible.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
I spent my (age) forties adventuring during my spare time. I traveled Europe during spring break, backpacked on the Appalachian Trail with other women and rock climbed. Thyroid cancer came along and rerouted my journey. After I recovered from cancer, I decided I needed a saw to cut wood.

Why? Just because. Maybe a need to get back to childhood roots? I took a furniture-making class and a bowl-turning class. My husband surprised me with a wood lathe for Christmas. I made furniture and wood bowls for several years and started Hendywood in 2008.

As time went by, I recognized I needed to reevaluate my own physical strength as an older woman and let go of the furniture and bowls. I still miss making wood bowls but enjoy creating jewelry from almost anything I can repurpose. I have a new passion for wood-burning, especially pieces that include pets and wildlife.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I am a retired educator having spent 30 years teaching at many levels. My experience covered elementary teachers, middle school teachers, and high school academic advisors. I taught in public schools, adult education, and private schools.

I was hired to be a middle school science teacher at the Bolles School and stayed there for 26 years before retiring at the end of the 2020-2021 school year. In my teaching career, I specialized in communicating with children of any age. Often, kids that I taught the year or years before would tell me specifics about what they learned in Earth Science and how I was a favorite teacher.

There is nothing that makes me prouder than to be complemented by a former student! While working as a teacher, adventuring, hiking, and rock climbing, I am also a wife and mother of three daughters. I created my Hendywood business in 2008 and have kept it going through the busyness of my life.

The support I have from my family has kept me motivated. Because of Hendywood, I have had a wonderful outlet during my retirement years.

Can you talk to us a bit about happiness and what makes you happy?
A loving, healthy family makes me happy.

Pricing:

  • My jewelry is reasonably priced, typically under $25.00.
  • My wood-burning art is individually priced depending on the amount of work involved.
  • Wood burning art range is typical $25 – $100.

Contact Info:

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