We had the good fortune of connecting with Sabrina Santiago and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Sabrina, we’d love to start by asking you about lessons learned. Is there a lesson you can share with us?
Like many individuals, My Business, Casa Cherrywood Carvings was born in the late summer of 2020. Initially a hobby to dabble into when I had the time, it became My new career path when all I had was time.

Released from My former career in telecommunications after 11 years in June 2020, I immediately began the steps of initiating research on how to begin a sole proprietorship. Using my severance package to upgrade my equipment and hire consultants on how to start up, in two months I officially had my own business. Eight months later I had my first craft show. By the end of 2021 I showcased in 42 Pop Up Shops and Vendor Markets. In the present day, I have the privilege to highlight My Art in The Hudson Valley and New York City.

There is no disputing that losing a substantial income was a hardship, as was the state of the world at that time embedded even more hardship.

That being said, the most important lesson I have learned is a statement that I told Myself that day in June of 2020 that is still an imprint on any challenges that present themself to Me:

“Dont use Your Hardships as an excuse to fail, but rather a reason to rise.”

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My ongoing vision is to procure a vast assortment of reclaimed exotic woods throughout North America and repurpose them to create enamored functional artworks, ranging from Charcuterie Boards to Home Décor.
What sets myself apart from others, statistically, is that I am part of the mere 8% of woodworkers that are female, versus the 92% that are male; 10.4% that are Hispanic in contrast to the 80.6% that are white. (Stats obtained from zippy.com as of 2019 and may have been updated since 2021)

Despite the stats mentioned, The Woodworking community as a whole has been very supportive and giving in their sharing of best practices, safety measures and advice when I’ve sought guidance in My Journey as a woodworker.

What makes me proud about this vision and the journey itself is that the origins of this artistic path came from being “self-taught” during the peak of The Pandemic.

If there was one thing I would want the world to know about my brand and story is that even at 43 years old, you are never too old to pursue something that brings you joy.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Wow, what a question! If you would have asked me pre-covid, I would say A shopping spree at Gothic Renaissance, A few hours at Space Billiards for a few rounds of pool and Karaoke, and a fantastic 5 course meal at Barn Joo 35

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
The ability to showcase My work to Westchester County is a result of Ms. Carol Ward, Principal of Outside The Lines Consulting. Ms. Ward provided the bridge for Women-Owned Artisans to have a platform to present their talents to the residents of Yonkers, NY, in partnership with Her business relationship with Ridge Hill, thus creating “Art On Market” In 2021 and “Makers Market” in 2022.

Website: Www.CasaCherrywood.com

Instagram: @Casacherrywoodcarvings

Twitter: @casacherrywood

Facebook: @casacherrywood

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