Described as a “multitasking millennial,” a Grant County woman is making her mark on the county’s economy one business at a time. Alyssa Refle’s latest venture is building customized farmhouse furniture that in just four years has found its way into homes all over the country, all by word of mouth. The operation has turned into Timber & Thread Co., which operates out of the former Fairmount Library.
In an interview with Around INdiana Reporter Mary-Rachel Redman, Refle said the entire venture started after browsing on Pinterest.
“Just looking at the new things out on Pinterest and I found a plan for a farmhouse table. I thought I could build it,” said Relfe. “I posted the first table that I built on Instagram and people immediately started liking it, commenting, ‘Love that. Want one. Can you make me one?’ I made a couple more after that, then a lady approached us about making eight farmhouse tables for her wedding venue.”
With requests quickly piling up, Alyssa knew she needed help. That’s when she turned to longtime family friend, Brett Winslow.
“I knew she had built one table. Her pitch was she needed eight more and she didn’t really have the capacity to do that. I had the tools and just enough space,” said Winslow. “So we made those eight tables and then from there, it’s just more orders come in behind more orders.”
Since teaming up in 2017, the side business has turned into Timber & Thread Co. and business is booming for the duo and it has nothing to do with fancy advertising.
“A lot of it is word of mouth. That’s the small town part. That’s the small town Fairmount; that’s what it does for you,” Refle said. “We have people contact us up north, down south. One of the very first tables that we made is down in North Carolina now.”
Refle is making her footprint all over Grant County. She currently works at a veterinarian’s office and co-owns a Main Street boutique, all while fitting her furniture gig on weeknights and weekends.
“We usually spend three or four hours out here at night through the week. On the weekends, if it’s a good day, we can do 6-8 hours. I like taking a stack of wood and turning it into something amazing. It’s amazing what you can do with a 2×4 or a 2×10.”
In addition to the furniture made by Refle and Winslow, Timber & Thread Co. also sells home decor items, women’s clothing and jewelry.
Refle says her advice for women who might want to move away from the corporate world and pursue their passion is to not be afraid to fail.
“I took a chance on it. I didn’t know that it would make it. I didn’t it would. I thought I might just maybe do this for a year and see how it goes, but that’s been two, going on three years now and yeah, I just encourage anyone to just give it a shot. Go for it.”