Admissions Counselor Macey (Brake) Neal is taking do-it-yourself to a whole new level. Neal runs the Etsy shop Two Golden Design Co., where she sells handmade signs and decor.
In the beginning, Neal didn’t plan on her shop being a formal business. Initially, she did refurbishing projects just for fun.
“I first started out by redoing furniture. I redid my kitchen table and a TV stand while I was in college. Then, when I moved back home to do my student teaching my last year of college, my dad let me play around with some of his power tools,” she said. “Then, I started actually building things and cutting wood and sanding and staining and all of that. I really liked that and got into it from there.”
Neal’s shop progressed even further with her father’s encouragement and soon her business found an official home.
“For my birthday and Christmas, my dad would get me power tools. From there, I had my own little shop in my garage when we moved (to Wichita),” she said. “Then, I just started making things because I thought it was fun and could make a little money.”
The name Two Goldens Design Co. was inspired by Neal’s two dogs who are both golden in color.
Two Goldens Design Co. gives Neal a chance to take a break from her full-time job and to show off her skills, she said.
“It’s something for me to do that’s relaxing, and I can kind of be creative in a different way,” she said. “I typically find a lot of my ideas on Pinterest and then make it my own. I like to put my own little spin on things that I see online.”
She has made a variety of personalized pieces from wooden signs to home decor pieces to even monogrammed tumblers.
“I actually made something for (my co-worker) Georgia’s baby, Hazel. I made a growth chart ruler. I have made several of those, but hers was definitely the coolest because there was a cactus on it.”
Neal has also made a large Wichita flag design that features the Keeper of the Plains, which is housed in Admissions Digital Marketing Manager Geoff Louvar’s office.
Part of Neal’s initial and continued motivation is creating elegant decor on a budget.
“If I see something and it’s super expensive, I’m like, ‘No way! I can make that myself.’ So that’s probably another way I started doing things.” she said. “I see things and know I can definitely make it for a lot cheaper.”
Though her shop is on a break right now, Neal said she is “slowly getting back into it” and is still exploring new options for her business.
“I’m not doing a whole lot because I just got married, so I haven’t had a lot of time to do anything,” she said.
Neal said she can make a variety of items, whether personalized or not. She has recently designed wedding decor and Christmas-themed gifts but said she is open to customization ideas.
“I do take custom orders, especially lately — that has been most of what I have been doing. Right now my mother-in-law is having me making something for someone she knows. A lot of the stuff I do is custom, but it can also be generally mass-produced.”
Neal’s shop can be found on Etsy and will reopen for orders soon.