Mindy Bounds and her sister, Marlie, create gorgeous metal and wood pieces that will have you drooling. But when you hear the story of they got started, you’re going to love them even more.
Their mom’s death in 2013 ended their parents 44-year-long love story. Their dad, Don Bounds, was at somewhat of a loss as to how to fill his time. In 2014, with his overabundance of time and his love of all things wood and metal, he came up with the ingenuity and creativity for Metal Trends & Wooden Blends as a way to fill his time and to spend some quality time with his daughters or “girls” as he called them. In July of 2015, Mindy and Marlie’s dad was tragically killed in a car crash but he had taught his girls enough of his MTWB “bag of tricks” that they opted to continue the business to keep his special blend of creativity alive.
One of the sisters’ favorite memories of being part of MTWB (as it’s known to the family) involves their dad. In the early days of Metal Trends & Wooden Blends, the sisters were completely unfamiliar with all things tool-related. They didn’t even know the difference between a straight and a Phillips screwdriver. As their Dad would be making products, he would call upon them to go get whatever item or tool he needed and, most of the time, they had no idea what the requested item was. They consistently came back with the wrong thing.
After many wasted trips to the workbench and back, they began hedging their bets: Retrieving several different items or tools that might possibly be what Dad was asking for in hopes that one of them was the correct item. They thought of it as the “MTWB Lottery”……… if one item in the pile you brought was the requested item………. you won!
Of course, what they won was an exasperated chuckle from their dad.
Metal Trends and Wooden Blends products
Don’t worry, Mindy and Marlie know all the tools now, and they have taken their father’s legacy and built upon it to create some incredible art.
For the sisters, customers are a great source of inspiration. At almost every show they attend, a customer will come into their booth, look at one of their products and ask “Have you ever….?” Those questions inspire the sisters to go back to their workshop and try something new on one of their products. So don’t be afraid to ask questions when you see them at Backroads Market. These girls love the questions.
They also love to go out and about junking and finding treasures that are screaming for the MTWB touch. And when they’re needing an extra kick, they listen to good music–everything from Buck Owens to Beethoven to the Bangles! These chics are so cool; nothing they listen to has been popular for at least 20 years. Certain songs inspire them more than others, though. Little Ole Lady from Pasadena, which is a song they remember their Dad singing from their childhood. It always makes them smile. Walk Right Back from the Everly Brothers is another classic from their childhood that they memorized from the record, including the skips (Don’t we all have songs like that?). I Love by Tom T. Hall is also super special because it reminds the girls of their mom.
Metal Trends and Wooden Blends has helped Mindy and Marlie grow as a family by giving them an opportunity to spend quality time together working toward a common goal. As sisters who are quite opposite, they have learned how to contribute their individual talents to better their business. They love running their own business because they can do what they want, when they want, and how they want. The downside is that if things aren’t going the way they want, they can only look at themselves as the responsible party.
Backroads Market gets it.
Mindy and Marlie have a favorite product of all the lovely things they create–wooden dough bowls. That love traces back to their dad, who had a lifelong love of wood and all things made from it. They love to see how each bowl turns out individually, and how each of them have their own spots and notches of character. Their customers, though? They love MTWB’s “Eat” signs. Everyone seems to dig purchasing something that instructs them to do what they already enjoy doing.
You can get to know Mindy and Marlie before the market by visiting the Facebook page of Metal Trends and Wooden Blends. The sisters have never been to Leavenworth, so they’re looking forward to visiting our part of Indiana and seeing what the local flavor offers. They look forward to meeting a lot of interesting and creative people and making new friends and visiting old ones at Backroads Market.
And you? How could you not look forward to getting your hands on their amazing creations and supporting a family business?
See you there!