I want to tell you about a really cool company I found a year ago in Entrepreneur Magazine. It’s called Twig Terrariums and was founded by Michelle Inciarrano and Katy Maslow. When I saw the article, it immediately caught my eye. It is the classic story of entrepreneurs who never really started out as entrepreneurs. Rather, Michelle and Katy started out doing what they loved, and pretty soon they found a way to turn that passion into a business. Passion is contagious – people are drawn to it and want to be a part of it.
Twig Terrariums makes little worlds, and little people to go in them. That’s it! Yet when I look at their creations, I can’t help but be transported – even for a moment – into the little stories that unfold. Each scene is a snapshot in time, with me as a silent observer – and I find myself creating backstories for the characters to explain how we arrived at this particular moment in time.
Grow Old With You
In this scene, the older gentleman is named Peter. He is a World War 2 vet, but really he was just a kid when he went to war. When the war ended and he returned home, he became an apprentice to a local carpenter and eventually opened his own hardware store. That’s when he met Greta.
Greta was from a small town in Iowa, and came from a small family – just herself and her parents. Greta grew up living a simple life, but yearned for adventure. Not too much, of course – but just enough. So when she ran into Peter in the city, she was instantly fascinated. Though she had never traveled herself, hearing Peter’s stories made her feel like she did. She knew Peter wasn’t a big man during the war – just a private – but she didn’t care. In her world, Peter was the biggest man she’d ever met, with an equally big heart.
Fast-forward 63 years. Peter & Greta have 4 children and 12 grandchildren. As a family, they’ve all shared good times and bad times, and yes – even their fair share of adventures over the years. But right now, in this moment, sitting on a bench alone in the park – all Peter & Greta see is each other. It is a small scene taken from their bigger story. But it is enough.
Forensics in the Flora
Then there’s this scene. What’s been going on here? It looks secretive – a little too secretive. And who’s that person lying on the ground in a pool of blood? She looks dead – a little too dead. What’s the hole for? It’s deep – a little too deep, if you ask me. And what’s – what’s in that gray box? It looks blurry – a little too blurry. Something went down here. This scene is fascinating. A little too fascinating. Hmmm.
Commission your own scene!
Twig Terrariums does custom work as well. When I heard about them a year ago, I knew that someday one of their terrariums would make an excellent gift. It turns out that day was Mother’s Day – my wife’s first Mother’s Day, in fact. I emailed Twig Terrariums, and they were all the nicest bunch of guys & gals you’ll ever meet (one of them – Daniel – has a strange Perfect Strangers fetish that I admit I share). I showed them a favorite photo of my wife and son together – in what they called a “reverse Simba pose” – and they agreed to create a custom scene for me for what turned out to be a very reasonable price. You can see the final creation above. It’s the details that matter. My wife – who isn’t Indian – has a fair complexion, whereas our son has a nice in-between complexion (we call him our “caramel miracle”). My son is wearing the same blue outfit he had on in the photo I sent. I’m not entirely sure why they dressed my wife up like she’s from the Sound of Music, but – me likey.
UPDATE! Looks like my wife got me my very own Twig Terrarium for Father’s Day (just arrived). It’s my son and I, blogging away…
So anyways – just wanted to write about a cool company, coming from cool roots, and making cool products. It’s clear this is a labor of love. Plus, the art form itself is beautiful. If you want a little world of your own – for your desk, for your loved one, for your favorite blogger – check out Twig Terrariums. If you live in New York, you should drop by their studio to take a tour or a class – you lucky devil you!