Willow Hill Designs is a husband-and-wife team operating out of their home workshop near Heisler. In late 2013, Dennis and Karen took a leap and purchased a CNC Machine to accent their small sign making business. In 2018, they took an even bigger leap, with Dennis leaving his full time job to join Karen in their thriving home business. They dove headfirst into supplying wholesale DIY designs to retailers across Canada. Fast forward to 2021, this team added a new UV printer into their workshop, rounding out their catalog of designs with full colour printed signs and designs. Today, they carry an impressive inventory of designs for workshop materials and DIY Kits as well as a stunning collection of Finished Signs and Designs.
With the tools and impressive machinery at hand, inspiration comes easily to this team. Each day, they work together to design, cut, sand, paint, stain or print new and fun designs to suit their expanding client base. Whether it's a fun 'cheeky' piece for a bathroom, a large statement piece for a Living Room wall, or even a small craft kit for a mother to do with her child, they enjoy designing and creating pieces for the every-day person.
Dennis and Karen have three busy, but beautiful children who fill their lives with love, happiness and a tad bit of chaos. In this family run business, their children are often found out in the shop helping to sort designs, sweep sawdust and offer design suggestions for that new sign they are working on. They try to involve their kids on a day-to-day basis, as safely as possible to teach them to follow their passions and work with their hands.
Willow Hill Designs attributes the success of their business is due to the attention to detail and high quality of craftsmanship with each design that leaves their shop. They have incredible support in their local community with many returning customers and word of mouth referrals, which demonstrates high customer satisfaction with their products. Over the last several years, they have continued to pivot, evolve and change as they find things that make their hearts happy and bring them joy. Adding the new UV Printer has brought out a side of creativity, colour and passion that they didn't know was missing in their business or even in their lives!
They also place great value on collaborating with other local small businesses, especially those involved in the Flagstaff Crafted Program. They are proud supporters of their teammates and offer support wherever possible. They are currently collaborating with Kristin Kueber -Artist to provide high quality prints of her stunning artwork. In return, they have collaborated with a local website design service to revamp their entire website, taking their online presence into a stunning new direction. They highly recommend having an outsider look into your business and provide a fresh eye on marketing strategies can help steer your vision in a direction you never thought possible. They also strive to purchase their raw materials as locally as possible and can be counted on by many local community groups for donations toward their events.
Willow Hill Designs is a full woodworking workshop utilizing a 5ft by 10ft CNC Machine for their main designs, two 24x18" laser cutter/engravers for accents as well as a 4ft by 8ft UV Printer for direct printing on wood, metal, acrylic or other substrates. All machines work cohesively together to create custom one-of-a kind pieces for all their clients.
Future goals for Willow Hill include expanding their Finished Signs and Designs to more stores across Canada, but especially within Alberta itself. They are always open to collaborating with other small businesses to create custom pieces for their stores or events.
Personal Note: Willow Hill started as a hobby in 2011, which switched to a full time serious thing in 2018. It's now been over 4 years since we plunged into this businesses full time and we couldn't be happier that we are making it work! Sure, there are struggles and hardships along the way, but we know we can always work though them together. We have never been so proud to work together - whether it's raising our family or out in the shop, it's truly a partnership and we are so blessed to have each other.