We’re proud to introduce Jo from Marble Hill Clockworks! For years, Jo dabbled in creative, moneymaking endeavors – from home knitting and genealogy to vintage fashion. She recently stumbled upon clocks and fell in love. Read more about Jo’s incredible journey!
As I go about my day to day I often get referred to as the “Clock Lady”. No I am not a hoarder of ticking objects or going cuckoo. I make clocks. Not any old clocks – custom, hand crafted clocks made from reclaimed and abandoned cable spools, barn wood, wine barrel rings and metal.
After dabbling for years in creative, moneymaking endeavors – from home knitting and genealogy to vintage fashion, I discovered Pinterest and a passion for creating beautiful things for my home. Although I am eclectic, I am a minimalist and, once I had exhausted my list of pieces for my home, I started to make items to sell in order to fund my newly formed habit. I made signs; a couple of spool clocks and suitcase dressers, I even ripped apart an old Singer sewing machine to make a table and a writer’s slope.
If Someone Says, “Challenge,” I Say, “IN!”
While selling the drawers from the now unrecognizable sewing machine table, I met a fabulous lady who encouraged me to apply to be a vendor at a local vintage market. A vintage market, are you kidding me! How would I ever have time for that! I work full time at a very high-paced job, and I have a husband and a house to look after. After some deliberation (and because if someone says “challenge,” I say, “IN”) I contacted the two young ladies who were planning their first, two-day, vintage market quite close to my home.Ten minutes later I was signed up! Wahoo! With only one condition; there were several sign makers and furniture refinishers already in the mix, so I had to concentrate on clocks! “Sure!” I said putting down the phone, as my little heart started beating 20 to the minute and I was slowly going into panic mode. Where was I going to get enough spools and enough supplies to pull this off in four weeks?
I explained to my husband what I had done and I could see the concern on his face! “Oh babe what have you done! Are you sure! What if it doesn’t work out? I am worried you will be disappointed!” With a bat of an eyelid I asked if he could find me spools and he did!
A ❤ Full Of Fear, Excitement & Anticipation
I worked feverishly for four weeks designing, sanding, painting, and staining. By market day I had fourteen clocks, some thrown together props for display and a heart full of fear, excitement and anticipation! As soon as I had set up, another vendor bought one of my biggest clocks. I was elated! This could go well, I thought. By the end of the first day I was almost sold out, and people were inquiring about custom orders. Custom orders! I barely managed to make these fourteen clocks! After a long night of designing, sanding, staining, and painting, I had three more clocks for the next day and a plan for custom orders!
The market was a huge success and “Marble Hill Clockworks” were the buzzwords on everyone’s lips. We coined a motto – Affordable Functional Art –and I was hooked!
Tracking down a regular supplier of spools and mechanisms & hands became my next challenge. I endured, forging relationships with contractors, local businesses and US suppliers. This is when I found Klockit’s quality clock movements and a wide selection of long hands, perfect for our clocks.
Enter Mr. R, aka Markgyver!
Marble Hill had grown enormously in such a short amount of time, that there came a point where I just couldn’t do it alone. Enter my husband, Mr. R, who totally embraced the challenge. From sanding to troubleshooting my wacky ideas, he has become known as “Markgyver” to my market family. If it looks impossible, Markgyver will find a way!
We have been in business a little over a year now, have become vintage market veterans and haven’t slowed down yet. We both still work full time but Marble Hill has become our passion and stress relief from our busy careers. I love my corporate job, pencil skirts, stilettos, and executive meetings, but I also love this other side of me: the creative, vintage-market-loving, eclectic, plaid-wearing, clock lady.
We pride ourselves on keeping our pricing competitive to enable everyone to have the opportunity of owning and enjoying a fabulous, affordable, functional piece of art. We don’t ship to US side yet, but we are working on it and are affiliated with a fabulous spool clock maker in California whom we refer all of our US clients to.
This journey has been incredible, scary, exhilarating and exhausting but I see the worth of working for oneself. Working alongside my husband has taught us so much about each other and solidified our vision of the common goal.
This bubble will burst, I am sure of that, but while TIME is on our side (pun intended), we are going to make hay while the sun still shines, plaid shirts and all!
See More of Jo’s Work:
Follow our Pinterest board, Spoolin’ Around, to see new Marble Hill creations every week!