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Maker Interview: Tamar Hannah of 3x3 Custom

House One’s Jenn Largesse interviews Tamar Hannah of 3x3 Custom in this installment of House One Maker Interview Series.

Jenn: I’m Jenn from House One, and today I’m here with Tamar from 3×3 Custom. Tamar, thank you so much for being here.

Tamar: Thank you for having me.

Jenn: So can you tell everyone a little about 3×3 Custom, and what they would see if they stopped by your site?

Tamar: I build furniture— small little tables and beds and things like that. I also build small home items like cutting boards and little boxes. It really runs the gamut of woodworking projects for the home.

Jenn: You’re very, very talented. Have you always done this kind of work? How did you get started?

Tamar: Um, never. I recently started. I’m a mother of three. I’ve been a stay-at-home mom for a while. On the side I liked to go to flea markets and pick-up some DIY projects for me to do, refinishing furniture pieces. And as time went on, I started needing to fix a lot of the pieces, and I needed to build up some tools to repair some of the pieces—that’s when I built-up a little bit of my collection. One day I was looking for a bench that didn’t exist. I said, “I really want a bench for outside that will hold my firewood.” So I was Googling everywhere, “outdoor firewood storage bench,” and I couldn’t find anything that I liked. So I found a tutorial for an outdoor bench. I said, “Hey, this looks like it’s kind of easy enough to try to attempt. Let me just add a shelf on the bottom that will hold my firewood.” I just went for it. I got the cheapest saw I could buy. I built that first bench, and it was horrible. There were so many flaws in it, so many mistakes in it, but I loved the process of visualizing something in my head. And after all this hard work, there was something there. I had an idea in my head, and then all of a sudden it was there. That feeling was amazing, and I wanted to correct all of the problems that I encountered along the way building this bench. I wanted to build another [bench] to try to fix everything. I wanted to learn more.

What is your favorite project?

Tamar: I would say a lot of my readers and viewers favorite projects are the shop projects, which is lumber storage, those kind of things. My most recent favorite? I kind of refinished a guitar, which was really fun. It was just something I never thought that I would be able to do. I wanted to see if I could do it, and being able to actually accomplish it was just a great feeling, and that’s why it’s my favorite right now.

Where do you find inspiration?

Tamar: Anywhere. I’ll be walking in the mall with my kids and I’ll see some sort of display in a storefront that has a really cool design that’s holding up something. I’ll think, “I really like that shape over there.” It’s really anything that’s around me—looking through magazines, everything.

What’s your best advice for new DIY’ers?

Jenn: You also said that as you’re going through a lot of these projects, there are bumps in the road. What would you say to somebody who is just starting out and is not sure if this is for them?

Tamar: You’re going to fail. You are absolutely going to fail. But when you figure out how to fix that failure, it will feel so good. That’s really my favorite part about building, woodworking, all this stuff, is encountering a problem and figuring out a way to fix it. It really is a great feeling.

What does your workspace look like?

I work out of my garage, and it is really not a happy places to be—it’s not ideal, I’m very cold, but it gets the job done. It works for the time being. It’s great working from home. I’m able to be flexible, which is great, but it’s hard sometimes finding the balance—it really is. Because I want to be a good mom, I want my house to be clean, I want to build really cool things, so it’s very hard to find that balance, but it works.

Jenn: Yeah, I don’t think any of our spaces are ideal, and I think we’re all balancing it with work, or possibly parenthood, so it’s amazing to know that you’re balancing all the things, and you’re still finding time to do something that you’re very passionate about and doing amazing work.

Tamar: Thank you

Jenn: We really appreciate you being here. Thank you so much. And if you guys want to see more, you can check her out on 3×3 Custom.