Two local businesses are partnering to create a special holiday gift with a little bit of history. State of Devotion and Griffen Hollow Studios are producing handcrafted ornaments made of reclaimed wood from old the Ohio Stadium bleachers.
“We sell them as fast as we make them,” says Alex Traxler, owner of Griffen Hollow Studios. The four Ohio-inspired ornaments were designed by Jim Jackson of State of Devotion. Three of the designs are at the core of State of Devotion’s line, with new tagline, “Ho! H0!-Ho-Hio!” adding some holiday flair.
“The designs plus the story behind the wood make a great holiday gift,” Jackson says.
Holiday shoppers can find the Ohio-loving ornaments at both companies’ websites, as well as all-things-local stores Celebrate Local and Simply Vague.
The upcycled ornaments reflect Griffen Hollow’s vision.
“I would try to reduce the waste around me before I used new products,” Traxler says of his preference for reclaimed materials.
Traxler has made it a mission to collect the redwood boards that were the Ohio Stadium seats from the 1920s to 2000. The first batch came from a family friend who donated the boards he acquired while working on the stadium rebuild. From there Traxler traveled around Ohio searching for the coveted redwoods.
Turning the 2-by-four-foot boards into holiday ornaments is a delicate process. Traxler uses a metal detector to remove all nails and metal fragments then uses a bandsaw to whittle the six-foot boards down to quarter-inch thick pieces. Each sections is then laser engraved with one of the four designs. Each board can turn into anywhere from 130 to 160 ornaments if it’s in good condition.
Traxler and Jackson form a true 50-50 partnership to bring the ornaments to Columbus. Traxler creates the pieces, while Jackson handles market and sales. Both are excited by the opportunity to support each other as local, small-business owners.
“It’s been a great success,” Jackson says. The local and environmentally-friendly aspects drew him to the partnership.
Traxler and Jackson have worked together in other capacities for over a year. Griffen Hollow made displays for State of Devotion for their space in Clebrate Local and Simply Vague, along with other prototyping.