Experimenting with woodworking began as a side hobby for the Lincoln couple, but recently Jo has taken the plunge in opening up Newman Creations in the Haymarket Creamery Building.
After losing her job due to COVID-19, she realized she suddenly had an opportunity to pursue the passion.
“For a long time I've always wanted a store of my own so that we can showcase what we do along with other things that we like and that we think invite inspiration into your home,” Jo said. “I just kind of said, 'here I go, I'm gonna do this.' And I opened my store. It was kind of the thing I needed to push myself into doing it. I was laid off in August and opened in October.”
Jo describes her and her husband’s wood creations as a “learn-as-you-go” sort of thing. While many of their handmade items in the store are things like cutting boards and serving trays, they’ve also branched out over the years to create larger furniture pieces like custom desks and tables. They recently built a large, outdoor swing bed.
“It's funny, we look back at some of the things we made for the very first time, and then look at them today, and it's such a transformation,” Jo said.
Their bestselling cutting boards and charcuterie boards have evolved over the years to include different types of hardwood, and finally custom state-shaped inlays—the perfect gift for a loved one in Nebraska or a surrounding state.
Another recent addition to the Newman Creations collection (and a great gift idea) are their “floating” wine bottle holders that almost magically balance bottles of wine, making for a fabulous centerpiece.
“I love making a house feel like a home,” Jo said. “I like it to feel very warm and welcoming when you come in. I also like to take things that are kind of outdated and give them a little facelift. I find old tables and make them look more like what's trending right now.”
Newman Creations is partnering with other artisans that Jo loves, and the store is also selling other goods purchased wholesale.
“Our goal is that, hopefully within three to five years, the majority of what's in this store will be what we make,” Jo said. “For us, we wanted to have space to showcase some of the things we do.”
The couple hopes to hear feedback from customers and invites custom orders, too.
After only a week of business, they’d already received several orders for cutting boards, some clothing shelves, and a farmhouse table.
Newman Creations701 P St.