Couple’s artistic side project grows rapidly

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by Eric Ginsburg

Nobody waits until the day of a wedding to buy a gift — nobody in their right mind, at least. But I was fresh off another couple’s nuptials and focused on what I needed to wear as an usher. Let’s skip the rest of my excuses and cut to the point: Pixels & Wood saved my ass.

The adorable and hip booth by Winston-Salem couple Brittany McCullers and Chris Christ is filled with inspirational quotes and North Caroliniana painted on salvaged wood is a hit at Design Archives, the only venue where Pixels & Wood is currently sold locally.

After admiring the pieces, many of which are rectangular wall art bearing sayings like, “If I know what love is it is because of you,” or, “The dream is free but the hustle is sold separately,” I snagged a wooden disc — picture a thin slice of a tree with the bark still on it but a smooth front and back surface — with a quote about adventure on it. The happy couple will love this, I thought to myself, and when I saw small wooden discs with the couple’s initials decorating reception tables, I knew I had nailed it.

Plenty of other people are drawn to McCullers and Christ’s work since they launched an Etsy store last November, and especially after they began selling their wares at Design Archives in July.

“It’s almost to the point where it could easily be a full-time job for the two of us,” McCullers said. “It’s a little bit of a monster but we love doing it.”

Artistic creation is nothing new for her — she graduated from the Creative Circus, a well-respected design program in her hometown Atlanta. Three years ago McCullers moved to Winston-Salem for an advertising job, and she still works a full-time job in the industry.

Christ, who she met through playing roller derby, works for a pharmaceutical company in Greensboro by day and handles the carpentry for Pixels & Wood by night. McCullers estimated that they usually come home and work on their burgeoning side project together from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. most nights, adding that preparation for a crafts trade show in Greenville, SC kept them even busier.

p&w promo 017The pair turned their home into a woodshop and studio, their garage now loaded with sawdust and part of the kitchen used as a painting area.

“It’s kind of taken over our house, but it’s cool,” McCullers said. “It’s humbling to know that people really like our stuff that much.”

The rustic look of the reclaimed wood is clearly resonating with people, she said, but the style and positive daily reminders written onto pieces are based on her own artistic preferences.

McCullers and Christ have already branched out some, creating farmhouse tables, putting sayings on reclaimed and well-loved globes, churning out ornaments and some wine racks and even expanding to printmaking to fill out the offerings at their booth.

They are also expanding Pixels & Wood by selling good wholesale on Etsy to people who own boutique shops around the country and using a site called Scoutmob that sells wares by independent makers. When Design Archives opens a location on Fourth Street in downtown Winston-Salem, Pixels & Wood will be there as well. McCullers predicts the hometown crowd will be even more into their creations, she said. She added that there is a strong local interest in independent artists and compared the new store to a permanent version of Hoots Flea Market.

McCullers and Christ are working hard to build up inventory for the new store, she said, but that busyness isn’t new to her.

“I’ve always had little side projects,” McCullers said. “I’ve always got something going on. We don’t have any kind of retail experience so we really didn’t know what to expect.”DesignArchives_1

Find Pixels & Wood on Etsy, Scoutmob or at Design Archives, 342 S. Elm St., GSO.