We are Todd and Sam McConnell. We met in 2013 and got married in the fall of 2016. Strangely enough we are both the youngest in our families, fraternal twins and left-handed. This allowed us to merge our creative minds together and start working a small business for our selves. We love being Maker sand part of the vendor and craft sale world.
A Little Bit Of Our Story
Have you ever just had the urge to try something different because it seemed like a good idea?
That's how Clockwork Contraptions started.
While working at DC Signs, Todd was presented with an opportunity to learn how to use a laser cutter-engraver. Primarily used for lamacoids and engraving trophies, contigo cups and plastics. Of course, Todd wanted to try some experiments with wood. He played with making some three dimensional Christmas decorations and we entered our first craft market to see how we would do. Our love of the steampunk aesthetic and a desire to possibly making moving projects in the future led us to the name Clockwork Contraptions. We sold our decorations and Todd's para-cord bracelets and key fobs. The para-cord didn't sell so well for us, but we found a hit with our wood products.
The next Christmas our line of decorations, including snowflakes and reindeer did very well. We had to work out some kinks with Todd's designs though. Birch plywood isn't always the same thickness. It made it so the joints of anything that connected didn't stay together well. Constantly we had to adjust our designs and patterns and it was very time consuming. That is when we made the choice to switch to MDF (a manufactured wood product) made in North America. It gave us the consistency we were looking for.
Early in the next spring, we were invited to be part of our very first spring market. It was being held at a historic location, with over a hundred vendors, definitely something we weren't prepared for. All our decorations were Christmas. We came up with some spring and Easter designs for our Cross-Stitch Creations and Todd came up with the brilliant idea of our three dimensional landscape scenes. This was also around the time Todd finished his original design on Hexahedron Wars: Mobile Strike and we began selling it at markets as well.
With the success we experienced we decided to go full force into the craft and vendor market world. We were excepted into our first jury curated market and it led to the busiest winter we could have imagined. We bought proper fixtures so that we could showcase the landscape scenes better and Todd used our left over wood to start creating a small line of greeting cards. We had many late nights assembling different products. We would have a market one day and then spent the entire next day making more because we were doing better than expected.
The year of 2019 brought us a new challenges and new markets. We started building our stock up in the spring to prepare for what we affectionately call the “Gauntlet” of winter and Christmas markets. Through trial we started to figure out which markets we succeed at and which are just not the right fit for us.
Now, we look forward to the future.
Doing Our Part
Every maker out there is aware of the impact we play on the world. We are bringing something new or reinvented to the world. We go out, we find our materials and we make. One thing we are all aware of if wasted materials, products that didn't work or broke.
In an effort to do our part, we are working on changing any products we can to 'flat-packing'.
Our version of 'flat-packing' means our items come on a flat sheet of wood, with small points that say "cut". Press firmly and the product will pop out leaving as little left over wood as possible.
This effort on your part, means it is easier to wrap and mail. On our end it also means we don't have to use plastic bags to give you items that require some assembly.
"We don't need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly.
_Anne Marie Bonneau