Mango Wood Gifts & Naturally Sourced Artistry

Minneapolis, Minnesota


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Thomas Keller

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Thomas Keller

About AsIWood

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On Etsy since 2016

"The goal is to create a business that treats people as I would like to be treated..." --Thomas Keller

Hi, I’m Tom Keller, the founder and creator of As I Wood.

As I Wood is a company that creates beautifully unique, handcrafted mango wood home décor and other naturally sourced artistry. We source and carve the mango wood in the hills of Northern Thailand and bring them directly to your home. Every item we offer comes with a story. There is always a face behind our crafts and an explanation of what it takes to create them. We are unlike any other lifestyle company that you may know, as our sole purpose is not only to produce and market artistic workmanship, but also to empower the people that make the art and capture their passion into the finished product you see today.

As I Wood’s quality designs are handmade, sustainable, and most importantly, ethical.

Your Wood Tells a Story and here it is….

Three years ago while traveling and teaching in Thailand, I saw a window of opportunity that would change the direction of my future. After graduating college, like many young graduates, I was pondering where I wanted to take my career and where exactly I would fit in. I’ve always had the spirit to travel since both my parents were flight attendants and when I came across the idea to teach in Thailand, without haste, I signed up and two weeks later I arrived in an unknown land. Now the birth of As I Wood didn’t come until I met a dear friend of mine who showed me the beauty and craftsmanship of what Thailand and it’s people had to offer.

I was taken to two remote villages in Northern Thailand where I had the privilege to witness the beauty in the making. One village gathered mango trees that were no longer bearing fruit and transported them back to the village where they hand carved the most exquisite items. Creating a new use for the trees that would have been otherwise left to rot was brilliant. The long, tedious process and dedication it took to create one wooden vase was really quite magnificent and simply put, amazing. I yearned to see more. (Click HERE for a sneak peek at the village and its wood carving process)

Our next adventure was to a village that held equal, if not more, value and skill than the last collective of artists. This community was a small cooperative that seemed to be held up by a strong force of multitalented women. I fancy to call them the Woman Weavers even though weaving was not their only skill. These ladies carried their families as well as their entire village. They tended rice fields in the spring and summer, but come winter, they became entrepreneurs. Never have I ever witnessed a community with so little, create something so handsome, so grand, so stunning, from the fruits of our mother nature. (Click HERE to witness these talented women and their process)

My friend Sittiporn explained to me about the rich culture and history of the Thai’s and how exploitation has hindered the growth of his country. In a moment of aw I recalled an image in my mind of the highly flawed system of consumer production we see today, in which slave labor factories, with a pittance for wages and a total lack for passion and creativity are traded for billion dollar executive bonuses. When did enough become not enough? When did we begin to value profits over people?

From then on, my eyes were wide open to the possibilities of creating a sustainable business with its sole purpose on its people, not its profits. The epiphany hit me, which to create a business to treat people as I would like to be treated, and I thought, that’s it, As I Wood.

Before my trip to Thailand I was looking for a job that empowered me, that valued my worth and supported my growth, and when I returned I had found what I was looking for; I just had to create it myself. I knew there were others out there, besides the Thai’s, and I looking for the same values in how we make a living.

I came back to the States and naturally, with my same vision, I found others that believed in my same philosophy. We gravitated towards each other like magnets, in our search for passion in a career, and stewardship for our earth and its people.

Since then, my team and I have gathered a plan and we need your help to make this business a success.

If you believe in our story and would like to support us, feel free to visit our website HERE, tell your friends, Share our page, Tweet a Tweet, or scream it on a mountain.

Thank you for your support

TK & Team AsIWood

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