Our Story

Our Story

First of all, welcome!  I'm not sure how you found us, but come on in, sit a spell, and let me share our story ...

It started with a couple - specifically myself and my husband.  My name is Linsey, a crafter, maker, tinkerer, carver, general mess-maker, and the artisan behind Balsambrook.  Fourteen years ago, I met Chris ... and that's a story for another day.  Fast forward to a few years ago and our journey started with a simple mission.

Get the heck out of the city.

Not that we lived in the city, but we were close enough that I was beginning to feel a bit claustrophobic.  Having grown up 5 miles outside of a small town (less than 700 people most years) in the middle of nowhere, Wisconsin, I yearned for the wilds again.  My husband, on the other hand, grew up in the Seattle area and really wanted nothing more to do with city life.  We settled in after college, got thoroughly comfortable in our rut, and stagnated.  We needed something different, especially after our couple became a family with the addition of our daughter.

 Mountain View from National Forest

Three years later, we were the proud owners of 20-plus acres a mere stone's throw from the Canadian border in the mountains of Eastern Washington.  Our property was nestled in the mountains, surrounded by thousands of acres of untamed forest, and truly our idea of heaven on earth.

Over the next few years, we have a few big mountains of our own to climb.  We have a house to build, a homestead to create, and a daughter to raise.

But in the more immediate future, we had a bigger problem.  How were we going to support ourselves during this grand adventure?

While my husband brings an engineering degree to the table and plenty of drafting/design experience ... my life was focused on odd jobs, art projects, and being a work-from-home mom.  I needed to find something a bit more consistent, something that could transition as we move, survive as we build, and grow as we grow.  With that in mind, I sat down and wrote a list of all the skills I had and a list of things I always wanted to try to find any intersections.

My brother's wedding actually got the ball rolling (which was beautiful, by the way).  I had the dress, the shoes, but I wanted a necklace.  After doing some scanning of the jewelry departments in stores (and finding nothing I liked), I turned to Etsy and discovered something amazing.


I was fascinated, not only in the beautiful pendant, but in the techniques and skills required to make it.  I found myself wondering if I could do something similar, and quickly purchased the basic tools and materials to get started.  Though I had no serious passion for jewelry before (I could never really find anything I liked), as I learned more and made more, I starting getting more and more passionate about what I was doing.  Suddenly, I wanted to learn even more and to be able to do even more.

I know that my jewelry isn't for everyone.  It's for me and anyone like me.  Anyone who has ever wandered past the jewelry counter and left feeling disappointed.  Anyone who loves color and isn't afraid to be bold.  Anyone who wants something different, something unique, something that tells a story.

So while you're here, I hope you'll take a few minutes to browse and find a piece that speaks to you, one that expresses that certain facet of who you are and what makes you special.

And if not?  That's okay too.  I'm just glad that you stopped in, even if it was just for a bit of conversation, and wish you all the best.  We'll continue to post entries about our homesteading adventures, failures and successes, and other stories so swing on by again.

Enjoying a summer breeze by the lake


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