The Two Best Rhode Island Wreath-Makers on Etsy
The ladies behind Wreath Obsessed and the Accidental Farmgirl are sprucing up front doors across the nation.
The air has turned crisp and, like clockwork, I’m on the hunt for the perfect fall wreath for my front door. After browsing the aisles at Michael’s and JoAnn Fabrics and leaving disappointed — why do artificial plants have to look so fake? — I decided to turn my search to Etsy. Take my word for it: There are a lot of wreath-makers on the Internet.
Narrowing down the search was key, and I used the location filter to browse regional wreath-makers — a both generous and miserly strategy that passes the buck to local artisans while also saving me money on shipping charges. In a visually driven medium like Etsy, the wheat mercifully separates itself from the chaff. When you’re searching for a specific good, it’s so easy to tell which artisan aligns with your personal aesthetic and which, absolutely, do not.
In the case of Rhode Island wreath-makers, it’s near-impossible to narrow it down to just one. Two shops — the Accidental Farmgirl and Wreath Obsessed — make some of the prettiest fall (read: weather-safe) wreaths I’ve seen. The two shop owners came to wreath-making for different reasons, and they’re pulling it off (with five-star reviews aplenty) in different ways. But the small businesswomen have a lot in common: They’re both stay-at-home moms who are self-taught. They both also got their start with one particularly trendy style of wreath. I caught up with each designer to talk about their origin story, their wreath-making “aha moment” and their favorite designs for fall.
The designer: Jessica Billings
The backstory: “I was living in Boston and I had come home for the summer and I only planned to stay for the summer. I got a cocktail waitressing job and met my husband, who has two kids, and I never went back to Boston. We have a little farm in Exeter with goats and pigs. It’s not exactly the life I planned but it worked out perfectly.”
Her aha moment: “I started doing farmhouse home decor here and there on Etsy and one day my aunt came to me to make burlap wreaths…. I stay at home with my kids [Jessica and her husband have five altogether!]. I needed something to do from home and I just really loved making wreaths.”
How she amassed her social media following: “Online is difficult; it’s really difficult to get yourself noticed so I just tried the old-fashioned way on Instagram. It was like I was talking to nobody but I just started posting every day…. I made a list of some really big bloggers and I reached out to them saying, ‘I’d love to send you some stuff.’ Maybe a quarter of them said yes. Now, I have a handful of really big bloggers that I have a partnership with; I pay them to promote my wreaths. [Partners include Erin from @cottonstem, Kristy Wicks, and the Design Twins.] Every time they post something of mine I can immediately see the stats on my Etsy and they jump.”
Her favorite designs: “Right now my customers are really into the artificial fruit; there are not a whole lot of people doing that. I have the apple wreath on my house. I don’t like to play favorites but I don’t think I’ll take that one off my door all season.”
Where you can find her work: Etsy and Instagram.