Artist Spotlight // Interview with Raven Wood Designs, Nicci Wyels
As one of my first connections in Kansas City, Nicci Wyels immediately impressed me with her gorgeous, hand-crafted wood furniture. I knew I had to learn more about her business and vision — today we are sharing her unique perspective towards interior design!
Monica: Being a female artisan in a male-dominated field of woodworking is pretty badass. What inspired you to begin creating with wood?
Nicci: Thank you! I feel really badass when I use power tools. Ha! I have always loved design and I spent many years DIY’ing home decor for myself and friends. Every time I would come across something inspiring that required power tools, I felt stuck. So I just dived in and tried out a simple woodworking project. It scared me to death, but the adrenaline went to my brain and an addiction formed. I’m an outdoorsy girl and touching nature has always been a trill of mine. I didn’t expect to love it so much, but it made sense...The grains, the feeling of cutting the wood, it was so grounding and beautiful.
Monica: How has being a mother shaped your idea of home?
Nicci: It has made me a minimalist! Lol. The high energy of having a family and toys everywhere really strung me out. So keeping my home minimalist has not only kept everyone organized but allows for us to have time to enjoy the things we love, like getting outside.
Monica: What is your creative process & where do you find your inspiration?
Nicci: I am very inspired by nature. The textures are everything to my designs. I keep a notebook of sketches but the furniture pieces I dream up come out of me very organically and sudden. I get obsessed with the idea of it until it’s built and I can see the final product.
Monica: Take us through the process of creating a custom piece for a client?
Nicci: One of my favorite things to do! Because it pushes me out of my own head and into a particular client’s vision. I absolutely love collaborating and inspiring big ideas on their space. From there we bounce ideas back and forth, until one sparks a flame. I like to push boundaries! If someone needs a tv stand, I have a hard time just slapping a wood top on four legs. I want to make art, and more importantly capture the flavor of the client.
Monica: What do you feel is the biggest opportunity in the future of interior design?
Nicci: There is a huge opportunity for retailers and interior designers to provide consumers with real materials and handmade furniture! There are so many incredible makers and woodworkers popping up. Interior design has become like fast fashion. Everything is mass produced, which is making consumers realize that their homes look pretty, but feel kind of cheap. My passion is to inspire people to invest well. Your home is your sanctuary.
Monica: What’s your favorite part about living in Kansas City?
Nicci: Oh, Kansas City! Kansas City is such a magical, creative place. The Midwest stereotype of friendly folks rings true, yet we aren’t stuck in old ways. We are progressive and open minded. But if I had to choose one thing I love most, it would be our booming and tight-knit maker community. We all support and lift each other up and consumers take great pride in shopping local.
Thank you Nicci for the amazing interview. We have a gorgeous coffee table and trays from Nicci in our Leawood store! Her work is beautiful and inspiring. You can find out more about Nicci by following her Instagram!