Made in the Valley: The Rugged Heart

FRESNO, California (KFSN) -- The sound of the saw is a constant hum in Jennifer Curtis's garage. Just a year ago, the Fresno mom and The Rugged Heart owner was featured on our Made in the Valley small business edition for her wooden signs.

"It was just me doing it at the time and the you came out and I started getting busier -- and they would call or email us and say I saw you on the news can you do this and my husband had to start helping me," said Jennifer Curtis, The Rugged Heart.

Jennifer and her husband Justin spend many hours together creating, cutting and crafting the perfect piece of wooden artwork.

The California bear has been a best seller for The Rugged Heart but these days they're getting a little creative, making ornaments and magnets and more.

The couple was able to get a specialty scroll saw and even buy more equipment because of the added business. Husband Justin has taken up scroll work, cutting this pug ornament in minutes and creating other work like signs and a map.

"I am constantly amazed at what he can do and how good he is, cutting things with a scroll saw and he'll even paint stuff for me too sometimes," said Jennifer.

Jennifer says while the business has grown by 50 percent in just the last year, their social media presence has too.

"We've grown on Instagram we're now past 4,000."

It's there that she's able to reach customers here in the Valley and beyond. She's sold her wooden signs from coast to coast.

"It's really taken on a life of its own. I never thought that we would able to do this different things," Jennifer said.

As for what's next, Curtis says she'd like to expand her woodworking abilities and create more pieces. She credits local customers and small business supporters for giving her the support and drive to keep reaching for more.
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