Q+A: Danielle Milner

Danielle Milner isn’t only a maker. She’s a champion for fellow makers too! When she’s not covered in sawdust, working hard in her garage as lady builder for Elle Woods Co, she’s encouraging and supporting others through real conversations, attending markets, and helping coordinate and promote the Makers Market.

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What did you do before your creative business?

I owned a paint your own pottery studio called Paint Your Pot! I started working there when I was in high school and ended up purchasing the business at the age of 20. After 9 years I realized I had lost the passion I once had for it and decided to turn Elle Woods Co full time.

When you're stuck in a rut, what do you do to get motivated?

I’m still trying to figure that one out! Sometimes just blasting my favorite music (Misterwives can almost always pull me out of a funk), isolating myself in a relaxing environment and reading, or meeting up with a friend to take my mind off of work for awhile.

What did you learn a little too late?

To not care what others think about me.

What's your biggest pet peeve?

Loud chewing -- exactly why you’ll never see me at the movie theaters! Why is popcorn the go to snack?! As delicious as it may be, it’s so annoying to listen to people rustle through it and crunch on it for two hours. 

What is your favorite restaurant in Raleigh?

Aw man, that’s a hard one. Raleigh is filled with so many yummy spots. The Remedy Diner and Morgan Street Food Hall are probably my top favorite go-to spots. 

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What advice would you give someone starting out as a maker?

Just do it! There are a ton of pros and cons to owning your own business, especially a small handmade business, but if you have the passion, drive, and self dedication, just do it! 

You can find Danielle on Instagram at @ellewoodsco or visit her downtown Raleigh First Friday solo art exhibit in The Big Easy through the end of June. You can also shop her wood art in the new #RaleighGiftShop at House of Swank and a handful of other shops — check her site for more info.