I'm so pleased to begin our featured vendor spotlight with Yinz Lidz!
With a name like that it won't surprise you that they are local Pittsburgh artisans. Nikki Hinterlang and Nicole Cunnard work together to create amazing custom art with wood burning.
One of their most well known products is hats!
Wood burning and hats are an unexpected combo and that's what makes these pieces so powerful and unique. Using a very thin piece of wood they create a story within the image and then shape and glue it to the brim of a hat. (You can get your own here!)
But hats are not the only thing Yinz Lidz loves to create for people.
Through Songbird Artistry Nikki and Nicole have created custom plaques to tell powerful stories, such as this one...
Maureen reached out about having a custom plaque created to commemorate what a great gift her son Matthew has been in her life.
She was told at twenty years old that she would never have children by both an endocrinologist and a gynecologist. She even tried to turn down her husband's marriage proposal because she knew he wanted children. But he loved her and they married anyway.
Life went on and when she was 43 years old she was starting the process of getting a hysterectomy. That's when they discovered she was pregnant!
In fact, she was already starting her second trimester. Matthew was born when Maureen was 44. His name means “gift from the Lord” and that is how Maureen sees him. He is a brave, smart, wonderful five year old who is also autistic and non-verbal.
Maureen wanted to honor his spirit in a piece of custom art but felt that she didn't have the creativity to do it justice.
So she told Yinz Lidz about her son and the significance of elephants to her as strong female leaders that don't let anything get in their way. As his mother she is Matthew's protector, voice, and advocate and he is her rock star.
They applied their artistic talent to the project and sent a digital proof to make sure that everything looked the way Maureen wanted before beginning the wood burning process.
You can get your own custom wood plaque by purchasing on this page.
The People Behind The Shop
Nikki created YinzLidz to craft a legacy, make her family proud, and grow something meaningful. She had always collected hats, loves the city of Pittsburgh, and she had been doing wood burning by hand as a hobby so it all came together as the perfect start for a small local business.
Wood burning by hand took hours and hours to produce the custom art pieces. To build her art into a real business she invested in a laser engraver and she brought in her partner, Nicole.
Nikki and Nicole were close friends who eventually fell in love. When their relationship became more serious Nikki welcomed Nicole's children. At first it was a step daughter and four biological children but one day tragedy struck and their oldest son's step brother needed a home. So they took in fifteen year old Richard as well.
Nikki says children keep you young and full of life and being a parent has helped her grow in areas she might otherwise have ignored.
Inspiration For Custom Art
Nikki told us that the most important thing in creating custom products is listening.
Yinz Lidz's mission is to really listen to what is important to each person and bring it to life. They love being able to create such unique and personal gifts and be so closely connected to their local community. Nikki says, “Shopping locally supports more than a dream. It supports the families just like ours...why not shop locally?”
The creators behind Yinz Lidz are passionate about giving back in their community, not only through customized gifts and one of a kind personal art, but also hosting a sock drive for the homeless and donating items for charity raffles.
We are proud to have Yinz Lidz as one of our talented vendors bringing you unique, local, American made gifts and art. You can shop with them here in our customizable section!