It is very rare for someone to unintentionally start a business, but Amesbury native Holly Janvrin experienced this when she created a handmade Christmas gift for a friend. Her intention was simply to make something beautiful out of reclaimed wood because of the seller being out of horse wreath she wanted to give. Holly’s friend was so enthusiastic about the gift that she created a demand for more! Soon, orders and requests were coming in and
Holly B. Design Company was born.
Holly’s process has evolved over the years with lots of experimentation. It began to take on the shape it has today when her husband and collaborator Marc showed her the technique of fracking. When high voltage electricity is applied to wood, it will travel the path of least resistance, causing the beautiful and unique patterns that have become a trademark of Holly’s work. With the addition of fracking, Holly B. Design Company grew exponentially.
By 2020, the business had consumed all the space in Holly and Marc’s home and was still growing. With the help of CI Works founder Bob O’Brien, they identified the ideal space for their work. It had a large manufacturing floor and a cargo door for receiving along with plenty of space for storing reclaimed wood. The flexibility of this space has allowed them to be able to add a new laser cutting and edging division to the existing business. Today, they are able to run the whole business, from administration to manufacturing and shipping, all in the same space.
Holly has appreciated the community provided by having such a diverse range of expertise in close proximity. She recently collaborated with Zack Bolduc of Passiva PLT who, with his knowledge of material science, helped her to optimize her fracking technique. Zack’s creativity and mindset have inspired Holly to continue to refine her craft and and she appreciates what she can learn from her other neighbors at CI Works. In turn, they appreciate the creativity, values, and passion that Holly brings to the table.
Holly’s creations are unique and personal. In a moment of intense grief over the loss of her daughter and feeling the weight of the previous loss of her mother and another child, Holly created her most personal piece: the broken, but still whole heart. This became her most popular piece. It says to her that your heart can be broken, but with faith you can still go on. In honor of their daughter, Holly and Marc created Steph’s Gift, a fund to support the causes that were important to her.
Holly finds additional inspiration in nature and life. Special pieces reflect each passing season. Equestrian, nautical and aquatic themes are also prominent and resonate with those who identify with the culture of New England. More than that, Holly’s incredible story is a study in passion providing meaning in life so great and inspiring that it grew into a means of living. She cites her faith, family and the community at CI works as sources of strength and creativity. Each piece has a story it tells, the story of someone who turns something lost or abandoned into something unique that brings joy to any space. CI works looks forward to seeing the creations of Holly B Design Company continue to grow and inspire.
If you would like to more of Holly's work: