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But Wood It Work? A Colorado Couple Finds Success in Wood and Words

With the help of: Manufacturer's Edge


Gib Coalwell’s passion for woodworking began as a teenager when he made his first wooden box in shop class at the age of 14. Starting her own journey into layout and design by using rub-on letters in a college journalism class, Lisa—who would become Gib’s wife and eventual business partner—discovered her own creative impulse. When the two decided to merge those passions into a business that would blend wood with words, Wordsmith Woodshop was born. Now from their Colorado workshop in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, they handcraft products that capture memories, inspire laughter and lend some welcome, woody warmth to our digital age.

The Challenge

Wordsmith Woodshop is the kind of small mom-and-pop company that specializes in handmade products that become family heirlooms, housewarming gifts, and table centerpieces. Despite the small-town feel, Wordsmith has attracted some large, noteworthy clients over the years. Several of their high-profile clients, in fact, boast household names (and reality TV shows!). The Wordsmith team, however, knew their branding was not always reflective of the high-quality products they produced and the level of clientele they had attracted. After attending a virtual marketing workshop hosted by their local Small Business Development Center, they connected with Manufacturer’s Edge (ME), part of the MEP National Network™, to upgrade their overall look and feel.

We have recommended Manufacturer's Edge to many other small businesses! We really appreciate all their hard work on our behalf.
— Gib Coalwell, Co-Owner

MEP's Role

Their ME resource person guided Gib and Lisa through the process of market research and developing a new logo, wordmark, and color palette, and then worked with them to design a website to reflect more accurately the downhome, handmade, farm-to-table feel that they express so effortlessly in their cutting boards, Christmas decorations, and wooden engraved bookmarks. As a result, they have not only retained the impressive clientele they previously catered to, but also attracted new customers and expanded their reach. In addition, they have been able to hire on additional help to assist with better direct-to-consumer e-commerce options and engraving all while staying true to their authentic Rocky Mountain, family-oriented roots.

Created April 29, 2023