Walk inside the home of Reagan Burress and you’ll find the typical items in most houses — furniture, TV, lamps and so on — but with one key exception: a giant laser machine.
“We actually have to keep the laser machine in the living room, because it’s the only room in the house that it fits in,” Burress said.
She’s no mad scientist, however. The four-foot by five-foot laser machine is what she uses to cut and engrave her specialty-made woodcut signs, which she sells through Local Stature, the Greenville-based company she runs with her husband, Christopher Burress.
Although “signs” is perhaps not the right word for the woodcuts, as each one could more accurately be described as a sturdy, weighty map. The maps are shaped like individual states, but the engravings are where Burress lets her detail-oriented creativity shine. Geographically accurate engravings of the layouts of college towns, small communities, state parks, state highways and more are precisely etched into the wood, with unlimited customizable options.
“We can pick anywhere in the world and create a sign around those, so the sky’s the limit,” Burress said.
Burress started the company after leaving her former interior design job and feeling uncertain what direction she wanted to take her career next. She said the hands-on work satisfies her creative urges. And the fact that she is involved in every step of production — surveying, designing a mockup, hand-drawing the sign, programming it onto the laser and finally cutting and engraving the sign before her husband does the finishing — makes her feel personally connected to each sign she makes.
“Also the fact that we’re showing the places people care about, you realize sometimes it’s not so much the sign but what the sign represents,” she said. “Whether it’s where someone grew up, where someone got married, or whatever the story is, the signs evoke an emotional response. It’s a way of remembering places they care about, and that means everything to me.”
Find out more at LocalStature.com