Story by Sarah Naron
LEANDER – While Rebecca Little has never undergone any formal training, she has harbored a lifelong passion for creating art.
“I’ve always been able to see a picture and draw it almost exactly like that picture,” she said. “I’ve never actually taken an art class or anything like that, but I’ve always been kind of an artsy person.”
In addition to drawing on paper, Little’s artistic talents include pyrography, the technique of decorating leather or wood by using a heated metallic point to draw on the surface. Little’s material of choice is wood, which she uses to create a variety of custom products.
Little shared that her business – Rebecca’s Wicked Sticks – began after she was asked to make a gift for a coworker’s mother.
“She wanted to give her mother a walking stick, because she goes on hikes and everything quite often,” Little explained. “She wanted to make it special, because her father had passed away.”
The coworker supplied a piece of a crepe myrtle tree her father had planted for her mother and also requested that the design of the stick include a sunflower and a quarter.
“Her father always carried a quarter in his pocket, no matter what, and he called her mother his sunflower,” Little explained.
In addition to the characteristics which would help memorialize her coworker’s father, Little’s husband suggested that she include a feature which would immortalize her as the maker of the walking stick.
“I said, ‘Well, it’s pretty wicked-looking, I guess,’” Little recalled. “I was just joking around with him, and I said, ‘You know what? Rebecca’s Wicked Sticks.’”
Little went on to lend her talents to a military reunion.
“A lady in Alabama found out about me, and I donated several plaques for the reunion,” Little said. “She wrote back and said, ‘That was the biggest hit of the whole reunion.’”
Among her favorite projects, she said, was a gift she made for her husband, a former military police officer with the Army.
“I did his military crest of his crossed pistols,” she shared. “He got a little teary-eyed about that. That was my favorite.”
Another piece Little is particularly fond of is a plaque she made for a coworker during her days working at a VA audiology clinic.
“The girl was leaving, so I made this big plaque of the ear and the inner ear,” Little said. “I had everybody sign the wood and was able to burn their names into the wood. She just absolutely loved it.”
Typically, Little said, she can complete drawing and burning on a project within two to three days.
Located in Leander, Rebecca’s Wicked Sticks is operated by Little and her husband.
“I’m the artist; he’s the bookkeeper,” she said. “I think I got the better end of the stick, for lack of better words.”
Like many small business owners, Little has found that there are occasional hurdles along the way.
“The biggest challenge so far has been just getting my name out there and advertising my business,” she said. “That’s why I do a lot of these festivals and make sure I have enough products on hand.”
For more information, visit www.rebeccaswickedsticks.wixsite.com or www.facebook.com/rebeccaswickedsticks.