This week we head over to Belmont, California for our Women Warrior Wednesday feature. Esterina Gentilcore is the owner and woodworker of Tavolo Studios. Esterina creates bespoke kitchen items to elevate the lifestyle in the home.
Where it all began…
I think its safe to say we have all been there. The situation – You want something in particular. You can picture it perfectly in your mind. The problem – its so perfect, you cannot find it anywhere and you won’t settle for anything less. Well, Esterina took that perfect image in her mind and brought it to life.
Esterina wanted a new cutting board. She had some qualifications it needed to meet – it had to be large and have a deep juice groove. She just wanted finding what she wanted. A local woodcraft shop was offering woodworking classes. She signed herself up, took the safety course, made her first cut on the miter saw and the rest is history. Her first creation – a maple, end grain cutting board with a deep juice groove.
“In college, a professor said that we should be prepared to change entire careers at least 3 times in our live. That freaked me out at the time, however I’m now 41 and in my 5th professional life change. I actually feel pretty good about it. I did marketing for a Credit Union, was the Executive Assistant to a CEO for a product development firm, was a Personal Trainer, CrossFit Coach and Pre/Postnatal Exercise Specialist (each over the course of 10 years), a Mom aka Domestic Engineer and now a Mom + Woodworker.”
“I have postpartum depression. Starting around 8 months postpartum, I became a different person. I was angry. Luckily, I have a very supportive husband that helped me get the help I needed. After a few weeks, I also went the route of medication and it’s helped me drastically. I knew I wasn’t the role model for my daughter that I wanted to be for her. Now with that and the focus of my woodworking, I feel like I am in a much better place to show her love, balance and help her regulate her big emotions too.
I’m finding joy in life again and feeling even more joy in being able to share that with others. I’m learning balance and filling my cup back up and finally becoming the mother I knew I could be in the home and with starting my business.”
Esterina runs a sustainable business model. Her shop is solar-powered, she is mindful of waste and finds ways to give back to the planet.
Her environmental efforts to be green has also served as a catalyst for innovation. Instead of burning or selling wood scraps, Esterina finds ways to repurpose them. By making phones stands and hot plates, she has limited waste and created more products to sell.
For every board she sells, Esterina donates to The Arbor Day Foundation. Each purchase = one tree planted!
What does the future hold?
“Big goals are scary for me to set, but they are important. I want to uplift and support other women. I developed a grazing board that, in my opinion, will drastically be able to empower the cheese gal community.
A product now exists that will allow them to have a better work flow and helping them balance their lives by now being able to make their creations in the kitchen, store, transport and then only need to be onsite at the event to finalize the design.
I also want to educate people on the process that goes into making my boards and why one type of wood is better than another. I am in a male-dominated field, but women are most often the heart of the home.”
Advice to Other Women
“You are strong. You are capable. You are loved. Be you because it’s the only version you get. There is no do-over.”