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Updated: Feb 19, 2023

Giveaway Winner announced on Feb. 20th on Handlebend Stories.

Click Here to go to the giveaway post.

Beth Wagner

Bartlett, NE


It’s a crucial foundational block of any relationship.

My mind wanders through thoughts of where the mugs we build might end up. Who’s cabinet will they adorn? What kind of memories will be recounted around them with loved ones at the kitchen table? I’ve always cherished these wonderings as copperwares leave us and head for their new homes. Building something by hand lends the kind of time for these thoughts to wander.

The stories and history and love tied to something like a family’s ranch brand are insurmountable. As we lay something like this on a set of custom mugs I cannot help but feel a deep sense of gratitude. That someone trusts our products to convey that sense of love and family pride to their loved ones is huge…it's everything.

Beth Wagner gets it.

Beth grew up in Nebraska’s Sandhills. She’s the founder and owner at Brass Bunkhouse: a high-end, hand-built interior accouterments brand. She runs this business from her kitchen with the same sentiments of gratitude and love for her customers that we do.

It’s about so much more than the end-product itself. The mirrors and signs she builds have countless hours of her attention to detail and care poured into them. How could that simply end when they ship out the door?

In a recent visit she told me, “It’s not just about how many of these can we put out the door…how big can we get? I care about what I’m doing and where these products are going.”

We feel ya, Beth.

She spoke about the primitive beginnings of her business almost with a sense of embarrassment. Her craft and brand has developed so much over the years that its become hard for her to look back at the early stuff through any other than her current lens. She told me a story though, about a customer that had purchased from her during those earlier times. Recently, they reached back out and wanted another piece. “They’d been in the shadows that whole time watching me grow and evolve…and they still held an appreciation for the new and the old”.

That difference in perspective is hard to wrap our heads around as creators. The earlier works, to us, often seem obsolete, outdated, primitive, even embarrassing. They still hold the same beauty and meaning to their owners, though. Maybe even more; they’ve been through the stories and help carry the memories right alongside their owners.

It’s an honor to be able to provide a product that people are that proud of.

Beth’s bunkhouse mirrors carry that heirloom quality. The longevity they stand to endure is far greater than box-store decor. They are pieces that will most-certainly get better with age. Imagine a bride preparing for her big day in front of the same mirror her grandmother did; that’s the kind of story people like Beth strive for. The best life she could hope for her art is one that is lived over the course of generations, and passed along with pride.

“Having the passion to do something that you really care about will bring you full circle. To be able to do that, daily… to see other people appreciate my work the way I appreciate it gives me the “go” to do this every day.”

The life and love that Beth breathes into her product is very apparent. We feel a very definite sense of understanding with regard to this at Handlebend and I, personally, am happy to have had the chance to talk through these things with her. She is absolutely laying a solid foundation of trust to build those relationships upon with her customer. That human connection is a very valuable thing in today’s world; it’s something we all need more of.

-Michael Stepp

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