a very good place to start

I’m always curious about origin stories. In my work helping clients with their solo and microbusinesses, I know that customers want to know about how a business began. These stories are part of us, and for many, they are a challenge to pause and share.

I realized I’ve never shared my story.


In April of 1983, the adventures of little acorn creations began with a small construction project in my backyard.

Over time this space grew as I did and evolved from one that I used mostly for play and imagination to one where I went with purpose to create and make new things.

A man in his mid 40s stands with his hands on the frame of a small wooden structure. There is a window leaning against a tree in the background. Two young children sit on the completed plywood decking sharing a snack. The polaroid image is captioned "April 9, 1983 Daddy framing Penny's Playhouse. Penny entertaining her first guest - [name blurred] (popcorn & soda).

In building the playhouse/cottage, my father reused as many materials as he could. They were often rescued from projects he’d worked on. Not only did I have windows with screens, but I had a sink, and electricity thanks to a very long hose and extension cord. Today adult-me would do things differently, but it was the early 80s!

This first build was my playhouse, and I spent hours there with my stuffed animals and dolls. On occasion a neighbor’s child would come visit, but those were rare despite photos making it seem common. Everyone helped each other with household projects so she probably came along because her dad was helping mine with the framing.

Over time, it became my private retreat. I’m sad I no longer have photos of the interior space or what I made there. I remember going out with sewing, crochet, and lots of paper. I wrote many stories while sitting and looking out at the nature outside my windows. My work was almost completely with found materials, recycling and reusing long before it was chic. I was very creative with toilet paper tubes — at least I thought so. After I finished something it would go up on a shelf and I would often add a price tag! (ed note to New York State: There was no one to sell to so I don’t owe sales tax.)

Small wooden structure with porch photographed in autumn. Two small outdoor chairs are on the porch. There is a small child with a pink jacket looking toward the camera. (photo taken in October 1983)

The name

Little Acorn Creations was named in part by my grandmother, though she never knew it. She liked to name her real estate investments, small cottages near her home that she rented out. When they were sold, she kept the signs (at the time house numbers were rarely used). One went to my mother and was her contribution to my space. My recollection is of a dark green painted sign with careful lettering that read of course — little acorn. When it came time to form my business as an adult, it was a given what I would name it!

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