Ray Fryling started his Etsy Store in 2021. He explained, “I spent the first half my adult life in the army infantry. I spent the second half, to date, in a variety of careers and job positions. In 2019, I retired on disability due to my PTSD. Creating art and finding quality vintage and antique items (and restoring them) is how I cope with my PTSD. The act of creating is therapeutic.”
He began by creating inspirational sayings on plagues. “Brother Is More Than A Word” is one of his favorites. “Trust But Verify” is another. Additionally, there is “Master Yourself or Be Mastered” and “Respect Is Earned.” Ray also produced longer pieces with quotes from his favorite book The Richest Man in Babylon.(Five Law of Gold and Seven Cures For A Lean Purse) Eventually, he moved onto more detailed works of art like a Homestead, a Castle and a Viking Longboat. These pieces were posted on Etsy first, but these were niche items.
Then Ray began working on other projects, such as refinishing an end table/magazine stand and putting together and refinishing a chair. Ray even created beautiful wooden storage boxes for friends. A project near and dear to his heart was the old rocking horse he fixed up for his grandchildren. Another passion of his is making wooden handles for knives and swords. Ray has even begun making leather sheaths.
Somewhere along the way, Ray began collecting a menagerie of items for resale. He found these collectables in a variety of places; including, yard sales and thrift stores. He liked finding salt and pepper shakers in different shapes and sizes. Brass, Bronze and Copper items always catch his eye. Tins and Cigar Boxes were also of interest to him. He purchased collectable plates and silverware too. These were listed on Etsy under the category of Menagerie. So far, he has made a number of sales and hope to continue building his costumer base.