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Shawn Kendrot
Amanda Kendrot (staff) cuts wood slabs on her work bench. She is one of several WHS teachers who have side businesses and work hard to keep up during the holiday season.

Teachers with small businesses prepare for the holidays

The shelves at Amanda Kendrot’s (staff) booth are filled with small wooden signs with seasonal sayings and images such as pumpkins, Christmas trees and Disney emblems. Sandi Cumings’ (staff) shelves are filled with sweet and sour freeze-dried candies, marshmallows and lollipops. 

Both of these teachers run small businesses outside of school: Rugged Skies Woodworking and Cumings Crazy Creations.

A. Kendrot is a part-time Spanish teacher who also sometimes subs, and she is a co-owner of Rugged Skies Woodworking with her husband, Shawn Kendrot. 

S. Kendrot had the idea of a woodworking business when he was interested in buying a woodworking piece with the Marine Corps emblem. Once he saw the price, he had the idea to try and make it himself.

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Amanda Kendrot (staff) adds wood stains to her almost finished product. Kendrot and her husband work on a lot of different versions of the American flag. (Shane Kendrot)

A. Kendrot was then inspired to help out and get involved. She taught herself how to design and carve wood pieces. Then she starting to create her own pieces.

She likes to make art with free standing or whimsical signs, which she shows at various events, such as the Windsor Harvest Festival.  

“Our biggest event is the Harvest Festival. That’s where most of our money is from. We mostly have our Etsy page and take custom orders throughout the year if we are not doing events,” A. Kendrot said. 

When A. Kendrot isn’t substituting or teaching, she is often in the garage creating her woodworking art. Sometimes she is making new designs, carving or painting. 

“One of the biggest challenges is working in the garage, so when it’s cold, it’s extra cold,” A. Kendrot said.

Cumings got interested in freeze-dried candy when she saw videos about people freeze drying candy and wanted to try it out herself. Freeze-drying candy is when regular candy goes through a freeze-drying process, which removes moisture, making the candy light and crunchy.

“Over kinda COVID time — I have a son that’s 11 — we watched, I think, we watched way too many videos and saw people freeze drying things, and so we got interested, so we decided to purchase a freeze drier and then we thought we could start a little candy business on the side,” Cumings said. 

Cumings and her son bought a freeze drier and started making candy. They started making the candy for fun but thought it could also make a good business.

Landon Cumings smiles at a Christmas advent calendar. The Christmas advent calendar is filled with candy they have made. (Sandi Cumings)

Cumings started sharing her candy and people quickly got interested in buying her products.

Most of her candy is sold during the holidays. Cumings also brings in her candy for her students that participate in her classes. 

“We freeze dry candy and most of it comes to my students as a prize for them participating in class, but we get to sell some as well,” Cumings said. 

One of Cumings’ biggest struggles with her business is running her Facebook page, including learning how to update products as sold out or available on the page. Cumings struggles with balancing being a teacher full-time and running her candy business.

“I like doing both. The woodworking allows us some flexibility and extra income, but I really do like teaching, so I wouldn’t give up either one,” A. Kendrot said. 

The Kendrots’ woodworking business can be found at RuggedSkiesWoodWorks on Etsy and here on Facebook.

Cumings’ candy business can be found at Cumings Crazy Creations on Facebook.

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Vivian Kilcoyne
Vivian Kilcoyne, Reporter
Vivian Kilcoyne is a sophomore at Windsor High School and in the future she wants to start a business. She likes to play video games with her closest friends and spend time with her older sister.
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