Marie Fisher spent summers climbing trees with her brothers. They cut firewood in the fall. Growing up in the woods just outside Shippensburg, she fell in love with the trees around her.
The beauty of its grain and the natural shape of a slab of wood moved Marie and later led her to starting her own business, Nature’s Platter.
From her workspace and gallery in Dallastown, she creates custom charcuterie boards out of upcycled wood downed by storm, decay, or old age, 99% of which, she says, comes from Pennsylvania.
“I try to be true to my roots,” she says.
Learning the craft
Marie was an engineer at Harley-Davidson when she and her husband had their daughter, Kylie.
“I was faced with balancing the mom life, the home life, the employee life, and trying to do a good job with everything,” she says.
Something had to give, so she decided to leave Harley and start something of her own.
Inspired by a 5-foot charcuterie board she custom ordered years earlier that had become a focal point of many of their family gatherings, she took to YouTube, scoured the internet, and shadowed her woodworking elders to learn the craft.
“I don’t know anything about woodworking, and I know nothing about charcuterie boards,” she recalls thinking at the time. “I wanted to make elevated charcuterie boards — unique boards that could be functional pieces of art.”
Four years later, as her business continues to grow, so does the challenge of finding a balance.
“Internally, I struggle to feel sometimes like I’m still a good mom and still a good business owner,” she says.
But when she gets her daughter off the bus with dust covered hair, filthy head to toe from a hard day’s work, she feels proud.
“When I first started this, I felt like I had to justify myself to people to justify my own self-worth,” she says.
She’d make sure they knew about her mechanical engineering degree, and realized she was justifying herself to Kylie, too.
“I used to feel like she would view me as something less,” Marie says. “Now I see it as opening her mind to something new.”