Meet the Maker Chappell Hollingshead founder, owner and artist of Chap’s Choppin’ Tops. Chappell spends her days working in the Prairie Mountain Ranch workshop near Fredericksburg, TX. She harvests mesquite wood slabs to create custom, hospitable and functional chargers, charcuterie boards, cutting boards and bar tops for your kitchen, home bar, dining room table and beyond!
Chappell started the company in the summer of 2019 during her sophomore year at Texas A&M. She has spent countless hours with her grandpa, Tom Egbert, learning the timeless craft of woodworking which she describes as “the greatest gift anyone has ever given me.” The meditative process gives her a connection to the Texas land, it’s Mesquite trees and her grandpa. Chappell followed her instincts and started Chap’s Choppin’ Tops with the support of family, friends and her entrepreneurship professors.
The process of harvesting and preparing the mesquite wood reads like a rustic recipe. In Chappell’s words:
“I scout, plan, and cut down homegrown mesquite trees on Prairie Mountain Ranch. The trees are hauled to Redemption Mill to be slabbed out in a variety of widths and loaded back up to begin a drying process. The wood naturally dries for 4-6 months. We then pull from the stockpile, cut the piece to fit and put our boards in the barbecue pit at 200 degrees to kiln dry. After the barbecue pit, the boards go to a contractor who works magic with a sander and takes off the bark and excess unwanted wood. He passes the board back to me and I begin the hand chiseling and customizations. The board is sanded again with a fine grit sandpaper and then taken inside to finish. I heat up a linseed oil mixture and apply the finish multiple times. Finally, we clean the boards, touch up with mineral oil, write 'thank you' notes, leave to dry, ship and deliver.”
Chappell looks for mesquite trees with age, mistletoe intense weathering, regrowth and healing. These trees possess old “hill country stories” that can be revitalized through her fine-tuned made-by-hand process. “The more natural abuses the tree endures, the longer the story reads in your kitchen.” Her handcrafted designs are personalized to include names, dates, initials, images, logos and brands chiseled into the mesquite surface to create something truly one-of-a-kind.
If you’re looking to add personalized, casual comfort to your kitchen or tabletop, check out Chap’s Choppin’ Tops. And don’t forget to add these special items to your wedding registry.
Welcome to Chap's Choppin' Tops!
“We are the craft of our towns.” - Vineet Raj Kapoor
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