Alissa Santurri; The Asian Woodworker.
Alissa was adopted from South Korea and grew up in Southern Minnesota before finding herself at UW-Madison to study landscape architecture. She is a self-described Asian American 'norm breaker', as she threw the shot put, worked as a brickyard loader and machinery operator in highschool and found herself on the Crew team at UW.
Transitioning to the corporate world was a challenge and about a decade ago she found herself looking for a creative outlet. She began carving spoons and took a bowl turning class at her local Woodcraft store. She quickly recognized the meditative quality of the craft; the same feeling that some gain from yoga or tai-chi. After friends and family started requesting items, she created a separate Instagram account and an Etsy page to streamline the process.
She named herself @The_Asian_Woodworker as a play on the absolute literal. As the racial climate for Asian Americans became recognized in the US with the media coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic, she found herself glad for the blunt representation of herself through her brand. Following a lifelong trend of breaking Asian American social norms, some of which she was not even aware existed, remains a main driver for her --showing Asian women that they should do what they want to do and not subconsciously succumb to how they are represented by cultural standards.
She now lives in the Town of Middleton with her husband of 10 years and her 4 year old daughter, Isabelle, dogs Kirby and Moxie, and of course her shop bird, Conway tweety. She processes all her local, urban reclaimed wood in her backyard shop and is thrilled and humbled to share her craft with the people of Dane County and beyond.