By: Melanie Love
Wicked Willow’s booth at the Calgary Stampede Maker Market.
Anyone who knows the name Beau Brooks probably wouldn’t expect to find him in the artisan section of the Calgary Stampede.
As recently as the early 2016 season, you would have seen Beau looking for eight glorious seconds on the back of a bucking bull to the cheers of the packed crowds on the Canadian rodeo circuit.
His bull riding achievements include five Canadian Finals Rodeo appearances in his six year career, including third place Canadian ranking in his 2010 rookie season. Brooks also went to college in Texas on a scholarship, where he competed in US college rodeo, while getting his welder’s ticket.
So how is it Beau Brooks is in the brand new Calgary Stampede Maker Market, where people come to find one-of-a-kind, handmade goods? It just so happens this tough guy is also an artisan, handcrafting furniture and log homes from timber he cuts himself.
Nerissa and Beau with their two daughters and horse.
Before all the ladies fall into full swoon, he’s taken. Not only is he married with two beautiful girls, it was his devotion to the ladies in his life that took the place of his former first love of bull riding. Beau had a great 2014 season that had him on the road non-stop, all while his firstborn was growing up way too fast. When the news of baby number two came, he decided to retire from rodeo to focus full-time on his family.
After rodeo the demand for welders was slow due to the oil patch downturn, so he reinvented himself with the help of his wife Nerissa Pitts. Wicked Willow Beds & Furniture by Beau was born out of his childhood growing up on the Brooks family sawmill in Cochrane, where Brooks learned from watching his father at work building log homes.
Beau started off building wine racks and headboards in 2016 and owns a mill, and built their first three custom log cabins in 2017.
All of the items, small (cheeky signs, wine racks, tables) and large (chairs, bedframes, swings and log houses) are made by hand with wood they source and mill themselves.
Wicked Willow was selected for the inaugural Maker Market by a jury process looking for original, creative, quality items. The family is proud to be a part of the Calgary Stampede and hope to participate for many years to come.
Find Wicked Willow at the Maker Market, BMO Centre Hall A.