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Meet Molly and Brian Hodo of Merdo Acres Wood Design Studio in Julian

Today we’d like to introduce you to Molly and Brian Hodo.

Who is Merdo Acres? Well, it started as a simple plan with two last names coming together to form a business name for their acreage in the Cuyamaca Woods of Julian, California. They are a husband (Brian) and wife (Molly) team that wanted to live more simply and be creative in what they love – functional art handmade by both of them. Molly is a graphic designer, artist and marketing professional that worked for over 13 years in the commercial aerospace business, but wanted to step out of the big corporate world and enjoy being an artist again. Brian spent a lot of his years wood working just for a hobby and enjoying hours in the wood shop. He worked for over 14 years in the fire service and retired from CalFire in San Diego County a few years ago. Just recently, they opened their first retail store, Merdo Acres Wood Design Studio, at Julian Station (Julian, CA) and are open Friday, Saturdays and Sundays for the public to purchase their items.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
Merdo Acres designs and creates different products from area native woods and also exotic hardwoods purchased from a select few vendors in the San Diego area. Making functional art is first and foremost important to them, but also just creating special pieces that people can enjoy in their home, office or as gifts for those special occasions. They specialize in one of a kind cutting boards, charcuterie boards, grazing boards, rustic live edge furniture, custom signs, fireplace mantels and much more. There are many places you can buy these types of items, but shopping local and supporting small business is what Merdo Acres is about. Woodworking is a craft that is slowly losing its following because of large manufacturers and machines that are doing all of the work, and not the actual people. Merdo Acres wants to be sure that everything they do is handcrafted and made by the two of them, not an actual machine or large business. They also do custom orders for caterers, restaurants, tasting rooms, wineries and individual requests.

What makes them the proudest is doing all of this out of their wood shop at their house in the Cleveland National Forest, all while living completely off the grid powered by solar panels, batteries and propane. What sets them apart is their undying work ethic to their craft, and hand making those special pieces for people to treasure for years to come.

They sell their one of kind pieces in Julian Station (4470 Julian Road, Julian, CA) in their retail store, Merdo Acres Wood Design Studio, but are only open on the weekends. Most of their items can be purchased on their website 24 hours a day.

What were you like growing up?
Molly grew up in Iowa, majored in the art field in college, and specialized in different mediums throughout her career which included jewelry making, painting, drawing, wood working, sculpture, photography and graphic design. Brian grew up in California and has always had a passion for being creative and making useful art out of wood or other items. He has been a musician (percussionist) most of his life and has even made percussion instruments out of exotic woods and metals.

Contact Info:

  • Address: Merdo Acres Wood Design Studio (inside Julian Station)
    4470 Julian Road
    Julian, CA 92036
  • Website:
  • Phone: 760-803-2006
  • Email:
  • Instagram: merdoacreswoodstudio
  • Facebook: merdoacres

Image Credit:
Molly Hodo of Merdo Acres

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