Who’s Who: Andy Sherman and Hilltop Designs

Who’s Who: Andy Sherman and Hilltop Designs
By Mike Butler

After 25 years of working on the seas of the world, Andy Sherman has come ashore and made a life-changing shift by starting his own woodworking business. Taking into account that he lives here in Nova Scotia, with an abundance of natural resources, and a community of talent that is unique, supportive, and accepting, Hilltop Designs fell into place with as much ease as one could wish.

“As much as I enjoy the creative, hands-on side,” Andy told me, “I have found that the marketing and promotion really gratifying, but a bit outside my skill set. This is a very new adventure for me but I am looking forward to introducing myself and my business to the public, because I am very proud of it!”

As Andy describes, “Hilltop Designs is a woodworking, home decor, and furniture design enterprise, and we are all about eco-friendly products, including kitchenware made from sustainable Nova Scotia natural resources like wood and stone. We also want our products to reflect the heritage and spirit of the people of this beautiful province.”

Andy was a merchant mariner for 25 years, visiting approximately 50 countries and learning the customs and cultures that the people of these countries celebrated. He feels very fortunate to have had those experiences and been influenced by them. Andy’s intention is to also use this influence to create furniture and decor that is both aesthetically pleasing and practical.

Like any business owner, Andy has lots of big ambitions and goals for Hilltop Designs (and himself!). He says, “It has become my personal mantra that what we offer will be a product that’s pleasing and practical. I want to be innovative and always a bit novel. An example being that I will be making a table from the drive wheel of a Leopard tank. Innovation will always be our main goal. And in the future I will be working with other artisans to offer pieces that are a collaboration of talent and other mediums. Whatever it takes to showcase Nova Scotia talent, not just to other Nova Scotians or Canadians, but to the world.”

The products offered by Hilltop Designs are unique and functional, and a wonder to the eyes. Andy notes that Hilltop Designs’ “Original Nova Scotia BBQ Scraper,” in particular, has proved to be a very popular item: “It’s a handcrafted native hardwood BBQ scraper with a simple design that works, and addresses the health concern about the ingestion of metal bristles from the mass-produced plastic- and metal-bristled brushes commonly used during BBQ season.”

Hilltop Designs BBQ Scrapers are available at Pete’s Fine Foods, Bedford; Absolutely Fabulous at Home, New Minas; Country Stoves and Sunrooms, East Aylesford; Goucher’s Farm Market, Wilmot; Home Hardware, Middleton; Quarterdeck Resort, Summerville; Fraser’s Pro Home Centres; and various farm markets and festivals.

Hilltop Designs’ Facebook page displays their full line of products that they presently offer. You can also email questions to hilltopdesigns512@gmail.com, or phone 902-680-6722. If Facebook photos are not your thing, and you want to touch, smell, and see the products, Hilltop Designs maintains a table at the Halifax Seaport Farmers Market on Marginal Road (beside Pier21). The table is currently set up on the weekends, but as the summer season starts they will be expanding their time at the Seaport Farmer’s Market, so stay tuned. Hilltop Designs offers a wide range of their goods at this venue and it’s a wonderful spot to shop and socialize.

I wish this former mad mariner all the best on his journey to the Hilltop… It’s gonna be a great view when you get there!

Photos: Selena Ellen Photography