Bethany Beach homebuilder Marnie Oursler recently announced the launch of Sawdust & Salt Co., an online shop where 100 percent of profits are donated to charity.
Oursler said she opened the online store because she and her crew have been wearing Marnie Custom Homes T-shirts, and people started asking where they can get them.
“I’ve always wanted to have a charitable component to my work, and this was the perfect opportunity to do so,” she said in an April 4 email.
Oursler said this store is also very much a tribute to her family, particularly her maternal grandfather, “Pop-Pop.”
“He was a World War II captain, a master carpenter, and the man who taught my dad how to build,” she said.
Oursler is founder and president of Marnie Custom Homes, and star of beach home renovation show “Big Beach Builds” on DIY Network. She has a master’s in business administration from Duke University, is the national spokesperson for 84 Lumber to promote American-made products in building, and has won a number of national awards including the Gold Stevie Award for Entrepreneur of the Year, Top Woman in Business in the State of Delaware, and Top 40 Under 40 in the U.S.
Oursler, who launched her business in 2007, grew up in the homebuilding business. She said she’s a fifth-generation homebuilder.
“I spent much of my childhood on jobsites, picking up trash and sweeping out houses,” she said. “Fast forward to today, and I’m still working on jobsites, picking up trash and sweeping out houses. But the difference is that now, I’m doing it all for my own business, in the homes I’ve designed and built myself.”
Oursler selected four charities to receive donations at checkout – Oceana, Girls Who Code, Operation Surf, and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Marnie said she is personally passionate about the four charities. Oceana is dedicated to protecting and restoring the oceans. Girls Who Code’s mission is to close the gender gap in technology. Operation Surf helps wounded war veterans and heros learn to surf in order to help reduce PTSD symptoms. Finally, St. Jude Children’s Hospital is dedicated to ending pediatric cancer.
“I think these are causes that, in one way or another, speak to just about everybody,” she wrote.
Oursler said she will change the charities every few months.
“My goal is simply to help those who need it most, so really any charity could be featured,” she said.
Oursler said she is encouraging customers to reach out to her at firstname.lastname@example.org if there is a special cause they’d like to see featured on Sawdust & Salt Co.
As of now, the website sells only T-shirts, but Oursler said more apparel, including hats, is being created.