Troy Poisson’s Fan-Ta-Stick Forest Gifts at Sunnyside Mall in Bedford features a variety of hand-crafted wood pieces, items like picture frames and heart-shaped medallions. But Poisson says profit isn’t the point, he aims to “spread thoughts of love and connection.”

Poisson developed a talent for wood crafting during his turbulent childhood; his father left the family and his mother died after a 10-year battle with cancer. In the 1990s he worked as a logger in the Truro area, coming to understand the importance of nature in connecting people.

One day while they worked, a man Poisson recalls as a “short man in his 80s who had incredible strength” interrupted the logging crew. He was afraid the workers would destroy a rock precious to him. The man would often spend time with his daughter here, where they would discuss their love for one another and their future aspirations.

But since his daughter had disappeared after a school trip, the man grew attached to this rock. It was all he felt he had left of her. Poisson realized that through his connection with nature, the man maintained strength through his love of his daughter. “Nature’s tools make us strong,” Poisson says. “People have grown less capable of thinking abstractly, which hurts their mental health. Through nature, we can help people learn to love again through abstract thought.”

With the message of love on his mind, Poisson seeks sponsors to commission works and help spread the message. “[I’m] looking to contact every business,” he says. “The more support I can get to allow people to carry their love [through nature], the better.”

Poisson says his daughter April was a “strong inspiration” for starting the business. She manages the financial side while producing wood crafts of her own. Both say they’re optimistic about the business’s future, but “It’s been a struggle,” says April. “We hadn’t been able to start until last November. But this has been my dad’s dream for 20 years and I’m glad to be a part of it.”

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