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The Original Layered Cross

The Original Layered Cross

| Shane Dennehey

Time and time again, God has gifted us through adversity. As I look back on my own life, everything I’m thankful for began with a struggle—including our little business.
Over twenty years ago, I was working in a woodshop in Texas when the September 11 attacks happened. The world was reeling in the aftermath, and there was a lot of uncertainty. Thankfully I still had a job—but we had nothing to do—all client work was paused. My boss let me hang around the shop and make things with scrap wood to pass the time until our client’s work returned.
I had recently committed my life to Christ. As a craftsman, my skills were growing, and I was passionate about using my talent to share my newfound faith, so I decided to make a cross.
I didn’t have any idea what the cross would look like when I began building it. I just started building, layer by layer, cut by cut, until it was complete. My hands built the cross, but the design came together all by itself—the ideas were flowing from God through me. I felt such a wild rush of inspiration as I piled on the layers. When I was complete, it seemed like no time had passed.
One of my coworkers saw me make the first cross and ordered five! So I built five more! This was the very first time I made a sale as a woodworker. I was super excited!
The thrill of that first sale got us thinking—what if we set up a booth at a craft show? So Bonnie found a venue, rented a space, and sold another cross to the lady who leased us the booth! Now I was on fire. I knew we had something special!
So I took a week off work, bought as much wood as I could afford, and Bonnie and I made over 200 crosses. It took five days, including an all-nighter the night before the show to build and finish them all. We had to make every cross we could because I didn’t want to sell out!
On the day of the big show, so many people stopped and commented, "These crosses are so beautiful!" But not one cross sold. Not one. We were so disappointed.
I went home, slept to recover from working all night, and felt lost for a few weeks. I was embarrassed and confused. Why was this happening?
My depression from that first failure didn’t last long. I had to do something with all that inventory. So after some soul searching and experimenting, I started selling them one by one on eBay and eventually on our own website,
After a lot of work, our Layered Crosses were a hit online, and we have sold them consistently online for over 20 years now. Since then, We’ve made hundreds of Layered Crosses ranging from 4 inches to 12 feet tall.
These crosses have been a blessing to our family through the years. They have provided extra income and wonderful handmade gifts for every occasion.
They started as a flash of inspiration and launched us on a journey of discovery and growth, and today, they are a core product in our collection of handmade goods.
We feel beyond blessed to have the opportunity to share these beautiful creations with you and to see them in churches all over the world!


  • Posted by Mom on

    Your father and I are so very proud of you and Bonnie for all of your accomplishments! And we feel blessed to have that first cross to admire!
    Continue with your God given talent!

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