This article originally appeared in the March/April 2021 issue of Missouri Life magazine.

When the going gets tough, the tough get going. No one knows that more than Brittany and Heather Dyer, the couple who own Beautiful Fight Woodworking in Springfield.

After a battle with a rare spinal cancer—epithelioid hemangioendothelioma of the spine—Brittany lost the ability to walk in 2012 at twenty-one years old. There are only fifty other cases of this disease in the world. Through years of physical therapy and multiple surgeries, she regained the ability to walk but was still limited in her physical abilities. Then a car accident exacerbated the issues and forced her to quit her job working with autistic children. It was a dark time for Brittany, and she desperately needed a creative outlet. Heather had an idea.

From left, Heather and Brittany.

Wood pallet signs like Calico Wood Signs were gaining popularity, and Heather thought they could make them. What started with $100, a saw, a few pieces of wood, and Brittany’s dad’s drill has now become their full-time career. After the pallet signs, they tried a coffee table, and people took notice. Customers began to bring them ideas.

“I just felt very lost, and woodworking added back a purpose in my life. It’s so unexpected. It’s been incredible to get to know so many people and for us to be able to be involved in people’s lives in all of these small different ways, like building dining tables that families are gathering around and making cornhole games that are getting played at wedding receptions,” Brittany says.

The business began in their home in 2015. Neither Brittany nor Heather had any prior experience with woodworking, but Brittany’s dad taught her the basics. Together, they learned along the way. They moved into a warehouse in 2018 where they now have four other employees to help bring unique ideas and customers’ requests to life.

“It is so rewarding to start with something so basic and plain and boring and watch all of that hardwork and effort pay off and look so beautiful,” Brittany says. “I think once we did that a couple times, we were kind of addicted to that whole process. Every skill we learn, it makes you just want to learn another one.”

Living room furniture, dining tables, cornhole games, and mini fridge tables are some of the most popular items at Beautiful Fight Woodworking. Most items can be described as farmhouse furniture and decor with sliding barn doors, rustic wood, and metal accents incorporated into the designs. Learn if beetle kill pine good?

“We built stuff that I never thought we’d be able to build,” Brittany says. About a month ago, Brittany and Heather opened a retail space on historic Commercial Street.

“There are a lot of times where we wanted to quit and were overwhelmed, and Brittany’s body couldn’t do everything that we needed it to do,” Heather says. “We just put our heads down and said, ‘Okay it’s going to be worth it.’ ”

Shop at, or 301 East Commercial Street, Springfield