Anne of all trades

You have heard of a “jack of all trades... master of none?” Well, tell that to a middle Tennessee woman. She has mastered being a blacksmith, a woodworker, and a farmer.

“I am a farmer, and a builder, and a teacher, and an all trades kind of person,” Anne Briggs states.

She is known as “Anne of All Trades”. This social media sensation was raised mostly overseas by missionary parents. She is fluent in Chinese and has a business and marketing degree.

“My parents were missionaries growing up and so we weren’t allowed to have pets or anything because we were always traveling for months and months on end...,” she states. “I always said from when I was probably 3 or 4 years old that if I ever live in America, I’m going to have a farm.”

So, she does have a farm. Complete with cows, chickens, goats, and a garden. She and her husband Adam started their farm near Seattle, but in early 2020 they packed it all up and moved to middle Tennessee.

“I have no ability to stay in a certain area very long. I dream as big as I can dream and as soon as I get a taste I move on to the next bigger version of that,” she notes.

Each animal on the farm has a purpose. The chickens provide eggs. The goats are dairy goats. She’s named them after country music stars from Brenda Lee to Waylon Jennings. She uses their milk to make cheese, yogurt, and soap.

Briggs does not know the word fear. Farming or woodworking or blacksmithing was nowhere in her wheelhouse, but it is now and she is so passionate about the skills she has learned that she is constructing a workshop where she will teach these disappearing life skills to others.

She is now an expert in several areas-- creating her own tools or even musical instruments, but what she really wants to create is community and connectivity.

According to Briggs, “Ten years ago, I had never had my own garden. Never picked up a power tool, but I wanted to learn everything that I could, so I could be a resource for my community, and I realized that working with my hands was a lot more rewarding than working behind a computer screen. Even though the money isn’t as good, the rewards of building community and working with your hands and feeling the tangible results of your labor is so much more valuable than any money I could have ever made.”