Share This Story!

Artisan works to keep traditional broom making alive

Dustin Cecil, of Olive Hill, KY, has been a crafter his whole life.

“I’ve always been busy with my hands trying to learn something new,” Dustin said.

That’s just what he did in 2018 after taking a single broom making class at a folk school in North Carolina. From that moment on, broom making weaved itself into his life. He began learning the craft and soon started to share it with others.

Just two short years after that broom making class, Broom Town was born.

Dustin started Broom Town in order to sell his broom creations wholesale to different vendors and at craft shows. More recently he began hosting workshops so others could make their own brooms.


Dustin grew up in southern Wisconsin where he studied textile design. He moved to Kentucky about 15 years ago where he bought a farm and put down roots.

He began working at a textile factory in Morehead where they made things like beach and golf towels. When the textile factory closed, he began working at Morehead State University as a financial aid counselor. With his creative mind and entrepreneurial spirit, he hopes to one day be fully devoted to Broom Town.

For Dustin, broom making became a natural fit. As a born crafter, the art of creating something is therapeutic.

“I get into that maker zone,” Dustin said. “It’s an automatic headspace”

It’s also a way for him to preserve history. Today, there are people all over the world who are trying to preserve this art, including residents in a village in Romania. Artisans there are working with the Sorghum crop, which is also used to make cereal and other foods. This is the same material that Dustin uses to make his brooms.

Dustin also enjoys sharing his craft with his students through workshops.

“Broom making is a traditional craft,” he said. “You remember where things come from and how things are made. You can see a lightbulb go off and they are making that connection. Traditional artisans do still exist and they keep those starting points alive while building on older ideas.”

Dustin also likes taking traditional crafts and exploring new avenues.

“I also like trying to create something new out of it,” he said. “It’s tradition meets the creative. I love seeing what sort of styles I can come up with. You can play around and put your own mark on things. It’s cool to do things that people have kind of forgotten about.”

He often dabbled in other crafts growing up, such as making quilts and baskets, which both have a similar process to broom making.

One of the things that Dustin loves about creating brooms is that the process is a lot shorter than some crafts.

“It’s nice because you can have something done and be finished in a short time,” he continued. “It’s important to me to have something functional in the end.”

Broom Town brooms are currently sold at Kentucky Soaps and Such in Stanford, KY and at various other vendors in the region. Dustin features a lot of his work on Instagram.