An old, drafty building behind our farmhouse is where all the magic happens these days. When we bought the farmhouse, the workshop was nearly falling down. Not only that, it was full of abandoned televisions from the 70's. Why? Because the owners had a TV repair shop in the backyard. And next to the TV repair shop? A one-chair "hair salon". The previous owners were part of what was once a thriving tiny village that is now abandoned, nameless and forgotten with hints of the past buried in burn piles and stacked behind trees.
Here's a peek inside our current workshop, sans electricity and lit by a power cord attached to a generator because all the power lines to the shop are missing (and expensive, hence the power cord). The pile of sawdust in the back? A daily occurrence.
But before we go further, I want to step back and show you where it all started. If you've read Our Story, you know that we got our start under an old Oak tree in our backyard a little over 2 years ago when we lived in Fort Worth, TX (2014). The branch over our logo represents the branch on the bottom right of the tree in this photo - where it all started. I know, "awww".
We are probably the only small business to have started under a TREE and not a garage or a dorm room. And that tin shed? Our first workshop. No, really. Because we didn't anticipate rain (stop laughing). So Clinton moved a few pieces of machinery inside the tin shed and ran an extension cord to the back of the house when he needed to create orders (while bent over). At this point in our business, I stained pieces on wax paper on the kitchen counter.
We outgrew this tin shed quickly and somehow, between creating products and working a day job, he managed to build a bigger workshop in our backyard (that was tall enough for him to stand in!). We spent weekends hunting for pallets, fencing and reclaimed wood to build his workshop.
By the time he had this workshop built, we had sold all of our living room furniture and moved our studio into the living room. Fold-out tables and rolling chairs replaced the cushy leather sofa, coffe table, rugs and big screen TV. This is when shit got real for us.
This is the outcome of all the piles of reclaimed wood in the backyard. Isn't it precious? The door on the left is a sliding barn door and the "windows" are actually glass from picture frames we found at Goodwill for $1 each. The only thing new on this workshop is the tin roof and accents (we could not find old tin that wasn't full of holes and rusty).
And a shot from the inside of him hard at work. It took him 3 months to build this and, during that time, we started getting wholesale customers (Harley Davidson, Tom's) which meant we had almost outgrown it before he could move in! We made-do for 3 more months then expanded in a big way when we bought a farmhouse and some land South of Dallas in a town that no longer exists (and can't be found on GPS).
He now works out of the old tin shop behind our farmhouse which is about 900sf, around 4-5 times larger that the cutie building pictured above.
Here's a peek at some of the tools he uses to create jewelry displays, home decor and most everything inside our farmhouse.
And not to be overlooked, our resident "Quality Control Manager" Hank, our stray donkey (he adopted us Christmas 2015 and wouldn't leave - another story). He visits the workshop occasionally to make sure everything meets his strict expectations (meaning: he sniffs it) and then he generally poops on the floor. Ah, farm life.
The workshop is in no way impressive, but it is functional and serves our purpose for now. We have plans to expand again in 2017 but for now, we are making do until we finish renovating our 1910 farmhouse (almost finished!).
Thank you for spending time in our space and getting to know the people (and donkey) behind the small business.
Until next time, my friends!