Every small business has an origin story. I'm not sure ours is unique (or really even all that interesting) but we're trying out this whole blog business and it seemed appropriate to begin, well at the beginning.
The two main characters in this story are a married couple, living in their hometown of Council Grove, Kansas. Bob is working at a small manufacturing plant as a tool builder, Christy is pregnant with their second child; working at the local sandwich shop and babysitting their nephew in the afternoons. The year is 2007. Though Bob's job had afforded him training in many new skills (including a newly developed love for welding), he sought a more direct outlet for his creative energy. While obtaining his Associate's Degree in Art, he had found a new medium that piqued his interest. Stained glass. That's right, not steel, glass.
Anyone who looks through our portfolio or browses our online or brick and mortar stores would likely never guess, but we actually began as a stained glass business. Actually, the first thing we ever made was doughnuts, but that's a story for another day...
So back to 2007. Trying not to lose sight of his artistic dreams, Bob began accumulating the necessary equipment for a stained glass workshop. Not a cheap craft, stained glass. Grinders, soldering irons, not to mention the long list of hand tools and raw materials. He begins taking orders from coworkers at the factory. Glass business becomes an official side hustle. For a while the garage-turned-studio works. But as word gets out and more people come looking for bigger projects, it becomes obvious that this is not a sustainable work model.
Cue a family member of a family member, who happens to get a flyer for a plasma-cutting CNC machine mailed to her at her job. She knows that Bob works with metal, so she brings it with her to lunch one day and hands it to Christy. The rest is a blur from there. The end.
JK - but all the tutorials say that readers won't invest in a post that's too long, so I'll end this installment with this: knowing we needed to increase our workspace, knowing that orders were coming faster than we could make them, knowing that there was actually a potential for the pieces we made to be a decent source of income for us, we started looking for a building and formulating what the next phase would look like, and what it might be called...(tbc)