Friday, May 14, 2010

Without Further Ado........

Get ready, this post is going to have it all!

If you are my Facebook friend, you have seen John Taylor's work and probably already know what all his business entails.  But, for those of you that don't know (or haven't figured it out by my pictures), he is building unique picture frames!  And let me just tell you, they are GORGEOUS!!!  Words can not even describe how proud I am of him.  He is so talented and so humble about it.  That just makes him even more talented.  And, it helps that he's pretty darn handsome when he's outside building things.


We couldn't think of a good name for his business and purposely we did not want the word "frame" in the name.  He wanted it to be open to adding things later such as furniture, kitchen cabinets, any woodwork in houses, etc.  He also knew that he did not want his name in the business name.  We wanted  it to be unique and catchy.  My sister, who owned an advertising agency, told us to think about how the business came about and maybe then we could come up with a name.  We thought and thought.  The only detail we could think of that really stood out was the fact that everyone that ordered lately wanted this one color.  It was a very popular color, especially on frames that had dark stain on them.  The combination of this color and stain reminded us of a Kiwi.  But, we didn't think of the word "kiwi" at the time....just that the color was popular.  I had just got done telling John Taylor to not worry --- that the name would come to us.  It would hit us one day and we would instantly know that was it.  The next day we were riding in the car and discussing the business name.  We pulled up to a red light behind a truck.  The car tag had one simple word on it:

KIWI

JT said we should name it Kiwi Wood Works and we both laughed at the thought of calling our his business after a fruit!  Then, we realized it! The color combination was just like that of a kiwi and so the name was born!  The first thing I did was search for kiwiwoodworks.com and guess what!  Apparently some man in California had the same idea because he builds things (not picture frames) and had the domain name kiwiwoodworks.com.  So, we decided to be different --- our woodworks is woodwerks --- with an "e".  So, without further ado I am please to introduce to my husband's new company:

Kiwi Wood Werks & Designs

We now had a name.  We had our business plan.  We picked out colors and even gave them our own unique names.  We designed the frames we wanted to offer.  What next?  The look.  Our logo.  I designed it myself and it it was hard.  There were many, many other options before deciding on this one.  We just couldn't decide what vibe we wanted it to give off.  We finally decided on this one:


Or, for our blog, tags, etc. just a simple "K":


Isn't it cool? :)  We really love how the K looks like a cursive "JT"...something my sister came up with.
The circle behind the K represents our signature frame, a round frame!  Yes, I said round...more on that later!  The green color -- you guessed it!  Kiwi green! 

So, we had the name.  We had the logo.  Now what?  Ummmmm, we need a website!  Since we are on a very tight budget and I designed my photography website...why not!  I'll do it! Ummmm, hello?!?  Did I forget that I have not one but TWO small children...one that is still considered an infant.  Yea, I thought I could do it all.  It's been a long, hard month.  I'm sure the website would've been done a long time ago if I had longer than just nap times and after bedtime to work on it.  It is almost done.  I really wanted it to be done before the Canton Flea Market.  I was staying up until 2:30 am each night trying to finish.  Then, the night before the market I had a mini nervous breakdown.  John Taylor told me to not worry about it.  So, I created a blog instead and had our web address redirected to the blog for the time being.  It worked out good because we had planned on having a blog anyway and at least now I've gotten a lot done on the site.  I'm really excited about it! 

It was really important to us to showcase color and trim samples on our website along with examples of finished frames hanging in people's houses.  So, that is where all the tiny little sample pieces came in that you may have seen in pictures.  Since we picked over 30 colors to offer, JT had quite a few color samples to paint.  And then came time to photograph them for the website.  I sat them on white poster board and took a picture of each color.  I then edited it in photo shop to make the samples look bigger, straighter, and more proportional to each other.  So, basically the pictures went from this:


To this, after editing in photo shop for the website:


Each color took me about 45 minutes to edit.  Again, I only had nap times and bedtimes to work on them.  Now you see why no laundry or dishes even knew I existed anymore.  My whole house thought I deserted it!  I really hope all this hard work pays off in the end.  Our goal is to have a really nice website that offers a lot more than others so we can take orders through email to people in other states (I plan to advertise on some big blogs soon -- more about that later, too!).  We mainly want to focus on selling to retail stores wholesale and interior designers, so we need our site to be set up like this.  Oh, and the above color is our Kiwi color and here it is after John Taylor painted it:


A few other pictures I took that day.....




We really wanted to be different than all the other "distressed frame" makers around here.  For those of you that read my blog that live out of town, this state is just saturated with creative people that build and sell distressed frames.  They all start looking alike and they are all over in stores, etc.  We HAD to stand out!  We came up with some other designs for the traditional (square) frames and came up with a secret weapon....the ROUND frame!  We also wanted a different, simpler, more elegant look for our frames.  Not so distressed and rustic looking, but more fancy, if you will.  I really think John Taylor has achieved this in his beautiful work, in his lightly distressed frames.  He also tries to stay away from the distressing so much and does a unique glaze on top of the frame that gives it a really antique look as well as changes the color a bit.  It's absolutely beautiful and I mean it!  :)  We got the idea of a round frame from JT's sister when she asked him to build her some.  I asked JT why he thought none of the frame makers around here had thought of doing it.  He had a good explanation: Because it wastes a lot of wood when you cut out circles, which would not make as much money, and it requires a very pricey tool that most people aren't willing to buy.  Well, we bought it!  I told JT to not be surprised (or angry) when we start seeing round ones pop up everywhere since we are doing it now.  After all, we were inspired by another company and are the first around here to do it.  

I mean it when I say you have NO idea how much goes into starting a business and doing it the right way.  Besides all that I mentioned above, and the many hours it took me to do all that I mentioned above, this is what else we've been up....you know, business-wise.....

- applying for a tax i.d. number
- opening up a business checking account
- finding out that we need our tax i.d. number first
- waiting for 2:30 p.m. every day because that is the time that the natural light is just right for my mini photo shoots of the sample pieces
- designing business cards
- ordering business cards
- trying to decide between semi gloss, art linen, recycled, or art recycled paper for our business cards (yea, many little details you don't think about until you're in the midst of it all)
- doing research on retail stores to call on/visit from here to Alabama to Florida (the coast) and Tennessee.  JT calls me "R&D" as in I'm the research & development department. :)
- creating brochures for potential vendors
- creating sample books to show potential vendors
- creating a color ring with little wood samples to show each color we offer
- applying with a merchant service company to be able to take credit cards
- spending hours each day on the phone with the merchant services company trying to program our credit card machine
- and JT has been building, sanding, painting, staining, distressing, glazing frames everyday, too!


Just to name a few. 

I will let you know when the website is up.  For now, our web address directs you to our blog where you can already see a few pictures, color samples and trim samples.  I hope to have the official website done by the end of next week.  We really want the website to showcase our frames actually hanging in people's homes.  This has been hard considering that all the frames already in homes are not in the colors we are now going to offer.  So, I'm having to fake it!  JT is building me frames and I'm taking them to the homes of friends and family to photograph hanging on their walls.  I think all this work will REALLY pay off and the website will look so nice and professional.  Can't wait for you to see it!  Below is the link which will direct you to our blog.  Save both!  Share both!  Check back often for new pics and the official website! 
I would love to share about our Canton Flea Market experience but I figured this is a lot of info in one day. 

Thanks for all your support and prayers!  I'm so glad I have this blog that I can document our business venture and share it with you.  Visit his site/blog and leave my talented husband a comment!  :)

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3 Comments:

At May 14, 2010 at 7:14 PM , Anonymous Beth said...

i am proud of you both. now, let's see. i need three of the round frames for my entry way. hello, like yesterday. it's not like yalls been doing anything.

just kidding.
love the blog. love the frames.
love yall.
beth

 
At May 18, 2010 at 7:16 AM , Anonymous Erin from Skoots and Cuddles said...

oh catherine! the frames are amazing. i really mean that. i can't wait to see your finished website. keep us posted! good luck!!!!

 
At February 23, 2011 at 9:48 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Talent, talent! These are so gorgeous. I want
Them for every room in my house! Did not get to
Go to Canton flea market... Hope you sold a
Ton! I know God is blessing your future
Business to great Heights!
Your New Friend in Christ, Lydia

 

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