Edit | Settings | Delete
The last time I wrote, Katie and I were looking for a house to rent so we could have some work space. Well, that hasn't gone as planned. It turns out finding a house to rent takes a lot of work and for people working a ton of hours and trying to start a business it becomes a secondary thought, usually filed away since moving itself takes some much time and energy. Luckily, another answer showed itself in the form of Katie's colleague and friend who recommended me to a place called the tech shop. A massive workshop with tools for just about everything. And for me, a wood shop with space for me to make a mess and noise!!
So far I have only taken the mandatory safety class and done one night of work, but the membership is work it. I can finally move forward on my projects and start making my boards a reality. That in itself is exciting!
The other exciting thing is that I took one of my completed boards into my current job and got great reactions ranging from, "Wow, my niece would want one of those for college," to "I would really like to hang this on my wall, it's beautiful." Either way works for me, it was the interest the struck me. I always assumed people would be interested, but the reaction I got was far beyond what I had expected and it has motivated me to greater lengths. I find myself thing of board designs almost all the time. What I should focus on is an actual logo for Knotty Boards. While the board design and creation is one thing, the business needs something to be recognized by.
I noticed that I also had WAY more web views than I had expected. I have so far only given this site to my family and post it on my facebook profile (not as a status or sent to anyone, just on my main page). I have even added specialized web based search optimization ... or whatever it is, but I have high hopes. Things are still a long way away. I need a real business plan still, and also a plan on how to start web selling, and be legal about it. A lot of steps are still involved, but this is an exciting time for me and for Katie. I feel good things are ahead, even if it is still far in the distance!
Edit | Settings | Delete
So, since my last update a few things have been moving. My submission to Santa Clara county for the fictitious business name "Knotty Boards" was accepted (now pending publication), so I can officially let people know about this website. I have only sent it to a few friends to check out and give some small feedback. I was very excited about getting the name in. Although it was probably the easiest step to take care of along the way, it makes things official in a way. I now have a company name. Everything else will just fall into place, right??
Even if it doesn't just fall into place, it is a nice mile stone to hit. The next step is work space. Currently my wife and I live in a one bedroom apartment with two cats and a dog. Work space is not something that exists right now. Even if I could use the patio, the noise from the 5 hours of saw, grinders, sanders and more running is sure to get up a negative mark on our lease record. That said, Katie and I have begun the search for a home to move to. We have some small needs to satisfy, but the main two are work space for me and a place to set up her drums for her. I guess a safe area would be nice too.
I am anxious for this because wood working has been a huge stress release for me for the past 2-3 years and I haven't been able to do any work in nearly 7-8 months. My current job offers an endless supply of long work days, stress and anxiety. I am in need of creative release.
What I have found is that finding any apartment is about as easy as find a rock in the mountains, especially in a hugely populated area like San Jose. Find a home to rent, that is different. Online portals offer some help, craiglist is probably the best, but a few other websites list single family residences as well, but all-in-all it is difficult to weed through the fake ads and even get in contact with the landlords or management company's. I have been told that we really just need to drive through the areas we find more desirable and locate "For Rent" signs and call on them ... because that's what I want to do, drive slowly through neighborhoods all day.
Any way it happens though, it has to happen. We need more space and Knotty Boards needs more space. There are places, workshops, in San Jose that you can pay a membership fee and have access to shop space and tools, but at a cost of $100 + a month. For $100 more a month I'd rather have my own space that I can use at my own leisure. So Katie and I will continue our search and hope for the best!
If you come across this and have ideas for the San Jose area
Edit | Settings | Delete
We all have to start somewhere.
For me, the beginning could have been 4 years ago when I helped my friend Eli who owned his own long board company build his last long board, a gift for my wife. It also could have been when I purchased a load of used wood shop tools and began crafting wooden pipes and mugs out of scrap wood. Or maybe even a year ago when I sold all of my large tools and purchased handheld ones and actually designed and cut my first board (with a lot of direction from my friend Eli). All of those points in the past could have been the beginning.
Looking at it now, they weren't. The beginning was on Sunday when I researched Knotty Boards as a business name and mailed out form and check to have a fictitious business name (FBN) established. I then 100% jumped the gun and created a website called Knotty Boards and registered the domain name and paid for web hosting ... all without getting my accepted FBN back ... OK, it was Sunday, the mail wasn't even picked up until two days ago. I am not worried about that, the name was free in the county I reside in, the web domain not taken and other products seemingly non-existent. My point is, for me, Sunday July 1, 2012 was the beginning.
My wife and I have discussed the idea of not just creating long boards, but owning a skate shop for about a year now. I had done research businesses, done some small amount of market research in the area we are considering, but really, it had all been talk. The business name was good, but we had nothing else ... ha, not even a business name. It was just an idea. On Sunday, with the act of mailing out the application for the business name, that was the beginning. I have, with my wife, started down a path of uncertainty and excitement. I have no time frames at this point, no definitive business plan (although a draft exists), just an idea ... and a name to call it.
I hope you will check in every now and then and see how the website and the business comes along. I work hard at my current job and my time will not always be focused where I want it to be. But this is one of my dreams, to do something that I love and enjoy, and I will make the dream a reality.