Unfortunately the past couple weeks have been completely unproductive.  I did complete my publishing in Santa Clara County and the name Knotty Boards is mine!  But I didn't really complete anything, it just happened automatically.  The main cause of these delays has been my regular job.

One of the other escrow officers in the office put in her two week notice and here last day was 8/24.  Considering the fact that I was already working massive amounts of overtime to begin her recent departure has had me working from 6:00 AM to 6-7:00 PM the past week.  Not much fun, and leaving me no time to do any work on the skateboards.

I guess there's not a whole lot to add to this post, just an update for anyone paying attention.  I hope to get some work done in the near future, but next weekend I am in Los Angeles running a half marathon, so it will likely be after than.  But we'll see if I can maybe get a day after work to head into the tech shop.
 
I probably won't write too much on this, but I am adding this blog post while sitting at the Tech Shop in San Jose.  I came in around 11:45 AM and it's now 1:30 PM.  I have done little to know work in the wood shop ... why, you ask?  Because they are teaching a basic wood shop class and my orbital sander is too loud for the class.  It would have been nice if the instructor had asked me nicely if I could hold off until the end of the class (a paid, but I would understand).  Instead, he had the class take a brake and had another employee come in and ask me to stop.  That was annoying, I made it clear that I was annoyed.

I was told I could use the main work shop area instead of the wood shop to do my sanding, but as I moved my stuff to the main area I found that this would not work.  While I COULD do it, I'd be more of a dick out there where there are multiple people quietly discussing plans or working quietly on computers.  How jarring would that be to have some dude come out and sand for 45 minutes to an hour.  So I definitely bitched about it to the people at the shop.  I understand that the class needs to be taught and that my work was likely distracting.  However, it would have been nice to know that prior to being told to leave.  Maybe they even make that part of the class.  Because had I known, I would have checked the class times online and planned accordingly.

Instead I am sitting at a computer, wasting time until I can finally do some work.  One thing I want to make clear is I am not blaming the Tech Shop for asking me to stop my work, of for not having a seconding space that could be adequately use for the type of work I need to do.  What I am angry about is wasting 2 hours of my time on something I could have been told about prior to this, and that every person who joins the Tech Shop should know: YOU CANNOT WORK WHEN A CLASS IS GOING ON ... at least not the type of work I need to do that is prolonged and loud.

I almost just went home, but then I'd be totally out of luck.  Wasted time and nothing to show for it.  I think even with the two hour delay I can still at least finish sanding my blood wood board.  It's a lot less work than I had planned on doing, but at least I'll have that in line for art, sealing and grip tape once that sanding has settled.

I guess that's all for now.  The class is running late, so
 
On a suggestion from my friend who has recently started a new business I switched my web host today.  I am out a few bucks because of it, but will ultimately save money on advanced features and programming.  All in all I feel pretty good about it.

I also changed the layout of the site.  Not sure I like it yet, but we'll see if it grows on me.

On another note,  I was hoping to have a t-shirt made with a knotty board logo (recently created) however the silk screening class I was going to take at the Tech Shop was cancelled.  Now the debate begins whether to re-enroll in the Silk Screening class or start the multiple classes for CNC Milling ... we'll see where this goes.

I hope to make it into the shop this weekend to work on a few boards.  I just finished the build on a purple heart deck and just have some final sanding to do on a blood wood deck.  Otherwise I have two cutouts of african shedua and two untouched maple planks.  Time to get to work!
 
The craze and excitement is starting early.08/05/2012
0 Comments
 
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!




Add Comment
 
Getting Started.07/15/2012
0 Comments
 
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 




Add Comment
 
The Beginning07/04/2012
1 Comment
 
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.

Knotty Boards.

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.