It has been a while since I've made a blog entry. The past few months have been exciting and busy. Everything started with Umpqua Bank choosing Knotty Boards as their local spotlight. This put us for the first time in contact with the general public. Through that contact we were put in touch with the folks from the SubZERO Festival.
The SubZERO Festival (now in the past) was an amazing event in which Knotty Boards was a vendor at a large art and music festival. We got to interact with the public and even sell a a few boards. It was great, far more fun and productive than Katie or I could have every imagined. The feedback we received was incredibly valuable and we had a great time seeing friends and making new ones.
Through the preparation for all of that the website has been very neglected, something that I hope to fix in the very near future We have many new shirts, men's and women's, new boards and lots of options for custom boards.
I will keep everything more up-to-date as we go forward and will have updating the website as my top priority. Stay tuned for m
OK, so I tempted you a couple weeks ago with news that I wasn't ready to announce. But now is the time!
After discussing how everything would work, Knotty Boards will be teaming up with Umpqua Bank and be featured in their local spotlight program at their new store in San Jose
! Knotty Boards will have boards on display in the lobby which are not just for show. All items on display are available for purchase at the bank store, just ask your friends teller!
There are so many reason why this exciting that it's hard to pick even a couple out. Mainly Katie and I are incredibly happy to be able to get Knotty Boards out and in the community. Starting a business is hard but I have found it is even harder to market yourself when you work out of your home. Umpqua Bank has provided us with an amazing opportunity to have our boards seen be the community.
Those of your who have heard of or bank with Umpqua have heard them say before that they are the worlds greatest bank, and I have to say my experiences with them have support that claim. When you stop by to check out Knotty Boards, make sure you check them out for your banking needs as well.
In addition to the boards being on display, expect to hear of events that Umpqua and Knotty Boards will put together where you can see work being done and ask questions of the owners (Justin and Katie).
I expect things will start getting busy, which makes me nervous. It makes me question how ready I am, how ready Knotty Boards is ... but when I feel myself getting nervous I just remind myself that this is what we want. If things get busy we will be ready and work hard to get everything done. You can't start something like this without putting in a lot of are work and effort!
Thank you friends and family for your support. Things look like they are taking off! The last thing to mention is that Knotty Boards is doing a free board giveaway! All you have to do is fill out a short survey and you are entered to win. Visited www.knottyboards.com for more details! :)
I have hinted at a few things over the past couple days that big things were going to be happening with the Knotty Boards small business, and they are ... but I am still only hinting. One or two additional details to iron out and I'll be able to spill all the beans.
This is coming at a great time. With all the rush in December and January to get the website up and running I have been a little too relaxed going into February, but now I have reason to get my butt back in gear and start getting this ready for the 2nd quarter! Expect to see Knotty Boards start becoming more visible and available!
Feel free to stop by www.knottyboards.com a leave us some comments or questions. We always enjoy hearing what people are saying or thinking about our work!
Thank you all and I look forward to tell you all soon what we've got in the works!
Today was big. Actually the last few days have been big. I was able to get my business license in and open up a bank account for Knotty Boards. That and I have done a major overhaul of the website, cleaning it up and working on the merchandise section.
There is still a lot to do. I have only put up a few clothing items and added a custom Knotty Board page, but nothing else has been put up. That will continue to increase as I learn more about posting things on my web page, but so far it all looks functional and ready (looks pretty slick as well, in my opinion).
I was very excited today to get this done. I have been waiting a long time, prepping and getting ready what I could, but everything hinged on the license and bank account. I am not sure if this weekend will be an official online store opening, but I might leave the products up, just in case, to test everything out and see if the website really works.
If you stop by, please feel free to use the contact form and send me any ideas or flaws you might see. Since I am doing most of it myself (website development isn't hard, but it's not a multi-person job for such a small business) that I am sure I have probably had a couple broken links, or missed items.
I hope you enjoy the new site, www.knottyboards.com is coming along great! :)
I am so close to opening up the online store. We have merchandise ready, decks, shirts, hats and beanies ... but the Town of Los Gatos is killing me right now and delaying my business license. OK, there was a small oversight on my part, but it has been incredibly frustrating trying to get it worked out with them (and dang, I sure with I could have been living in Campbell, WAY cheaper to apply).
Either way, for those of you still interested and paying attention, I will try to get the custom deck request section up and running, while I may not be able to sell anything yet, I can still get some work done. Just let me know if you are interested!
I wanted to add picture to this blog to show off the newest long board that has been completed, but those pictures will have to wait a month as the board is a present for a friends son for Christmas. It's unlikely that he would ever see it, but that path exists and I would hate to ruin that surprise.
Either way, I am VERY happy with the first board created for something other than fun. One of the exciting parts about it, is that as happy as I am or as my wife is with the work, you never really know how other people will like it. Yesterday I had to stop by a local skate shop to pick up risers for the trucks and when the shop owner asked what I was using them on I told him and he said he wanted to see it. I brought the board in and he was thoroughly impressed. He also gave me a lot of good (and I mean that, much advice is unwanted) advice. It was very positive and constructive and he even offered up anything he could to help get started (at a cost, of course :) ).
I already have another "customer" interested in a board and already have ideas to get it started. I might open up a portion of my website for board requests before January 1st, that way I can take in orders for actual boards and have ideas ready for when business actually starts on January 1st.
The next couple months and longer are going to be very busy. My current job just keeps getting busier and busier and adding this on top of everything is tough, The great part is that this extra work is fun and I enjoy it. It gives me hope for a fun future! :)
This update is just to say that excitement is back in the air for Knotty Boards. With my first board being built (actually it is already cut, shaped and sanded with artwork already planned) I am ready to move. The second step is creating other products to have ready and on the site as well.
I have made a couple recent purchases and will (at least in the beginning) be doing all the work myself. This is a daunting task considering my current job has not slowed down at all, but I am excited. I am not expecting this to blow up all at once. It has taken me over a year to get to the point I am at now and I am not foolish enough to think that I'll hit it big right off the bat.
My goal is to have the site completely functional on January 1st, 2013 with a limited amount of products up: Hopefully a couple of pre-built decks, t-shirts, and maybe a customization order category.
All that being said, this is still just a side project. I welcome anyone to contact me if they are interested in a board being built, but please keep this in mind, everything is hand-built, and I cannot turn something around in a week, it will generally take time based on your request and volume already in ...
Hmmm, but blog is becoming more sales-like and less blog-like so I'll end it hear. Email me if you are interested in anything.
This won't be a long blog entry, just an update. They last couple months have been crazy. Averaging about 11-12 hours a day in the office for my current job has left me no opportunities to build, create or visit the tech shop. It's not the end of the world, a few other things have come up that help balance it out and that give me hope toward moving forward. First, Katie and I moved to a new apartment. The great thing is it has a garage in a little alleyway and I think I will be able to do work from there. I built a dog/cat food cabinet this last weekend, us a circular saw, drills and more and had no complaints. We'll see if that goes better. Second, I had my first official order for a Christmas present. Now I HAVE to get to work :)
Anyway, for the time being I am hopeful to get things moving in a positive direction.
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!