Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Just looking for a routine

The most challenging part of owning a small business is maintaining a high level of motivation and drive at all times.  There is no drill sergeant breathing down your neck to get things done. (This is also one of the perks of having a small business.) But most of us occasionally need that person that is going to push us to do more. We need that person to put the fear of god in us. To convince us that if we don’t get out of bed early and work late then god will rain down hellfire and brimstone on the face of our souls.
Having a daily routine seems to be the most effective way to fight off these occasional lulls in enthusiasm. Having a certain time in the morning to be out the door, a certain amount of time to spend at work or a certain time to get to the gym helps. We first tried setting goals for the day. This ended up as a bad idea as the disappointment of missing those goals and in some cases not even getting close to completing them ended up being counterproductive to the motivation levels.
We say all this because the month of January really threw off our daily routine and caused delays in a few of our projects. Initially we had 2 trips to Illinois dealing with family matters and just as things were getting back to normal in Georgia a tornado decided to throw us off again.  Unfortunately we have some experience in dealing with the aftermath of a tornado and have been able to get things back to normal relatively quickly. Let’s hope the problems of January are long gone now and February will allow us to get back into a routine so we can get some projects done.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

New Year New Challenges

2 months later and the show room is still a work in progress.  In fact the show room has actually moved backwards.  And it’s not because we’re not trying. In the last 2 months we have moved a few pieces from the Show room to Design Refind consignment store in Blue Ridge Georgia. At the same time we have not had the chance to replace those pieces with new ones due to the fact that orders for custom pieces have been coming in. In the last month we have built a media center, a set of hope chests and numerous versions of our smaller pieces to be shipped out for the Christmas holiday. We are now set to build matching book shelves for the media center and bathroom vanity to be shipped to Delaware.  So we promise it’s not because of laziness or lack of desire to get it done.
On another note, 2013 is shaping up to be a challenging one.  We currently are a one man shop again. Our shipping manger and builder apprentice will be working remotely from the great white north for the foreseeable future.  He will still be helping with online sales and marketing but all projects now move back to a single work table.  We still love what we do and will continue to build even if it takes a bit longer to get them done.  So keep the orders coming we will get them done with the same high quality we have done in the past.

Friday, November 2, 2012

The New Show room

So as is usual around the Rusted Nail we have an idea of what needs to get done around the shop next and all of a sudden we change everything.  The original post-Apple fest plan was to put our heads down and get a few projects built to have them ready to sell for the Christmas season.  But of course of our first day back in the shop we were slapped in the face with the idea of creating an in shop showroom.  This of course was no small task. First we had to move a few hundred boards that felt like they weighed about 700 pounds apiece, from one side of the shop to the other just to make space. Second we had to clean that space and then decide on a basic layout for the pieces.  As of right now we have walls made of old barn doors and tin, a barn wood counter top and furniture pieces placed in no particular order. However it seems the best plan is to not have a plan, as the disheveled look somehow works. It is still definitely a work in progress but we believe having a showroom will only help us in the long run. We will need to figure out the best ways to get people to visit our new showroom once it’s open and ready to go. But that’s for a later day. For now it’s time to get into the shop and build some projects until another grand idea comes knocking on our minds door.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Apple Fest Preparations

The past few weeks have been a busy time at the Rusted Nail Shop. First we completed another reclamation project of a smoke house in Jasper Georgia. The tear down lasted half a day and the clean up last half a week. Second was our big event of the year, The Apple Festival in Ellijay Georgia was held this past weekend. Since it was our only show this year we had no excuse to not put our best foot forward. We created many new projects just for the show, which included a barrel table, a country cupboard and probably the most popular a 5 drawer side table.  Along with the new pieces we created a barn wood frame for the tent that added a unique rustic feel to the booth. Unlike some of the shows we did last year, we planned and executed every aspect our display from the placement of our products to the positioning of our brochures and cards. In the end the weather was great and the crowds were perfect. We sold some pieces but more importantly we met many people that were genuinely interested in our work. 
Now we move forward with an eye for the Christmas season.  We are hoping to get a few Christmas related projects completed and posted online.  We also plan on building some projects that have been on our to do list for some time now, that includes a bedroom set for our online retailers, and a table for Jocelyn.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Guests in the shop

Over the past few weeks we have had our share of visitors to the shop. Some expected and appreciated others not so much. This week we had the guys from Diablo stop by the shop to have us test out some new sand paper they have been working on. In the end of their 5” random orbit sandpaper redesign is finally becoming usable.  But those were the only guests we warmly welcomed in The Rusted Nail shop.
A  few weeks ago when we opened the shop for the day there was a rather large frog hopping around, no big deal we just left the door open  and assumed he found his way back to the pond. The next day when we opened the shop for the day another guest had spent the night in the shop. This time it was a rather large lizard. (When we large it was about 5” long, no gila monster or anything) So again we just left the door open and let the big guy find his way out.
Unfortunately our next guest wasn’t so easy to eradicate.  While working on the computer in the office there was some movement in the corner. We looked over and just about had a movement in our pants. Apparently the frog and lizard were not in shop because they wanted to admire our furniture but had come in to escape the snake that was now in the office.  We would love to tell you that it was a 10 foot rattlesnake that we man handled and body slammed out of the shop in a manner that would make the crocodile hunter proud.  But not us, we freaked out a bit. We pretty much destroyed the office, throwing paper and crap out of the way so we could keep an eye on it. We eventually found a metal rake and some fireplace tools that we could use to grab the 3 foot rat snake without actually having to touch it. We took it outside let it loose in the field hoping this was some sort of good sign for the future of the shop.