Posts Tagged ‘concrete’
When launching any business it’s easy to get frustrated with inadequate resources. Don’t get me wrong, there are some occupations where expensive equipment is needed but when Cale and I started Green Couch Design we knew we had to build a business with the resources we had on hand. We started with what we had.
Nearly two and half years ago, on an October Monday, we met up from our corporate design jobs for a quick lunch date. We had been talking for years about running our own design firm, but it was time to draw a line in the sand and just go for it. We decided then and there that unless we felt a blatant “no” within our spirits we would quit our jobs come the first of the year. That was Monday. On Thursday Cale was laid off from his Architecture job. Obviously this was not the plan we had figured out in our heads, but we saw this as an opportunity and a definite sign that it was time to pursue our dream of establishing a business around our home life.
At that time I continued working full-time while Cale started up the business from home. Because of my employment at that time we could not offer any kind of graphic design services. We had to come up with another way to make a living; an original idea that would allow us to show off our design skills in a creative way. With no savings, not even a printer for our computers, and an income that barley covered our monthly living expenses we had to design products using the materials we had on hand.
For us, that was an extra bag of concrete found in our old Milk Barn.
Once we narrowed down the materials we had available we began asking the following questions:
- What products have been made with this material before?
- What products can’t be made with this material?
- What are the type of products that people want to buy on a regular basis?
- Are there everyday items that are typically seen in a gift/retail shop that you could put a unique spin on?
When starting your own business it’s easy to get intimidated by the lack resources that are available. Don’t get me wrong there are things that are needed to start a business, but you cannot let a lack of resources stop you from moving forward! In the beginning when we found ourselves in need of extra overhead to produce products we would look around the house and see what we could sell off? We sold all kinds of stuff from old windows we replaced in the old farm house to a quesadilla maker! Ultimately, we refused to let lack stop us from moving forward.
We didn’t know at the time that a bag of concrete would help launch and establish our little business, but out of it grew a series of concrete jewelry, candle holders, and pots! Obviously we don’t sell all these items today, but that bag of found concrete gave us a starting place to hone in on our craft, experiment, and find a niche that is truly original to what Green Couch Design is today.
Who knows, maybe it’s your lack of resources that will be the thing to force you out of your box and into an idea that is uniquely your own!
Are you having a hard time getting started with your home based business? What resources do you feel like you are lacking? What resources do you have access to that you may not have considered before reading this post? Have you or do you know of someone who has come up with a new idea or spin on a product due to their lack of resources?
From the Farm
This past Monday we took a little road trip and dropped off our first batch of concrete jewelry at Dwelling Spaces in Tulsa, OK. We have heard amazing things about this store and it’s owner, Mary Beth, but had no idea just how wonderful it was until we we’re able to visit in person. Not only is the store aesthetic eclectic and fun but it’s got all the heart and soul we could ever ask for from a store carrying our products.
“Meet Mary Beth Babcock, the thirty-nine-year-old geek-chic cheerleader for all things Okie who makes you want to wear state pride like a party dress.” – Oklahoma Today: Mary Beth Babcock named Oklahoma Today’s 2011 Oklahoman of the Year
For the past six year Mary Beth has created not only a store but an art district and culture born out of a genuine passion to support local art and artist.
“Art feeds the soul, so she would feed the art.” - Oklahoma Today: Mary Beth Babcock named Oklahoma Today’s 2011 Oklahoman of the Year
We only spent 30 minutes with Mary Beth (and mostly that was us talking), but instantly we found a friend that loves pushing boundaries and is not afraid to take things to the next level. Her passion is truly contagious and something we hope you’ll support by checking out her wonderful store; Dwelling Spaces.
From the Farm
It’s that time of year where our twitter feed becomes all a buzz with the latest happenings from one of the coolest festivals around the country. In case you have been living in a hole (or WAY out in the country ) South by Southwest (SXSW) is an annual music, film, and interactive conference and festival held in Austin, TX.
The last few years it’s been really exciting to see Oklahoma art and music represented at SXSW and one of the ways this has been able to happen is through The Buffalo Lounge, presented by The Oklahoma Film & Music Office:
“The mission of The Buffalo Lounge is to promote Oklahoma’s film, music, and interactive industries to a statewide & nationwide audience. The vision is to be the premiere event and outlet for filmmakers, musicians, and interactive companies to connect with their supporters and attract a new audience, including the chance to gain national attention.”
At Green Couch Design we have a sweet spot for love and ALL the sappy and gooey moments that come along with it. We’ve been working the last two years with concrete and just so happen to come across this fun little design just in time for Valentines Day. Enjoy!
Thanks to our friend Allison with Shopcrawler (who told us about this amazing opportunity!) our jewelry has has been selected to be in the Alt. Design Summit Conference Gift Bags! We’re excited to have our pieces in the hands of up and coming bloggers from around the country and looking forward to meeting some new friends. Each of our charms are handmade and truly one-of-a-kind. Here’s a bit of our process.
It’s finally here! It’s the day before the Etsy Dallas Jingle Bash. Our tractor, I mean truck… is loaded. I can’t help but get that “Home Alone” feeling that we are forgetting something BIG (luckily we don’t have children to accidentally leave at home!)!? All in all we are having a stress free Friday and ready to hit the road bright and early Saturday morning (4:30 am to be exact!). It’s moments like these that we are SO thankful that we took our pre-prep seriously.
So… I’m sure you all are wondering what we might be bringing to our FIRST out of state show? We’ll kids, Santa’s got a bag FULL of goodies. Check it out (along with a 20% off SALE code for those of you who can’t make it).
Concrete & Copper Bubble Jewelry:
**NEW** Concrete Rings. We’re given em a try, let us know what you think (not sold online).
(double bubble: empty & filled)
We are currently in process of creating close to 250 unique charms for our two craft shows coming up this fall! We are VERY stoked about this but also forgot to mention that we do custom orders! In fact, we LOVE custom orders because they give us a chance to work one-on-one with our customers and provide us an outlet that pushes our ideas and keeps them fresh.
We’ve put together a 4-step process to show you just how easy it can be to design a one-of-a-kind Green Couch Design jewelry piece. Here’s what you can expect from us when you are ready to move forward with your custom order.
STEP 1: Go to our online shop and purchase PHASE I of the “Custom Design” Jewelry listing. Leave us any initial design ideas/suggestions you would like us to start with in the comment section when you check out. If you have images in mind, send us a convo through Etsy with attached images or send them to email@example.com.
STEP 2: We will send you initial design concepts in a hand-rendered illustration format. Once the first round of design(s) are sent you can make two rounds of edits. We will also include the additional cost to build each design with each illustration presented. This will ensure that there are no surprises or additional costs (outside of shipping) when you purchase PHASE II.
We wanted to take a second and let everyone know of all the great Christmas deals we will have going on at Deluxe and at our Etsy shop this Saturday. So get your Christmas lists out and get ready to take notes…
Every once in a while you have to stop and reevaluate your products. You have to ask the hard questions about quality and what can you do to provide a better piece, at a great price, with the same craftsmanship and authenticity as before? I think it’s safe to say that Cale and I have spent the last 6 months tweaking our materials and pushing our jewelry design to the next level.