Sunday, December 30, 2012

am i ready to play with the big boys?

I have been preparing to go to a gift show in New York since October called the "New York International Gift Fair."  I have been really laid back putting together what I will be taking, and about how I feel about it, until about 4 hours ago when the nerves and realization hit me like a slap in the face!!  I feel like a freight train is coming towards me and I cannot step aside.  I have exactly 26 days till I leave and I still have questions, concerns, a press kit to write, and two boys to worry about when I am gone.  Actually what am I thinking, 3 boys to worry about when I am gone. 
 
This is the Javits Center where our booth will be located.  There are only buyers from retail stores that are allowed to go to this show. I am getting ready to play with the big boys and I want to be ready to play. I am so scared......
There is a 36 page manual that mainly consists of 30 pages of getting your crap to the show and how you should ship it.  I am afraid I will forget something.  I have only been to New York once and you know why (a.k.a. The Nate Berkus Show), and it seems it is hard to get from one point to another in New York City quickly. 
 
That is why I planned to be staying at the New Yorker Hotel, which is supposed to be 3 blocks from the Javits Center.  I am hoping it is a walkable walk. Ha... Ha... walkable walk, where I don't have to worry about taking a cab.  I just want Dean & Deluca, Macys, and all the other stores to love my cutting boards and put them in their stores. 
Now that I have started to talk more about it I am feeling more relaxed.  I just need Mr. Know-it-All to tell me it will all be fine, that I don't forget anything, and that I sell a bunch of cutting boards. 
your custom cabinet girl 
 
 
 


Saturday, December 8, 2012

s2celebrate

My dear talented friend Shannon has started this wonderful journey of creativity and and makes beautiful handmade cuffs.  I just wanted to be able to share these with you because they are each made with love.  I really want this one and its based on the verse from Jeremiah 29:11. 
 
Personally, I own the "Courage" cuff because I need to be reminded to have courage daily.  These cuffs are a great reminder and are beautiful on as well. 
Please take a look at her beautiful website for encouragement and find yourself lovely cuffs to purchase as well. Just click HERE! 
 
your custom cabinet girl
 

Friday, December 7, 2012

our new "salvaged" circle cutting board

So I have been looking for a way to make a cutting board with the same high quality, less labor intensity, aka lower price point.  This has been hard because I will not compromise on quality.  And with that, I give you this.....
 
I call it salvaged because we "saved" the maple and cherry from the scrap bin, glued it together, sanded it, then hit it with a chain!  Yes you read that right I hit it with a chain and it felt GREAT!Your very own 17" diameter round 3/4" thick maple and cherry lumber cutting board.  And its only $49.00!
I hope you like it!  Let me know what you think!
your custom cabinet girl
 
 


Monday, November 19, 2012

what i am thankful for

Since this week is Thanksgiving I want to list out what I am thankful for;
1.  My two healthy boys
2.  Mr. Know-it-All
3.  Mom & Dad
 
5.  Jesus who died for ALL OF US, to SAVE US
6.  Music
7.  The Bible
8.  My father in law who says; "if you don't like April, then you are the one with the problem."  (Such a sweet man).
9. My mother-in-law who makes stuff for me :)
10. And last but not least; drum roll please.........
LICORICE
I can't get enough of licorice.  If the redvines company goes out of business like Hostess did last week I am truly in BIG TROUBLE!!!
 
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and hopefully you can think of the things you are truly thankful for.
 
your custom cabinet girl
 
 


Sunday, October 28, 2012

the little trip that was not to be......

I am so excited for all the support and love I have received about my little trip that was not to be. 

Saturday morning I worked at the shop and was cleaning the office getting my stuff together to go to see Nate Berkus at his book signing. I even grabbed a couple of cutting boards to possibly bring as well. I had the picture of him and me I took out of the frame I had it in for him to sign.  I went home to get cleaned up to drive to Piedmont and spent waaay to much time on my hair.  Ha ha....

But it was not to be.  We left early so we could take the boys to the pumpkin patch on a stop on our way to Piedmont.  Mr. Know-it-All and my dad suggested I call the book store to find out what the plans were for the signing.  So I called and find out that the information I received earlier about the book signing was "slightly" incorrect.  The signing was actually not at the book store that was advertised but at a satellite store and you needed to purchase tickets in advance, and by the way they were SOLD OUT!!!!!!  I was so sad, disappointed, bummed, angry, grumpy, somewhat relieved from being anxious, and out right MAD AT MYSELF!!!!  How could I have not known that I needed a ticket???  There was nothing on the Nate Berkus website that explained that at all.  I am just so disappointed in myself for not knowing and not being able to go. 

On the bright side, my hair looked good for the pumpkin patch!  Picking pumpkins was never so glamorous!  On the sad side, I didn't see Nate and his next book signing is only a plane ticket away in Miami Florida on November 17th.   

I will end this post by thanking all my wonderful friends who Always encourage me and are so genuinely excited for me!  I am sorry I don't have a picture or a story.  But don't you worry I will, I will.......
your custom cabinet girl

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Who's coming with me to see NATE BERKUS????

I am going to see Nate and I am so excited!  He changed up his website Nate Berkus and posted the new changes on facebook so of course I went to look.  And guess what?  Never mind I am too excited I will just tell you now!  Nate is going to be in Piedmont, California on October 27th at the "Great Good Place for Books" for his new book signing and I am going to be there.  Yes I am! I am so excited to see him again.  Who wants to join me? You all know Mr. Know-it-All is going to go and so will my little mr. know-it-all replicas. 

I have a list for what I am going to do;
First:  Bring my picture of him and me and ask him to sign it.  Is that OK? Its just for me because I love him so much!
Second:  Buy his new book and have him sign that too!

Third:  Tell him how when I first saw him walk out onto the stage before the show started I was speechless.  I was so starstruck and nervous and all I could say was "hi",  original huh? And THAT"S IT! ALL I SAID WAS HI!   I just want to apologize if I seemed a little weird or unfriendly because I was so nervous.  I never got to tell him that because we were zoomed out of the studio so quickly afterward.

Fourth:  That I love his work and if he ever needs a cabinet maker..................

I think the fourth one is really pushing it, but maybe he will remember me?? We'll see......Stay Tuned.
 
your custom cabinet girl

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

weeks progress

I went into work on Thursday knowing I had to finish up the custom entertainment center that was due on Friday and also pack up and ship the 6 chef boards due for Williams-Sonoma as well. 
I thought I would start in the wood shop and pack up the chef boards first, of course!
Well, I could have guessed that my dad would walk by and say; "I am not trying to schedule your day for you, but you should start in the finish shop first."   I knew I should have probably started in the finish shop first, but you and I both know I have a love/hate relationship with the finish shop.   So of course I picked going into the wood shop first,  it just smells better in there.........
 

This week was a challenge to finish out getting back on track to all the jobs we needed to complete.  I had to stain and finish a custom entertainment center my dad built  last week and I had to match to the existing oak color.The door on the very bottom is the original door and the doors on the table are the new ones I matched.  The color came out pretty close to the original. 
 
You really have to look at all the variations in the wood and the grain and there are so many colors in different spots.  Matching an aged stain on oak is a little tricky because it didn't start in the color it is now.  Does that make sense?  What I mean is oak always yellows in color over the years but the darker the stain it started with the least yellow it will get. So I might find the right stain but I have to add to it by spraying on pigments with brown and yellow to get the NEW color to match the Old color.  Ok, I am so bored now and you probably are too.  Onto the results....
your custom cabinet girl
 
 
 
 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

its not about me

For the very first time in 40 years of being in business my dad and I were in a court room yesterday to defend our side of a small claims suit filed against us.  I had a hard time with this suit because it was supposed to be business and not personal.  But it was personal, very personal.  The finishing I did on the cabinets was being scrutinized, and I feel I could not have done a better job.  If my finish work is "the worst they
have ever seen," then I felt I needed to change my job.
Most people would ask me why I would even talk about this (even my dad, so sorry dad), about our business and mention the "unspoken" parts most business owners never talk about.  For me this is a learning process and the more I can share with others about what I have learned maybe you can make less mistakes than I do, or we can help each other. 
I have found myself in deep thought today about all that went on yesterday and how I can take this horrible day and make it into something wonderful.  Firstly,
my verse for the day on my Bible Ap is
Psalm 116:1-2
I love the Lord because he hears my voice and my prayer for mercy.  Because he bends down to listen. I will pray as long as I have breath!
I love this verse and I thank Jesus for Always being with me, through the good and the bad. 
Before we left for the courtroom I was so terribly nervous and my dad and I prayed many times throughout the day for God's strength and for His will to be done. 
I can only say that Jesus' presence is always near to me and that I am so Grateful for......We will not know the outcome of the case for awhile but I can say that His will is what will be done.  And through all of this, Jesus' love for us and His ultimate sacrifice on the cross for us must be what we focus on. 
I find myself thinking about all this and remembering that it is not all about me, its never about me.  It's about Jesus and what He has done for me, for all of us because He loves us so much.

your custom cabinet girl

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Trying to get in the Williams-Sonoma Catalog!!!! Help!

Trying to get into the Williams-Sonoma Catalog is like trying to get my six year old to open his mouth for the dentist when its drilling time. Let me make it even clearer how hard it is, "MY SON WONT OPEN HIS MOUTH FOR THE DENTIST!!!!"  I am out of ideas.........
Its been two years our products have been in the stores and online and every time I contact the catalog department I get the same answer, we always consider your boards and will let you know if we decide to put them in the catalog. 
Haven't decided yet!! I think it would be a great idea.  I have tried all kinds of different avenues on how we could get in the catalog.  My latest and "greatest" I might add was this; 
I have been privileged to get to know celebrity chef,  Maria Liberati who "loves" our cutting boards. 
Go to her website to learn more here; Maria Liberati
Maria especially uses the chef board below for making homemade pasta.  I

 think that sounds so good and I would love to eat that homemade pasta.  She says the board is a perfect size and built with such a  high quality that she loves to use it for her chopping needs as well. 
So back to my newest shenanigans.  I have emailed the catalog person twice now, to no response about how Maria could  be featured in the catalog because she is a celebrity chef with our cutting boards.  If you get the Williams-Sonoma catalog you would have seen the summer issue which featured many different celebrity chefs and the items they love to use that Williams-Sonoma sells. 
This would be perfect I think, to feature Maria, and our cutting board!  I pretty much handed the idea off on a platter right?  Maybe wrong, I don't know but since I am getting no response I don't know what to do next????  Any ideas on how to, "be a pest" would be welcome...... :)
your custom cabinet girl

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

pursuing a new vendor......

I am now pursuing a new vendor, "The Sundance Catalog" aka Mr. Robert Redford and trying to see if we can possibly sell some more designer cutting boards to his wonderful company.
They seem to sell very "original" items and it seems our items might fit nicely. 
I sent an email maybe two months ago and read in the fine print that you probably won't get an email back and maybe you would, no guarantees........ Well I got the "unfortunately" letter back which means they actually looked at the email enough to send one back if you want to look on the "brighter side."  I did get a buyer return email and they told me to send another inquiry again. 

So today was that day!  I sent this nice buyer an email with pictures immersed in the content, one of them is on the left.  Hopefully if they see the picture of the item in their face they might actually read what I wrote. 

I have learned that buyers seem to get a lot of emails and phone calls and everyone says; "look at my great product" and its not always great. 

Can you imagine disappointment after disappointment until suddenly you see something that is actually worth looking at.  So I have got to make that "something" they want to look at "my something."  If I can do that they might want to be a carrier of my product too!

I can only hope.

your custom cabinet girl 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

i can finally say.........

After one year of sending emails with no response, a few months of negotiations, back and forth emails of no, no, maybe, and then "YES" I can finally say you are looking at the newest vendor for the Wine Enthusiast Online and Catalog!!!  Well I guess you aren't looking at me right now, just reading my words but anyway, I am so excited it feels like the day before going to Disneyland!! 
Its been a long road but we did it!  And I definitely say "WE" because if it were not for my dad's help, Mr. Know-it-All's "sometimes asked for input", my moms support, and some crying on my part (OK, OK.... lots of crying), we could not have got it done!  
Wine Enthusiast will be selling our wine bottle cutting board and the Wine Glass cutting board very soon!!
Here they are below just in case you forgot what they looked like...............


I could not be more excited today than if Mr. Know-it-All came into the shop looked into my eyes and said something so romantic.......Yea that will never happen.   Now I just have so many thoughts like, how many cutting boards I will sell in a day, or how much exposure on the Wine Enthusiasts' website our products will be, and that is nerve wracking, exciting, and just an explosion of thoughts on what is to come! I will keep you updated on the details, but for now I must get back in the finish shop and finish my wood tops......lucky me....
your custom cabinet girl 
 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

woodworking classes this week

I have some returning students from last summer that are attending the woodworking classes and that called for me to figure out some new projects to build.  And I have noticed about myself lately that I am a procrastinator and think I have all the time in the world before the classes start and then all of a sudden its 4 days before the class and I still don't know what we are going to build. 
Here is my class of five students that are ready to get to work sanding because "drawing plans just isn't fun" according to one kid. 

Sanding.......
Sanding.....
And more sanding.....
They all hate me for the sanding, but that is what most of woodworking is all about lots of sanding.
Tracing the pattern for one of the sides of the birdhouse.

 Assembling the birdhouse, my personal favorite because we get to use glue and power tools!
Here is our birdhouse! I love assembly day!  Instead of this huge pile of parts on the work bench we have assembled and made all those parts into something....Tomorrow the kids will paint or stain whichever they choose their birdhouses and start on a new project which is their own custom car.

your custom cabinet girl


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

just tell me what you want people!

Well we are building some new shaped cutting boards and these are two we have added to our selection.  I really would love your input on these.  Do you like them?  Can you tell the one on the left is a cluster of grapes?  Can you tell they are two different fruits?  Can you tell what fruit it is on the right?  Can you tell that I keep rambling on because I don't know what else to ask?  I just really need to know if these are worth making or not.  Everything will hinge on the opinion of the one person who comments this blog!!!  Really, just tell me what you want people! 
I have been so blessed to be so busy lately that I can't keep up with everything that is going on lately.  I have a big secret that I can't share with you about a possible TV appearance.  Although, if you call or email me I can tell you.  I am just not allowed to post it on the internet......
Talk to you soon, and let me know what you think about the boards!
your custom cabinet girl 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Pietros of Lodi

We were so glad to be able to build and finish this cabinet for the front of the beautiful Pietros Italian restaurant in Lodi, California. 
There was a lot of time into building this one and finishing it as well.  You can see that the square inserts on the outside were made for granite pieces cut especially for them.  And all of the open cubbies were tough to stain and spray laquer on because of the close quarters.  My dad makes it easy for me and leaves the back off the cabinet so I can finish it from both sides. Then I can finish the back side by itself and we can put it on afterwards.  Every time he builds a cabinet he thinks about how he can make it easy for me to be able to finish.  What a nice dad!  I had fun doing this job.  I am also going to have fun going out to dinner at Pietros and looking at it too!
your custom cabinet girl

Monday, April 16, 2012

sales projections

I have never had to really look at sales projections before.  I am a simple girl who is glad when I get an order by email or a customer comes in the door asking for us to build something just for them.  But projections on how many customers will show up and how many dollars I will make???  It just seems like a small bit of insanity in the corporate world but sane enough to allow you to forecast your future for business sales purposes.  If I could do that and accurately it would be a gift.  But guess what?  I don't have it. 
Just trying to predict the future Mr. Smith coming in to purchase a new kitchen full of cabinets is not something I am comfortable with. 
Does anyone know what it means when you don't make sales projections???  I have seen the projections for our sales of our cutting boards for Williams-Sonoma and we have over exceeded them or made them every month until this year in the last three months.  Is that a fluke?  I am so down and downright scared. But I am not sure what I am scared of...... I know if I think about it I will know what I am scared of but, I don't want to know, you know?  What does that mean and how can I make it better?  What do I need to do?  The sad part is numbers do not lie and I don't want to sit and look at the numbers and feel sorry for myself, I just want to make it better.  Any ideas blogger friends......? 
learning one day at a time.......
your custom cabinet girl

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

neat website called recessionista.com

I am so excited to show you this article that the recessionista did about my job and our shop here at Weber's Cabinets. The title really makes my job look exciting.......and for those of you who know better...don't tell.
custom cabinet girl tells all............www.recessionista.com

Let me know what you think.
your custom cabinet girl

Thursday, February 9, 2012

there is a fine line........

I have figured out that just because I am a vendor for a big company doesn't mean I get to make thousands and thousands of cutting boards.  I am trying my hardest to get our boards in the catalog (in any stinking catalog for that matter), and I am just not able to break through yet.  This is a new year and there are always new opportunies but sometimes I just feel like I am hitting a brick wall over and over and over again.  How many more times am I going to hit that brick wall?  One more time until I break through it?............don't loose hope on me yet!  I keep being the best, (and friendliest) pest I can be. But there is a fine line of what I can ask for and what I can get.  Does this make any sense?

I know, it's really lame that I just figured this out, but shoot me I am very gullible.  By the way, I won "Most Gullible" at the Academy Awards my Senior year in high school so that should tell you how lame I am.  

I am pouting right now just like Jakob did on the left in this picture.  I just need about 8 more hours of pouting time, and then its back to being a big girl.

your custom cabinet girl

Monday, January 23, 2012

the story of knotty alder

About eight years ago I came across a beautiful rustic looking kitchen full of cabinets that I just loved.   I showed the picture to my unimpressed dad, "Hey aren't these cabinets great! I just love the knots!"  He shrugs and says, "that's alder April, I don't use alder."  I am thinking well why not, its rustic and knotty and kind of looks like knotty pine and sometimes can look like a rustic cherry wood.  Well here is the anticipated explanation hopefully you can understand. (I really didn't but we will leave that for later). 

Anyway, my dad says, "I hate alder, it furs up when you cut it, its always a hassle to stain because it comes out blotchy, and it doesn't take stain even."  Well anytime after that I would mention using alder or a customer wanted to use alder he would say, no, no, no................
I thought that was an end to ever getting to use alder until necessity and invention came across our way.
The necessity was we wanted the job and that was the wood the customer wanted.  Hooray!
And the invention was me trying to match the stain to the door they already had.

Here it is......
The door on the left is the sample I had to use and the drawer front on the right is the one I finished to match.  I think I actually got it!!!  And as you know I love distressed and knottty alder is a type of distressed natural looking wood which I love.  I am so excited to finish this whole kitchen. 
I will keep you posted.
your custom cabinet girl