Wednesday, December 2, 2015

my stanford story

 
So back in February 2015 I was minding my own business sitting at my desk and I got a phone call from a really nice lady from a contracting firm. She asked me if I would like to bid custom cabinetry for some custom houses they were building in Stanford.  Of course, I said "yes I do!" 
 
Well I hang up the phone and tell my dad I got a call to quote 68 custom homes for cabinets in Stanford.  He looked at me seriously and asked me how are we going to build all those cabinets ourselves?  I was thinking well, we just build them, its flippin' Stanford!! 
  
So I was sent over the plans (about 500 pages worth), which is another story in itself, and I started to look at them. My dad suggested that I bid the cabinets with the one brand of pre-fab cabinets we sell called Merillat Cabinetry.  I went back to the nice lady and asked if I could bid the job with Merillat cabinets instead of custom because we just didn't have the manpower to build 68 homes.  She said that would be great and that she liked what Merillat had to offer and that kicked off my 32 hour bidding process with me myself and I. 
 
...........Meanwhile Mr. Know-it-All tells me two things;
 
A) If I think this contracting company is going to pick me out of all the other bids that I should just keep on dreaming. 
B) They just need 10 bids and I am wasting my time.
 
I swear Mr. Know-it-All tells me this crap just to have me prove him wrong. 
 
And guess what?
 
I did prove him wrong.
 
I got the Freakin' job!!!!!
(Mr. Know-it-All then said, "I told you to bid that job because I knew you would get it.")
 
Oh, Yes I did. 
 
And I am so excited.  I get to put cabinetry in homes for Stanford faculty in Stanford, California!!!I am so grateful and this is going to be the most exciting learning experience ever!
And of course I am going to share about all my learning experiences on this job.
 
much love to you all for reading my crazy posts!
your custom cabinet girl 

Thursday, October 22, 2015

strategic marketing

Strategic marketing.  Its a fancy couple of words for saying I plan out my marketing strategy.  And for this girl who usually gets in there and tries to figure stuff out on her own, it means I have to set up a plan.  I can't just fly by the seat of my pants on this one. 
 
Dad is always telling me to make a list of to dos, check it off, stay on task.  I struggle with staying on task constantly because my mind wanders.  When I am working on a quote and someone calls and wants to talk about their cabinet project, or someone drops by to take a look at our work in the shop, and before you know it your day is gone and you didn't finish the first thing you were working on in the first place.  I love wearing the different hats and I hate wearing the different hats because sometimes I feel like it makes me so unfocused that I can't get anything done. 
 
So now I am going to try to focus as best as I can because in reality I really really like to be organized.  I am starting with doing the same thing every morning which is posting something about what is going on at the shop my twitter page @aprilmorse and also the facebook page Weber Company.  That way I can have some type of strategic marketing going.  This is a start and I hope I can continue to be consistent and successful with it. 
 
I was able to get some great new photos for our website of the new cutting boards we designed and they look so great! Check on the links below if you would like to purchase one. 
Hopefully I have some more marketing strategies that I can come up with to make my process more consistent. 
 
will blog soon,
your custom cabinet girl
"Le Carre Petit" means the square board and you can order it here: goo.gl/TrrrmT


"Le Council Petit" means the small board and you can purchase this one here: http://tinyurl.com/nzw26k4


 


Monday, September 28, 2015

i don't know what to say......well actually i do read my blog......

I don't think everything is by chance but I feel God has a reason for everything. About a week ago I was looking at some HARO (Help a Reporter Out) requests and I stumbled upon one by a Forbes journalist Cheryl Snapp Conner who needed information on how you can do PR for your own small business and how it worked out.  And I thought, well I could just tell her a little about my story with my little blog. 
After I sent my response I thought nothing of it and didn't expect a reply because I thought I wrote too much.  But you know within two hours she wrote me back and said, "you had me at hello!"  Mr. Know-it-All has never even said that to me!  So of course I jumped up out of my chair and ran out into the shop and told the first person I saw, which was Melissa who screamed along with me!!  And then dad wanted to know what we were screaming about, (because we really shouldn't scream in the shop), and somebody better not be hurt...........blah blah blah....... and he was like oh yeah April and her shenanigans.....again....
 
 
So God's reason for allowing me to see that particular reporters request and her response is only because of his grace on my life. That is it. I must give all glory to him who has sustained me through this "owning a business" thing and kept me close to him.  I am so grateful.
 
UPDATE:
On another note, Melissa and I went to Mountain View a couple of weeks ago and sold quite a few cutting boards.  We are on to Los Altos this weekend for the Art n' Wine Festival to sell more with a few ideas we got from the last show.  I am thankful for the wonderful people taking my card and our name Weber Company getting out there.  If you are in the area please come see us.  Otherwise you can always send me an email or call.  www.weber-co.com
 
your custom cabinet girl
 


Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Mountain View Art & Wine Festival

 
 
This weekend is the Art & Wine Festival in Mountain View California.  Melissa & I are going to be bringing all of the cutting boards, serving trays, wine crates, utensil caddy's, etc. we can fit into the shop van and sell them to the highest bidder. 
This is really a test for me because I have not tried the Bay Area Festival market yet and I am curious how the response will be to our custom wood products.
I am hoping for the sale of a lifetime and to bring home absolutely nothing.  Wouldn't that be great! 
 
You can take a look at their facebook page Mountain View Art & Wine Festival 
If you are reading this, then you are one of my most loyal of followers and its possible you live close to Mountain View so you can come!
I will have to update with pictures and sales information next week when I get back. 
 
your custom cabinet girl  

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

the lesson that i keep learning over and over again

You know that lesson, the one you can't seem to learn...........
 and its the one I will never learn ever..........
 Trusting God to take care of all your needs. 
Yea, that one, that's the one I'm talking about.  And I never seem to get it.  No matter how hard I try I just can't keep my nosy hands and mind out of stuff that I want to control.  I think its the "oldest child syndrome" because as the oldest you are always in charge and just "a little bossy" so it just comes naturally for me.
I know some of you follow in this same predicament of trying to be in control of everything and I thought it might be good to blog about it and give some words of encouragement from the Bible. 
 
Here it is; and I will be putting it on my chalkboard for the rest of the week
 Philippians 4:6 (NLT)
Don't worry about anything: instead pray about everything.  Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.
 
Its just two little sentences but such powerful ones. 
 
Being in business is hard for me to calm and I am constantly worried. Which is not in God's plan.  He loves me so much that he wants to take that worry upon himself and I get that in my heart but I just need someone to tell it to my head over and over because it just won't stick.  I think its our sinful nature to want to take charge of everything and it really hurts us in the long run.  I am so thankful for a forgiving God that is always there for me. 
 
This summer has been full of memories and lessons.
 
My good friends Shannon and Krista came by the shop to visit! 
 
Had a baby shower for my sister and her first little one!
 


 
 Got to go to Maui with some amazing friends and Mr. Know-it-All!


Baby Jordan arrived!!  And the boys got to hold her!
 
Got dad to do my glazing for me in the finish shop!
 I am so thankful for all the wonderful things that are going on right now in my life and i am very thankful for the lesson of trust.  Trusting in God is the only way. 
 
your custom cabinet girl
 
 


Monday, May 18, 2015

ups and downs of retail

Remember when you were in high school and you liked someone and you anticipated them finding out you liked them...... and when they did find out they said, "no thank you."  Well you probably don't, but i had that happen to me quite a few times, and now it all comes back to me in my 30's....... and its in retail.......go figure.... 
 
I really don't like it, but i think i was being prepared for this in high school...So weird.  Mr. Know-it-All always says i have my heart on my sleeve (and he's right, just this once). i do have my heart on my sleeve with everything including my products and when ,your product is rejected, you feel rejected. But its supposed to be business and not personal, but oh is it so personal.
Here are my hands holding this beautiful widget that i made and you are rejecting it or saying, "no more orders for you, sorry about your bad luck."  It really hurts.  Maybe this rejection is preparing me for more rejecting in the future, Yea!
I love rejection......
 
You build a product, work on it with retailers for months, sometimes a year, get a few orders only to find out they don't want to stock it anymore.  That's a bummer. 
 
Sometimes the products are never accepted, other times they are and they last a short amount of time.  And every retailer is different and wants different things. 
 
All this to say..........
 
We made up a couple of new items that are yet to be sold but will be shortly........on our website:
 
These are canisters for the kitchen counter made with some beautiful knotty hickory.  I think they are quite fun, but the price negotiation with retailers will not be.......that's another post.

And this is a serving tray in the knotty hickory as well and i think it would make a great item for the kitchen counter but also even the coffee table. 
So now i need to get back to work and organize my strategies on how to get these out there to the retail stores....... 
 
talk soon......
your custom cabinet girl
 
 


Friday, April 24, 2015

breaking down brick walls


I have been trying to create new wood products for different retail companies but the answers are not always what i expect.  I might take a look at a companies website and think, "OK this is their style, i will create this."  And i try to find, create, and ultimately ask my dad to build a certain item.  Then you take photos and do "show and tell" and the response is not usually what you expect. 

Sometimes its, "great! just what i was looking for." 
And other times its, "that will not work for our line." 
And even other times its no response at all and you feel like you're talking to a brick wall.

Now, lucky for me i get to talk to my two little brick walls all day every day and they live with me too, so i don't really feel like having to deal with the brick wall people in the professional world.  But these people are alive and well and they're a big group of people on the Internet, living somewhere in the world. 
They're people who don't really know who i am and they just delete my email.
(How could they)!!??
Or they might just not like my product and they delete my email. 
(Still not cool).
Or my most favorite, "it costs too much, it won't sell!" 
(you mean it won't sell because you take my price and quadruple it)!!

I am manufacturing wood products in Lodi, California, (not the smartest move i have ever made), I'm not manufacturing in China people! 

So after someone finally talks to you and likes your product you get to....... (my first favorite part)!!

Wait..........to get the product approved
 
And you Wait some more........to get the price negotiated
 
And you Wait even more..........to get the order (my second favorite part)!

And you Wait some more.....................to get paid

All the while you try to get another vendor to like a new product and you start all over again. 

breaking down brick walls - one wood product at a time,
your custom cabinet girl

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

the abyss of inquiries, quotes, and hoping for response

In the world of marketing for your own buisness i find it daunting at times and extremely rewarding at others.  Lately i feel like my inquiries go into a black hole.
THE BLACK HOLE.............
This black hole is kind of pretty. I might want to go in there and with my pillow pet, blanket, favorite book, and take a nap.......


Which leads me to think the following;
 
1. Are my products not interesting enough for a response?
2. Did my email get into their spam? 
3. Do i need to call them up?  i really hate doing that......
4. What do i need to do to get attention?  i only have so many jokes in my aresenal of jokes.........
5. do i just give up now?
 
 
And then i read the sign in the office that Mr. Know-it-All gave me.
 
 
Then.........someone emails me back! They love my product and want to work with me.  And i feel like Sally Field who just won the Oscar and she says; "You like me!! You really really like me!"  After all this emailing and following up it just might be worth it.......
the marketing guru has rebooted herself!
your custom cabinet girl

Monday, March 9, 2015

crushing stereotypes

Its really fun being a girl in a cabinet shop. 
 
I get to work in the finish shop.......... 
 
 I get to work in the wood shop..........
 
 I get to work in the office............

 
 
But i bet you don't know how many times a week i get asked, "you work in the shop?"
 
Yes i get my hands dirty, and no i don't like it when the stain doesn't come off my skin or from under my nails.  I do love the physical aspect of my job, putting the wood away, moving cabinets from one building to another.  Delivering cabinets to the job site.  The thinking that goes on with creating a custom stain, or building a wood project, is just another aspect i love as well. 
Its been 14 years since i started working with my dad and learning about cabinetry, and i have so much more to learn.  Its amazing how much you can expand with knowledge in a trade and the new products and ideas you can try to make. 

We are expanding our line of custom wood products for the kitchen that will be available shortly on our website.  I will begin to post about each new product and i would love to hear feedback how the product will be helpful to you in your kitchen. 

until the next time when i get to work in the office and blog :)
your custom cabinet girl

Monday, January 5, 2015

melissa is the cream to my coffee.......

 




 
Its actually a miracle that i got to help Melissa today with putting the handles on the utensil boxes.  I feel like i am always being pulled in so many directions, phone, email, deliveries, a guy walks into the shop......i really envy those who can concentrate on one task at a time and not become distracted easily.  My job entails a lot of different things which makes it exciting and fresh, but I always feel like i have only got a little bit done on each assignment all the time. 
We were able to soak them all in mineral oil last Friday which was fun because it brings out the beautiful colors in the maple hardwood.  Then we let them dry over the weekend.  And that brings us to today where we were able to put the handles on. 

Its so much fun working with Melissa!  She is the ying to my yang, the cream to my coffee, the butter to my toast, i cannot stay focused without her!  We will be putting a lot of these together in the next couple of weeks and i will keep you posted. 

your custom cabinet girl