When my wife has an idea, I usually listen.
Contrary to what she believes.
But when the owner of her own successful business called What She Said Creatives says, “You and the boys should start your own home-based business,” I got excited. We talked about ways we could teach the boys about making something, learning about cost and profit, and developing new skills.
A portion would go towards purchasing a travel trailer and going camping, in order to provide both adventure and reward for all the efforts. Work hard, play hard, right? They are also loving that their hard work provides them with a wage to spend and/or save towards dream purchases for themselves.
April designed the logo, helped set up the website and ordered us business cards. With that complete, House of Many was “officially” up and running and it was time for us to get to work. We needed a shop to work on and thankfully we had a run-down one already in our yard. It was one year ago that Marek and I got busy working on the roof by tearing off some 30-year-old shingles and replacing panels. Back when OSB was $13.00 a sheet. Remember those days? The roof led to insulating walls, putting in a new floor and building a bridge to cross the creek to get there.
By the time the bridge was built and the insulation put in, the snow came, so we were left to wait until Spring to continue our project. And thankfully after a long and dusty winter of working in the garage, basement, kitchen, and dining room table, we were finally able, with the boys’ help, to move into the new space. Although we’re not the fastest do-it-yourselfers, we can thankfully report that we did it! We have a Workshop!
Following the footsteps of my wife’s business and her winsome ways, we entered the marketplace in four Makers Keep locations, Kreative Kustoms, and All Things in WEM and Cross Iron Mills. We are grateful for her belief in what we’re doing, her guidance and for the stores’ support in including our products.
The boys are busy cutting, sanding, painting, and packing the cards that are specific for families that may not look like everyone else’s, or the societal norms. When we deliver products to the stores, the realization that their work is “out there” in the marketplace has definitely imprinted the idea that what they do, what they CAN do, matters and has value. All of these skills – tearing down, building, creating, interacting – will be useful for them as they venture into young adulthood.
We also discussed and decided that part of our purpose as a small business was to help other children who don’t have the benefits we have in Canada. After considering what resonated best, we partnered with The Balinda Children’s Foundation to help support a grandmother in Uganda taking care of many children who have lost their parents.
Now that we’re able to begin full (of course, part-time…it’s not all about work) production, the boys will be able to experience trade shows and farmer’s markets as well as packaging for online sales.
We’re pretty excited about where this business will lead us by creating new products and applying their creative genius.
Keep watching for new products and more stories!