A look back…

The kids are spending some much needed time with grandma while Andrew & I work on our 2019 goals and social media calendar.  This is the first year we have actually sat down together to intentionally strategize goals and plan our Annual “To-Do” list for the coming year. It feels really relaxing to know we have a plan in place.  We’ve grown so much in the last 8 years personally, as a family and as Red Barn Canvas.   While on our planning hiatus it has been fun to look back on where we started and compare then and now..
When Red Barn Canvas started I had a $500 used Mac laptop (ya know the white ones with the really small screen).  Although I am artistic, I had no real graphic design skills and several failed business ideas in my back pocket.  You could say I am a bit of a dreamer, but my personal determination finally paid off.!  I had fumbled through designing what is now our “original Family Story Canvas” for my husband Andrew as a Christmas gift.  He has all the printing knowledge and printed it on canvas for me.  He loved it… Friends loved it…  So with his/their encouragement I opened our first ETSY shop and launched our own website www.redbarncanvas.com.   While our Family Story Canvas is still one of our best sellers we have added several design options – still making custom projects our top priority.  Most of our best sellers start as an idea from a customer and we build on it from there.  Our customers are always our best asset, and they truly are part of the Red Barn Family.  We still have faithful customers now that we started with way back then..!   We worked our tails off and we’ve grown slowly (on purpose) and bit more each and every year.  We have 2 little ones and running a business from home with them has its challenges.  It was important to me to keep RBC at a level we could manage for the most part on our own with little outside help.
Our manufacturing was totally a grass roots effort.  Andrew started building our frames with a hand saw and an orange plastic Home Depot miter box and stapling/stretching our canvases with a hand stapler on our kitchen island in the evenings after the little ones would go to sleep.  We were making it work and as the business grew.. so did our equipment.  Today we use top quality Fredrix stretcher bars and run everything on our own high end printer.  We do it all right here in our studio in North Georgia. We make quality and customer satisfaction our top priority. Nothing ships out of our shop without passing Andrews standards.   We grew slow but we grew strong.  We own 100% of our business.  Eight years in, we are ranked in the top 1% of ETSY shops, we have shipped over 10,000 canvases to over 7 countries and we’ve done over 1 million in sales.
It’s the start of the New Year and I usually get a few messages about how to start a new business.  It really is the perfect time to jump in. Find a cheerleader or supporting friend (your going to need this more than anything else).   I literally had no graphic design skills when I started RBC.. I am self taught and determined.  I knew Andrew had the printing knowledge we needed and I had the entrepreneurial spirit – and we went all in.
Love and Peace to you all in 2019!
Make it a great one

Kristy & Andrew

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