The Climb, the descend, another climb, another descend and repeat!
It feels like it was yesterday when Robyn & I took the leap of faith and started our own business in Okotoks sharing our dreams and inspirations to create something beautiful and elegant that our clients & customers can have as a part of their homes for years to come.
November 14, 2012 was the day Two Birds Furniture was born and later incorporated in 2014 and just like our everyday lives, we’re learning and growing more each passing day.
As many will tell you, running a small business can be fun but making it a successful business is an ongoing grind that has shared plenty of it’s ups and the same amount at downs at any given time in our work.
We started with a small shop with very little square footage (100 sq/ft to be exact) we then expanded into our family’s garage to help with the finishing stages of our products, but once we were able to get into a groove and started getting our name and product out there we finally made the big move to Okotoks and opened our first showroom and shop where we went from 100 sq/ft to 2143 sq/ft at our Stockton Avenue location.
(A young Clint with his trusty sidekick Hank at Two Birds’ First Manufacturing Shop)
Since moving into Okotoks, we like many others who are in the same entrepreneurial faction as us know deep down that it is an uphill battle everyday to make sure success follows you. There was definitely times where we had to ask ourselves as a company if we were going to make this work, bills were adding up, our personal expenses were put on the back burner and there was times of crisis early on in the process of establishing ourselves and the month of December 2016 rolled in, we hit that cross road of sink or swim and we were lucky enough to be able to swim through the obstacles thrown our way.
There have been times where our team as had to stretch and push ourselves through dedication and pride to make sure this venture continues to work and be efficient, there has been days where you’re missing family functions from birthdays to weddings. Missing out on vacations or events because an order has to be ready first thing the next morning or you have an employee sick and you have to pick up where they left off, the list is endless.
The most intriguing and rewarding part of Two Birds on this present day is how far we’ve come in how we build our products, always pivoting and making sure we deliver the best for not only our customers but for ourselves to make our lives more functional on an everyday basis.
Part of our growth besides the design of products whether it’s a barn door or custom furniture piece is how we put things together, we started with just a small table saw, chop saw and a bunch of sanders that were being worn out almost quarterly to now we’ve been able to acquire tools that have eased taken a lot of stress off our shoulders. We now own a 131″ Baker Band-saw that helps us mill our cladding material along with cutting pieces to a certain thickness in a pinch (before it would take us a full week to mill an order using a table saw, to now where it takes less than a day). We’ve added a thickness planer to our arsenal of tools that help us through the manufacturing process where we take a piece of wood and run it through the planer to get the correct thickness but also eliminate hours of sanding because planing the outside surface of our wood so sanding is at a minimum and we can expose the grains of our material to a higher definition making finishing easier but also enhancing our finished products.
(Left, Our Baker Band-Saw & Right, Our new thickness planer)
Another way of how we’re growing and developing is our expansion making things more accessible in the world of online stores and shopping. We didn’t think that we’d ever get to a point where an online store would be necessary but as we change, the world changes with it. We love our walk-ins but the fact that anyone can see our products and potentially browse late at night online and come up with an order request, we have to allow that to happen which is why in the next few weeks we will hopefully be fully available on Amazon for anyone located anywhere in the world, or you’re up late and curious at what an order would look like in your Amazon account because who hasn’t used Amazon?
So as we roll into the final few months of 2018 where we’re almost done four years of business, we’re making yet another big step in our business lives and moving on to even greater expansion as we’ve mentioned in previous posts, we’re moving again into our very own space. From our humble beginnings of just over 200 sq/ft, we’ll now have almost 3500 sq/ft when it’s all said and done with our own showroom, office space and plenty of finishing and manufacturing space to make sure we’re working more efficiency and having less wait times for our customers and clients. Stay tuned for the latest developments as we’ve already started our transition into our new facility and we couldn’t be more excited.
The excitement is building but through that there will still be those long days ahead and plenty of mountains to descend and climb once again but as long as you’re willing to take a chance, take some hits but keep the grind going there’s ample opportunity to come out on top of the mountain.