Asheville Crate Company Delivers Happiness
I'm up at 3 am and I don't even need an alarm clock.
My internal clock wakes me on my own now, it has for the past few months. The sky is dark, the crickets are chirping and fall chill is starting to arrive in the mornings.
Upstairs Randa and the kids are fast asleep, I'm not sure how they stay asleep with all the sanding and sawing going on down here. But they do for the most part, sometimes I'll hear the pitter-patter of Trey's footsteps coming down the steps to tell me about a bad dream he had. I'll wipe the sawdust off my shirt and lay with him until he feels better.
About a year ago I started making crates in our basement because the scrap wood from my DIY projects were starting to pile up. If you're like me, you HATE throwing away any wood, I figure there's gotta be a use for it eventually down the line so I made a rickety crate to hold small pieces of lumber underneath my work bench. Nearly 12 months later we've sold hundreds and hundreds of those crates across the country...at last count we've sent crates to 33 states and shipped some to Canada too!
I think the kids sorta understand what Daddy does in the basement we now call the Crateville workshop, especially Sydney because she likes to brag she's 6 1/2 now.
The other day when we were driving I told her I'll be gone one of these upcoming weekends delivering a bunch of crates to Congressional Country Club in Maryland...sorta near Washington, D.C.. She said...'you're driving all the way to Washington D.C.!!??' Then she stared out the window reflecting on something and in my head I thought to myself, 'hey, maybe I can bring her with me? Sorta like a daddy/daughter bring your kid to work day so she can really see what I do.' The thought made me happy so I asked her if she would wanna come with me to see Washington and she replied...'No, I don't think so. I'd rather stay home and play with dolls.'
OK then. Maybe the kids need a few more years to understand.
When I first started Asheville Crate Company, some of my friends were really excited to learn I could build stuff beyond crates so I got quite a few requests for tables, desks and even barn quilts. I had a hard time saying no because well, money...AND I wanted to make people happy with some affordable furniture. But eventually I had to start saying no and focus on the core products of the business if I wanted it to grow.
And it's definitely grown.
Last week Ohio State contacted us to make crates for their President's Prize winner, they liked the crates so much they ordered even more. What a great honor it is to make crates for the Unity Fridge program at OSU, I was on cloud 9 all weekend building those crates!
And that's what it's all about for me: happiness.
I chose Deliver Happiness as the motto for our small family business because when people see their name or business logo engraved on their crates it usually brings a smile to their face.
We've had a whole bunch of repeat customers who buy custom crates for special occasions and fill them with other small gifts, that's exactly what the The Matt & Molly Team do with the crates we build them each month.
We add their cool logo to crates and then they fill them with even more swag to give to their clients. In the testimonial Molly wrote for our website she said...absolutely gorgeous crates that you can do so much with! I never want to wrap a gift again, they should all go inside a Cool Crate from Asheville Crate Company!
So as we approach the one year mark, it's cool to reflect on all the ups and downs we've gone through...from our wood supplier changing wood without warning, to the printer suddenly not working, to not charging NEARLY enough for shipping to California (took a big loss on that one) and other bumps and hiccups along the way.
But all of those bumps seem small when we get a phone call from places like OSU, Congressional, Champion Hills or Molly telling us they want more crates. Somehow the hiccups magically disappear.
Something else that's cool to reflect on is how this business has made me feel. For me it's not about the money, it's about having a purpose and creating something from the ground up, it's about letting my creativity flow and being able to build something other people enjoy.
Yes, I'm in bed at 8 pm and up in the middle of the night but this small business has done wonders for my overall well being and sense of accomplishment.
Asheville Crate Company has truly delivered happiness.