It has been a wonderful experience working with Brendan Ravenhill, but one of the biggest lessons I learned from him is. To succeed you must first try. So I am about to try my hand at starting a company.
Right now I have a couple light and furniture designs I have come up with over the years and am going to start producing and selling them at local events. The idea is to see how people respond to my existing designs and to come up with new ideas by interacting with users, and taking on custom projects. At the beginning I will be making pretty much everything myself but, eventually the focus will be to set up a network of local manufacturers to take over production of components.
The goal is to move from direct to consumer sales, to wholesale and architectural services. This will require a flexible production line, and a plan to have my products UL tested and listed as needed. Once we have figured out the logistics for production we will focus our sales efforts on presenting at ICFF (Inter continental furniture festival). This even was immensely successful at exposing Brendan to the wholesale and hospitality sectors. I saw one of his struggles came from being ready to take on these larger orders.
The hardest part will be to remain profitable until we can exhibit at some of these larger furniture shows. Direct to customer sales is a difficult model to sustain in furniture design, but if we don’t growing. We will not have the resources to set up larger scale production.
I have worked for many small businesses and have seen the struggles first hand. I know the statistics about starting a small business. I have failed at fulfilling smaller and grander dreams. I am definitely scared, but that is better than bored. I would rather be challenged than underutilized.
This will definitely be a challenge,