Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in home decor but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Bobby & Michele Johnson, Owners of Colors Of The Wood, located in Northville, MI, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Our business is called Colors Of The Wood - we are a small woodworking business that creates handcrafted wooden kitchen and home decor like cutting boards, serving trays, charcuterie boards, bottle openers, coasters, key holders, ornaments, keychains, gift tags, and hearts! We work with over 30 different types of wood, and everything is the natural color of that wood. As far as who our customers are - we do anything from wedding gifts, housewarming gifts, corporate gifts for an event, closing gifts with realtors, holiday gifts, or a custom butcher block for a kitchen! We own a laser engraver, so we can personalize anything that is picked out as well, and we love to make each piece special for that buyer.
Tell us about yourself
We are a husband and wife team. Bobby is the artist and the builder while Michele is in the store communicating with our customers. Bobby has always had a creative outlet and is a true artist at heart. He loves to work with his hands and create something to give to the world. He feels motivated each day to build through doing what he loves to do in being creative. Then when other people can appreciate it and visit our store, it is much more motivating and exciting to keep going! Michele feels motivated in talking to the wonderful people in our community every day and hearing the kind words about her husband's art, and helping someone to pick out a special gift feels very rewarding and meaningful.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Bobby started off doing the business mostly on his own for the first couple of years, and his biggest accomplishment as a business owner was taking the leap in his woodworking to go from a hobby to a full-time career. This involved quitting a corporate job and being confident enough to open our retail store in downtown Northville. It takes guts, but it is worth going for if you are passionate about it. Michele followed a couple of years later, transitioning out of her corporate job and into Colors Of The Wood full-time. We are also very proud to share that everything in our store is handmade and created by us, not someone else.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
One of the hardest things would be having the pressure knowing that the harder that the two of us work, the more we will succeed, we do not have a set hourly rate or salary like many jobs, so it is very much in our hands to create the path that we want and to never lose the momentum. It is sometimes a tough balance between kids and our personal lives, but it is more than worth it. Working for ourselves is the best feeling and absolutely freeing, even if it comes with the pressure of making all decisions on our own.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Figure out what you love to do and what you are good at, something positive you can give to the world.
- Become very good at that particular thing (not something too broad).
- Don't be afraid to go for it!
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
We appreciate you reading our story, and we would encourage anyone interested in starting a business with something they love doing to go for it, as there are many ways to be successful that don't require following a "typical" path. It is OK to go the non-typical route! Thanks again for reading! :)
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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