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Building a Woodworking Business

Love this thread.

I'm weeks away from buying my first CNC. Yes, I'm going to sell stuff. More stuff.

I'm currently making cutting boards for the craft fair circuit, and I'm at capacity. I think. And then I got a job to make 84 pieces for a country club. And then another job with 8 pieces for a start-up food company. Last night, I quoted 2 jobs for 26 pieces for a restaurant. I got 3 orders from my sole brick & mortar boutique retailer that carries my stuff. And, I scheduled a meeting for next week to finalize 12 pieces for a realtor.

The first 2 jobs were both referred to me by my engraver, who is now actively selling my services as a complement to her own. When I get the CNC, she'll offer those capabilities as well.

Is it a living? Nope. But I can see that idea from here, truly. I'm not committing to anything other than driving my production as far as I can while having fun. That's key: I'm selling stuff. I'm making stuff. But I am SO having fun. As I frequently say, it's all about finding the pretty, and that's my goal in everything I make.

My wife and I recently completed our 100th event in our 3+ year run as Mrs M's Handmade. I summarized a lot of what we've learned in a blog post, which is humbly submitted. Read that post, here.

I also review every craft event that we do, and talk about our experiences as vendors under the series title, "The Board Chronicles." Our latest event, the California Strawberry Festival, is reviewed here.

Here's my current, favorite, prettiest end grain cutting board offered for sale. It's $325. I've carried it to about 10 events so far without selling it. It'll sell... eventually. Also shown are a pair of the signs made for the country club... that order was almost $4 grand, and I only carried the sign to the client. The leverage is to do fewer events and more business to business sales, I know. Getting out and selling those B to B projects is the thing I must do to grow revenue, I know.

But will I do what I know I must do? That's the question.

As a wise man once said, nothing happens until somebody sells something.


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