Thursday, August 21, 2008

Our Shop

Well here is where I have been spending all my time! We have a small glass business here in South Carolina. Before we moved from Canada, my husband was known as a "journeyman" in his trade as a Glazier and Metal mechanic. He has 2 year college degree and had to have over 9000 hours for his apprenticeship! When we moved here we decided to try and open our own business because he was tired of working for other people who knew nothing about the business! Well initially we had two other partners and now we are on our own! Struggling hard but staying afloat.....barely!

This is just a small example of the detailed work he does! He is so very talented! This was about 12 hours worth of work all the hand drawing, etching, sandblasting etc..... doesn't it look amazing all lit up!

Our one and only worker Mike...he is very loyal and a hard worker;)

DH on the phone where he hates to be but where he spends a lot of his time! Picture edited from a bird towards the camera (lol)!

A shot from the entrance walking into the shop! You see Scarlett our secretary in the background! She is a really cool young girl who does "Roller Derby" more about that later;)

Me trying to get a picture of myself, and a picture of the different outlet choices available!

This was last weekend we did a showing at a local Home Show! This was our very small booth! We need business badly, so we are trying to get some!
This is one of the two door prizes my hubby made! South Carolina is a huge college football state and these two are HUGE rivals! Clemson Tigers above (YUK)!
Then of course the Carolina Gamecocks! "GO COCKS"!!
The only place in the world you hear that daily and never blink an eye about it!
We are struggling ladies! I personally have only been completely involved for the last 3 months and I am exhausted! I am working 7 days a week and the only down time I get in is my blogging! We are hoping a few prayers from my fellow bloggers might help this business get back on it's feet! It's small but we like it and don't want to lose it! I have had to learn about bookkeeping, accounting, pricing,'s not been easy! The power of prayer is strong and I am hoping you can send them this way even if for just a minute or two!
We love our little business and don't want to lose it! Maybe if those who owed would just pay their bills we could have a moment to breathe!!
Looking ahead with a positive attitude and hoping it all works out fine!
Hugs and love French;)


nikkicrumpet said...

I'm glad I could make you smile with that post....and heres to wishing you guys the BEST OF LUCK with the business. It's obvious he has some incredible talent!!! Hopefully lots of people will get a chance to see the magic he creates!

Tootsie said...

you got it babe!!!! here's some positive thoughts and some prayers. I do hope things are going to pick up for you. I own a small mobile treatment company, and know how hard it can be to be small and have those that owe you take their time! hang in there...have you explored the option of gov't grants? that is one way we are looking right now...they cover all sorts of expenses...

Raxx - A day in the life said...

Lisa, you have nothing but positive vibes and my prayers! I grew up in a business environment so I know the challenges!

Hang in there i know you guys will get a break!

artis1111 said...

He does great work! What about doing a sample and talking to a cabinet co.A piece that would go in cabinet doors. I had talked to Lowes and they said I would have to find a glass co. Then I put fabric instead. It might be a way to get connected.Do some small samples and see it a cabinet co will display for you. Talk to a local paper see if they might do a story on the art form.I have had 4 stories done. Kathy

French said...

Kathy we do the cabinets for three of the biggest companies in town;) Good idea though! Thanks everyone! Lisa!!

French said...

Anybody that knows small busineses knows its about cash flow! Breakage is huge in our business and sometimes it can really hurt the bottom edge costs! (yikes) French;)

Twice as Nice said...

It's sad what has happened to the mom and pop or specialty stores since the big box businesses like Wal Mart and Home Depot appeared. I remember your front door and how beautiful it is. Do you have a sign in the front yard advertising where the door came from? That's what people do around here when getting new siding, windows, etc. I'm sure a lot of people have passed your house and admired the front door not realizing they could have one too! Best of luck to your family and I said a prayer for you this morning.

Anonymous said...

You did great with the Home Show Display!!! ... You've received some really great suggestions, and the newspaper story is a great FREE idea which could be done, quite easily, this week! Do you give a discount for cash payment on pick-up or delivery? ... I once owned an appliance store and know the challenges of small business, so I'm pullin' for ya. :-) SherylCanadianGirl

Penny said...

Sending prosperous energy your way! You'll do great now that there are no partners. Partners can just suck the life out of a biz, I know!

Anonymous said...

French!!! Thanks for sharing pics of yor shop with us!!!! You are definately in my prayers! (Always!!!!) Things will turn around! (They will!)


onlymehere said...

Definitely I'll pray for my friend who forgives me for not posting the picture of me with the family. We'll be having a wedding in the spring (shhh, I'm not supposed to tell yet bz he hasn't given her the ring) so we'll be doing more pictures. I've owned a couple of small businesses myself from daycare to medical transcription so I appreciate the challenges and hardships. When doctors went on vacations for sometimes up to three months it was very hard since I had no income. I worked for several different doctors too. I finally went to work for a large national company just to supplement the pay and now I'm with them full-time. I loved having my own business but couldn't feed my family on it. I closed the daycare when Kaje' went to kindergarten and went back to school to get a degree in medical transcription so I've done this for 10+ years. Are you still working as a nurse too? Prayer is powerful and I'm happy to be praying for a friend like French!

cindy said...

Sending positive thoughts and prayers your way!..Things will get better!...Hang in there. Loved the pictures...(the little birdie made me laugh)...Cindy

cedwards55 said...

Frenchfry, You're in my prayers. Being self-employed is never easy but the beneifits are huge if you can just stick it out. I feel your pain! It's either feast or famine, isn't it? I'll pray for abundance for you. Hang in there and try not to get stressed!

santamaker said...

Wasn't sure if you had gotten my earlier suggestions for your business, but I had a couple more ideas... was wondering if you have considered approaching the governor's mansion as well as the gift shops in the s.c. statehouse or the museum giftshops for possibly glass Christmas tree decorations with the state emblem, or usc... who knows?!
Good luck with everything. I enjoy reading your blog.
Santamaker (rms)

Elizabeth said...

Your DH is definitely talented, and if you can get those non-payers on a payment plan he'll be able to do more advance business. I'm thinking of you during this difficult economy.

Justine said...

I don't know what that whole "caulking" reference is too, but I still stick by my original opinion that your dh is HOT. I was reading your blog last night to Jill and even told her she should take a look 'cause he's yummy. Hey, I can drool from afar! And I promise that if we ever meet my eyes will not stray from his face! ROFL!

I do hope your business picks up and that you're able to keep it. Hubby is obviously VERY talented, and what a great way to make a living... doing what you truly love.

Justine :o )

French said...

Thank you all so very much for the support during this very trying and difficult time! We are taking one step at a time~~~hoping and praying for the best;) French

mrsben said...

Lisa: I think Artist Kathy has a great idea as advertising/exposure plays a major roll in small business. Networking with a larger Firm may be the answer, but you have to give them the incentive to push 'your' product. (If need be; offer Management a freebie for their own home. Being a nurse; it is just like all those little pharmaceutical samples that are given to Doctors by major companies. They do it for a reason.)

Your hubby certainly does have talent, so I sincerely wish him (and you) success in his business endeavour. I realize it can be tough at times as we owned and operated a small business, until his recent retirement. (ie: Few holidays, sometimes a 6-day week 11hour work day, etc. Persistance, dedication, sacrifices etc.)

Old House Junkie said...

French, Bad debts are what drove my dxh out of the small business he owned when we first married. Small town, nice guy, he extended credit to people we knew who just could not be bothered to pay.

Controlling your accounts receivable will be a key to your business' success. Some businesses offer a small discount for payment within 10 days. My gutter installer did and his bill was paid as soon as I received it. My HVAC installer expected payment upon installation. He made that clear to me and I had a check ready for him the day install was finished.

Here's a wild idea: Could you develop three to five designs for framed mirrors or something similar that might be presented on Home Shopping Network or QVC? They'd need to be things that you could produce in volume, but both of you are attractive and photogenic and if you approached either network with the right product and price point they might select you. You can check out their requirements on their websites.

Wishing you great success. ohj

Santamaker said...

Hi French, I wonder why my other postings didn't show up..anyway...a couple of thoughts......... I was featured in Columbia Metropolitan Magazine last fall as an artisan , why not go on their website, click on the "contact us" spot and send a couple of photos of hubby's glass art...they are always looking for local talent. Also, I used to live in Woodcreek Farms in N.E. Columbia where our favorite USC football coach lives.. I bet that if you sent out some mailers with photos to the residents there they would be least we know that Spurrier would probably want the gamecock symbol on his door! Other nice communites are Wildwood or Spring Valley. Another suggestion is to find out who is doing the next "tour of Homes" and possibly donate a piece for advertisement purposes... okay..well, good luck .

Deb said...

Hey Girl, lovely work if I lived there I would give you some business. I need glass shevles for my glass front kitchen cabinets so my husband can put lights in them. Great business! Deb

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South Carolina, United States
Never say what if... Just do. Live life without regrets...RN /Author/Interior Decorator