038 Mike from Barn Board Store, Growing and Scaling a Reclaimed Brand

HOW BARN BOARD STORE STARTED

About 16 years ago, Mike and his wife bought a house that had the worst-looking garage at the back of the house and he wanted to do something about it.

Later, a barn had blown over at a friend’s town and Mike together with his wife rented a truck and bought all the barn boards. He then collaged the garage in barn boards and made it look like a barn. Fast forward to 6 years later, they needed to expand the garage and they ended up tearing it all down. There was this barn board that was in still in good shape after all this time and he couldn’t really dispose of it. He opted to sell it on Craigslist where he got a massive response. Days later, he would still get requests from people asking where they could get barn board and that’s when the business idea came to mind.

TAKING THE LEAP OF FAITH

After tearing the garage and getting requests for barn boards, Mike would work with barn boards during the weekends and sell them off. Luckily at the same time, his career in management in a tech company hit a wall and he calmly transitioned to the barn wood business that was already booming.

BARN BOARD’S PRODUCT SERVICES AND REVENUE STREAMS

They mostly sell raw barn boards and reclaimed lumber and people can do whatever it is they want with it. Alternatively, they can make stuff for their clients. The first component of their business is sales and fabrication of reclaimed wood and the second component from demand was dried slabs. They’ve developed that part of the business incredibly, and have a lot of live edge slabs. Same as the reclaimed lumber, they can either sell it as raw or could create anything as per the client’s expectation. The third thing they do is custom furniture which a client gives specifications of whatever it is they need. They source their wood from tons of suppliers and barns in the Province of Ontario in which he tries his best to handpick the best materials. He’s noticed reclaimed materials are more popular and more appreciated now as opposed to before where furniture was pre-manufactured. People are flexing their creative muscles and it gets exciting every single day.

CHALLENGES OF RUNNING RECLAIMED BUSINESS

The number one challenge his business experiences are clients having extremely high expectations in terms of product delivery. Some clients think their order will be started on right away, which is hardly the case. The overflow of orders delays the timeframe in which an item will be completely done.

Figuring out the market and what the customers want has not been as stressful for them as they pride themselves on being good listeners. They’ve got clients who are super creative but have distinctively different tastes. From regular people, homeowners, restaurants, and commercial companies, this diverse group needs quite a good ear and someone who’s open-minded.

MARKETING HIS BUSINESS

It’s obvious from their website and Instagram account that they’ve mastered the art of marketing. For the past two years, Instagram has been driving quite a huge number of clients to their stores. Mike believes it’s important to have beautiful products but it’s also equally important to have clients knocking on your door buying products. He’s invested in a good team which he requires to be all rounded. It’s important to him that everyone he hires be passionate about woodwork as well as sales and other business techniques.

FUTURE PLANS

They just recently opened up their Durham store and are cautiously looking to grow more. His main concern is not to grow too much at once and not be able to meet clients’ expectations.

Visit them at

http://www.barnboardstore.com

https://www.instagram.com/barnboardstore/

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