4 Reasons To Build Business Relationships

Don't get caught up in selling your products and forget to build relationships. Build critical relationships with your customers, but also with your vendors, employees and -gasp-even your competitors.

Kitchen Kandy Just In Time For The Holidays

The owner of Fast Lane Metalworks and now Kitchen Kandy is creating some beautiful kitchen eyecandy for homes all across America.

Sana Doumet's Handcrafted Style

Sana Doumet is a jewelry maker with a rich palette of experiences to inspire her work.

Remember To Make Things For Yourself

Dont get stuck in the habit of making things you think your customers will like. Take a break from the norm and make something for yourself.

Found Design, Naturally Sourced Furniture

LET’S FACE IT, MOST MODERN FURNITURE PIECES ARE INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTS. RAW MATERIALS ARE TRANSFORMED TO MEET DESIGN SPECIFICATIONS — SO MANY WIDGETS, ALBEIT OFTEN WELL-DESIGNED ONES, THAT WE CAN SIT ON. Check out Little Branch Farms and next time your in Nashville say hello to Kelly Maxwell.

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Playing With Fire

 

HELLO & WELCOME

 

I am Heather Bunker: Designer, branding genius, mom of 4 and DIY lover. This blog is a mix of business and fun - full of helpful tutorials, marketing insights and design inspiration!

 

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THERE IS A CHILDLIKE ENTHUSIASM STILL AT WORK IN NEWT GROVER, EVEN IF HE’S — COUGH, COUGH — ELIGIBLE FOR AARP MEMBERSHIP. HIS ATTITUDE IS A GOOD-NATURED BLEND OF AN OLD SOUL WORKING WITH A MODERN MIND, AND IS FITTING FOR SOMEONE WHOSE COMPANY MOTTO IS: “SEE WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU PLAY WITH FIRE.”

 

By playing with fire Newt creates stunning, vibrant pieces of glass. Functional pieces like chandeliers and other lighting fixtures. And pure works of sculpture that adorn public and private spaces, adding a “wow” factor to both interiors and exteriors.

 

There needs to be some enthusiasm when your day starts at 4:00 in the morning, with a shop needing to get prepped for blowing glass a few hours later. The real work won’t happen until after breakfast and maybe some fishing. But then it’s three to four hours of concentrated creating. (Though, at a certain point in life, enthusiasm only carries you so far — afternoon naps have also become part of the schedule).

 

I must say, my conversation with Newt makes me want to visit his studio in Arizona. Not only so I could watch him play with fire, but also to enjoy his down-to-earth banter and wise observations about life and creativity. 

 

At this point in his career, Newt isn’t too worried about his reputation. He focuses on his work — which is marked by vibrant colors, flowing lines that challenge the “frame” provided by the spaces where his works are to be found, and a sense of whimsy — and lets his name take care of itself. 

 

That doesn’t mean he has no awareness of marketing and the facts of modern artisan life. He says getting a handle on social media is his biggest pain point as a businessman. It’s not exactly an enterprise that comes naturally to a guy who works solo in his studio.

 

Another modern challenge is competition from abroad, specifically China. There are price pressures arising from the ability of potential customers to order online — though it should be noted that glassworks do need to be packed very carefully to survive transport. And that’s known to not always happen.

 

But his creations are so effervescent — they just jump out at you and in some cases create a real sense of awe — that it’s hard to believe their equal can be found with an online shopping session.

 

You can visit his website to see his portfolio and get detailed information about ordering customized works. He’s also on Facebook and now on Instagram.

Handmade Branding