First of all I would like to say welcome to RiOak!
We are in our 5th year of business and what a year it has been. 2016 provided so much excitement for us and little did we know just what the good Lord had planned for us this year.
2017 started off with being accepted as a vendor for Vintage Market Days to not one show, not two shows but THREE! We have traveled to Kansas City, Wichita and Little Rock so far. This was an exciting time for us. I have always dreamed of being apart of larger shows just to see how we compared to what I liked to call, "The Big Boys." It was such a fun and rewarding experience for us, meeting new customers and even some old ones. We have met some amazing vendors and VMD has that family feeling we love so much. In order to travel to these shows we purchased a brand new 20ft trailer back in March to hold all of our product as we traveled down the road. Clint (my husband) is so proud of this trailer as this is something we have talked about for the last few years. So now if you see the RiOak Black trailer hauling down the road give us a wave or a honk and say Hello!
We then were awarded with Rural Missouri "Best Of" readers choice award and WOW, we were so honored to receive this. It meant so much because it was our customers that voted us in. Once Rural Missouri arrived and visited with us, they loved our story so much they did a feature piece on us for the July Issue, complete with a photo shoot with us and the girls.
Amazon and Etsy continue to provide for our business and keep us on our toes. Amazon Handmade has really taken off for us this year and we have had an increase of 300% in orders from last year! Every week we ship our packages all over the United States and we can even say, RiOak is world wide now. We have shipped our product to Canada, United Kingdom and even a few have gone to Australia! We process close to 350-400 Signs a month to ship out all over through these two sites and then we sell on our Facebook Group page as well. In all, between our Facebook Group and Online sales we process close to 600 signs a month, which does not include product to go to any of the shows! I like to take a minimum of 500 signs with me to a larger show and shoot for 250 to smaller ones, so any given month RiOak just might produce 1000 signs... it almost seems impossible when I think about, but some how it always gets done.
I honestly feel like Clinton and I are crazy or something, seriously...
With the sign business hopping we decided we needed to take on just one more thing! We purchased a high end CNC plasma cutter that was just delivered to our house this month. We have an onsite training scheduled for July 11th, 12th and 13th. Starting in August be watching our website for NEW metal decor. We are very excited about this next journey with our business.
Sometimes we don't know if we are coming or going. Not only do we stay CraZy busy with the business, but we also have two little girls. The Ri and the Oak of RiOak. Riley is busy with traveling softball this summer and Oaklee is finishing up her first season with T-Ball. Between all the practices and games we are busy at least 3 to 4 nights a week going here and there. You know the days... "Where is your uniform?" "Do you have everything in your bag, bat, glove, ball, sunflower seeds, water bottle, batting gloves etc." "Go get your uniform so we can wash it for tonight's game, yes I know we washed it yesterday, but you had a game last night, we have to wash it again!" So there is also this side of our life that is very important to us but also very busy. I will write more about life of a maker and being a mom another time, but for now we will just say these are some crazy times. I know when the kids are gone, I will look back and think, "Those were some good days."
This pretty much wraps up our 2017 so far.
As far as this Blog goes I plan to write weekly...have a suggestion for topics? Shoot me a message for ideas!
Cheers from my coffee cup to yours,
(Photo Credit: Heather Berry: Rural Missouri Magazine)