Departures Magazine features us, and an account of our time at American Field and Bust Craftacular
We were recently featured in Departures, where they spoke very highly about our business and product line. It would seem that our end grain walnut cutting board just can't get enough attention! We really appreciate the shout out, Departures, even if you did call me "Wissle" towards the end of the article ;) Hey, it's a nickname I was given by my brother long ago, so it only seems fitting!
I'd also like to take a moment and talk about the direction Brooklyn Butcher Blocks is going, because it's going in many directions. It's a lot of stuff; too much for one blog post, but for now, I would like to cover how I have started and intend to continue handling events this year. Previously, I would ship crates or carry luggage and fly out to the destination city to sell our wares. Most infamously....
- shipped a crate to LA for an event, then flew out
- left the crate in LA for 2 weeks, while I returned to NY
- flew back out to LA and picked up the crate
- shipped the crate to Austin, and flew out to Austin for an event the following weekend.
Often these events barely pay for themselves once you get into shipping our product--it is just so heavy, it decimates products. But, from a marketing standpoint, it isn't pointless and over time the sales do add up. I'll see orders made around Christmas that I believe were caused from an event, and sometimes a customer makes a note of such to us as well. Thanks by the way, you make the work and effort worthwhile. I really do appreciate that.
The issue is that this system isn't sustainable--there's no way I will be able to hustle that hard forever, and I've come to realize this. Exposing my business to different geographic demographics does help build the business, and it also happens to be a value of mine.
My solution is pretty simple: We're still shipping product to and fro, but now we're hiring salespeople, brand ambassadors, booth attendants--whatever you want to call it--in cities across the country. This is still in its experimental phase. Right now, I am just interested in paying for the booth and the shipping costs. I think as time progresses, our ability to include Custom Work at these events will make them pay for themselves and then some. But first, we need to figure out what the system is that will lead to success, test it, execute it.
I am really excited about this process and seeing how it plays out. With that said, I wanted to share how our events in DC and Brooklyn went last weekend! Jaclyn attended American Field in DC while Kelly was at Bust Craftacular in Brooklyn. The day was as beautiful as any day in London, read: rainy. Despite the overcast skies, Bust and American Field saw decent turn out. Kelly accounts that, "Nils was right, the most common response was something along the lines of 'these are too pretty to cut on.'" What can I say except I'm in touch with my audience :P What surprised me though was that Kelly "mostly sold End-grain Cherry boards." Typically I have seen that New Yorkers gravitate to the Walnut, with Cherry being more of a favorite of Midwesterners. Jaclyn mentioned that "American Field was quickly transforming (from an empty warehouse) into a market for everything from natural soaps to one-of-a-kind clothing to handmade leather goods to Jagermeister - something for everyone!" This is very true and something I've always liked about American Field. But despite being different events in different cities, we were getting the same "ooooohhs" and "aaahhhs" as usual. Including a few proud owners of a Brooklyn Butcher Block who purchased in previous years! We're happy to have old customers stop by and sing the praises of our products to new buyers who are getting their "first 'Adult' cutting board" as Jaclyn and her customers put it.
So to Bust and American Field, I just want to say thank you for your assistance in helping build a community around good craftsmanship. And to Jaclyn and Kelly, thank you for having my back and the back of Brooklyn Butcher Blocks!