“I prefer winter and fall, when you can feel the bone structure in the landscape—the loneliness of it—the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it—the whole story doesn’t show.”
Andrew Wyeth, American Painter
Atop the bony carcass of the northern landscape sits our shop; situated on a howling valley, it is our small refuge. Humble and created from the blankness of an abandoned farm, as we sit around the woodstove, smoking or laughing or dusting ourselves off, we discuss the future. Our story is not quite a long one, though it can feel long at times; Barnwood Designs began only about five years ago. But for this time it has been our world.
This world has moved non-stop since it began. With few lulls in sales, we’ve been continuously on the move to create one of the most rapidly-growing small businesses in our sleepy corner of New York State, and lo, one of the most successful and high-quality online vendors of handmade barnwood shelving. This has not given us much time to let the next chapters of our story expose themselves. It has not given us much time to ourselves, to walk the mountains and read books and laugh with our families. It has not even given us time, some weeks, to take out the trash and clean the windows. And so after one of our highest-performing months of all time, we’ve decided to take a break to rejuvenate our facilities, our marketing efforts, and ourselves.
For the moment, we’ve increased prices quite drastically, and have increased lead time from 3-5 days to a whooping 4-6 weeks. This will give us the freedom to discuss as a collective a whole roster of different strategies for making our operation more efficient and less strenuous, without taking away the quality of our product or cutting back on just how fun it is to construct these neat shelves. We’re also expanding our collection and have many, many ideas for new barnwood items we can share with you, and have a lot of ideas on how to increase our engagement with our customers. For example, we’re working on a new system that will allow us to post live updates of your custom orders on Twitter at a number of stages in the production process, allowing us to get your feedback on your order before it arrives at your door. This way, we can get each order right the first time, and offer a rare window to our customers into the world of woodshop design and fabrication.
At first, it seemed that Barnwood Designs was a lark; a cosmic blip that afforded us temporary survival and a bit of fun. What we have found is that Barnwood Designs is here to stay, and so in fact, our story has just begun. The next chapter will offer us a more robust life, where rather than running continuously, we can take our time. Walking in the woods, playing chess with old friends, enjoying a drink beneath the Adirondack moon, paddling canoes with our children and cousins, reaching out to those in need. And gently working away the days here along the Tenonanatche – the Mohawk River. As the icy fingers of winter melt away, I think, with your help, we’ll find ourselves happily afloat, winding away towards the warmth of spring.
We thank you ever so much for helping us live our dreams; we hope you love what we have in store for you!