Hi! My wife and I opened an Etsy shop together in 2014. The idea came to us pretty suddenly. She had hand-made a wooden growth chart for our twins and hung it in the hallway of our house. Every so often, a family member or friend would see the 6ft. ruler growth chart and ask where we bought it. Once they found out we made it, they immediately followed up with “Please, can you make me one?” After hearing this maybe twenty times, I turned to my wife and said, “You could sell these!” Three years later, we have six different stain finishes and a multitude of design options for our growth charts. We branched out and started making wooden signs, blanket ladders, and chalkboard serving trays.
Not too long ago, we decided to bring our products to some in-person vendor and craft fairs in New Jersey. The idea being that engaging an audience face-to-face would give us a chance to demonstrate and explain our product to those who may not have found our small shop otherwise. Also, it is exponentially easier to hand-deliver our growth charts instead of packing and shipping them cross-country. Unfortunately, we were completely frustrated with the way in which each event was run and the minimal advertisements for local NJ craft fairs. I turned again to my wife saying “You could do this better!” And so is born Marketspace Vendor Events. I admire that her focus of the company is on very visible, smartly promoted vendor events that serves the vendors first. She has a unique perspective from both sides- as the craft vendor, and now as the vendor fair manager.
Handcrafting growth charts has given us a way to earn a supplemental income as well as bond with our children. Our six-year-old twins love to help us create products and track sales. They even take our scrap wood to make their own mini growth charts! We are working on getting our seven-month-old to start pulling his weight :) The time we spend in the Cozy Gray Workshop or at local vendor events is a great time to catch up with each other about our otherwise hectic lives. It truly is a family business!