The heart behind our brand...BURLY version. February 18, 2015 09:40
While he has been working his day job, supporting our family for the past 25 years, I've been granted the freedom to discover my passions and creativity on so many levels. I'm so grateful for that. My new business partner, appropriately named Burly...has not only been an amazing husband but also my encourager, financial investor, confidant, counselor, emergency back up plan but mostly my ROCK. There wouldn't be a Chic without the Burly. He's not only an essential part of our business as the maker of some of the coolest products ever but a guy with the desire to fulfill his God given purposes. I want to share his heart with the world because it's just that awesome.
WHAT GOT YOU INTERESTED IN BUILDING THINGS OUT OF PALLET WOOD?
I work in an industry where pallet come in almost daily. I would ponder…what else can one do with those palettes- that’s a lot of wood going to waste! I’m not a master craftsman but I love to build things with my own two hands-so I started brainstorming with my wife who loves to design and create. We thought up a few cool product ideas- things we would use in our own home- unique pieces that would not only look good but be useful and inspiring. And so the journey began.
HAVE YOU ALWAYS BEEN CREATIVE?
I guess maybe it's always been in me I just didn't use it. I come from a family of artists for sure. I've always loved creative "things" like good music, great food, the outdoors...things like that. I would say my creative outlet was probably and mostly bow hunting, which I'm pretty passionate about. There's something about sitting in nature. I like to refer to it as my "church in the woods." We did own a small cottage on a little lake in northern WI when our kids were in grade school. That definitely deepened my love and appreciation for nature and the outdoors. We purchased our first plot of land when our boys were very young and spent 4 years dreaming up what kind of home we wanted on it. We designed and built that home on our own and then another one since then. We did most of the work ourselves, one we're still working on 10 years later. Ha THAT- I would say has been an awesome, creative outlet and accomplishment for me. Also having our two sons watch that process knowing that a house just doesn't get built in a day has instilled in them an appreciation of craftsmanship. And that's cool.
I think working in the industry I have for 25 years has somewhat oppressed my creativity- not that it hasn't been an absolute blessing and a great opportunity. It has provided so many things for me. Over and above the financial stability, it has also given me great opportunities within our community and introduced me to amazing people.
My wife has spurred me on, convinced that I have this thing inside of me begging to come out. She would always tell me, "You're so creative!" And I would think to myself...ya' maybe I am- but what does that look like? I would say that Burly Chic has definitely revived the creativity in me and given me a gratifying and fulfilling outlet to tap into using the gifts and talents that God has given me. That's incredibly cool to me.
WHERE DID THE NAME BURLY CHIC COME FROM?
My wife and I brainstorming in bed on a sunny, summer Saturday morning, listening to The Cilvil Wars- birds of a feather. We decided we wanted to create a brand that blended our different bends on design; my love of rustic, primitive and natural with her love of pretty, inspiring, and chic. I’m an outdoorsy, rugged, burly dude-I like things that look like they just came out of the woods-while my wife is definitely trendy, creative, and chic. Hence the name Burly Chic.
WHAT SETS YOUR PRODUCTS APART?
Anybody can walk into a home depot and buy a board but the character of pallet is unmatched. You never know what you’re going to run into. Different kinds of hardwoods mostly. It’s like a treasure hunt for the coolest wood. I’m often inspired to build specific things just because of the unique nature of that particular pallet. No two pieces are ever the same or will ever be again.
HOW DO YOU COME UP WITH YOUR IDEAS?
I think we inspire each other…and often CHIC will ask me to design an idea out of necessity. Like we needed a sturdy tray to put on our bed for our coffee cups when we’re reading or hangin' out on a Saturday morning- the serving tray was invented. We needed a huge magnet board for our office to display photos and creative ideas- the Burly Board was the result of that need. Our faith is our priority- and the desire for people to be encouraged and inspired is important to us- this brought about the cross with the words on them.
Wine racks- we love wine. Burly Beverage Box- wanted some cool transportation for a 6 pack of microbrews- Wine Box- transportation for wine. Monogram coasters- a place to set our beverages… You get the idea.
WHAT'S MOST GRATIFYING ABOUT WHAT YOU'RE DOING IN YOUR BUSINESS?
Oh so many but I'll boil it down to three things…
Inventing something cool out of something that may have ended up in the trash or thrown into a fire is gratifying. Using up cycling is pretty cool. And finding vintage and salvaged elements to add to our designs is fun- like a treasure hunt all the time.
Working with my wife- my best friend is a blast. We really LIKE each other and enjoy being together- you know there are always those moments- everybody has moments- but overall it’s awesome.
There’s something so gratifying about building something out of your own two hands. It feels good to make something that somebody sees has value, be willing to pay for it and absolutely love it. Like wow I created that! There’s nothing better.
WHAT CAN WE EXPECT IN THE FUTURE WITH BURLY CHIC?
Well -we’re looking to keep expanding the line. We’re working on an amazing t shirt line. I know Chic wants to add some more accessories for the gals and the guys even. Expanding the jewelry line, which is pretty cool. We use little scrap pieces of wood and add words and vintage buttons. Possible expanding into home styling, somethimg my wife has had an itch to do for years- just never had the time. I’ve general contracted my own homes and had a blast with it. Who knows? Maybe someday we’ll be designing Burly Chic Homes. All I know for sure is the future looks bright! Stay tuned!