From Hobby to Business

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Project by robbinscabin posted 03-29-2012 02:58 PM 3553 views 7 times favorited 23 comments Add to Favorites Watch

When I first joined Lumberjocks I had just started woodworking and carving a few screen doors. After a lot of encouragement and helpful advice I started my little business ~ North Country Rustics. My hubby gave me a year to be successful…his definition of success: sell to people I’m not related to by DNA. Well, today is the one year anniversary of starting my business and I am THRILLED to say that I’ve had some good “success.”

We’ve had our first internet orders, our first vendor experience at an Outdoor Expo, we’ve had good interest in our Facebook page and NOW, I’m proud to announce our doors are being sold in our first retail location…Cedar Mountain Mercantile in the Salmon Run Mall, Watertown NY is displaying 3 of our doors for sale. I couldn’t be happier!

To all of you who’ve offered me your friendship and so much advice through the years…Thank You!

Picture 1: Saranac the Bear~ I’m very excited about our new assembly process. Instead of attaching the door frame on the back of the door we are now insetting the carved plywood into the frame. It’s a bit more complicated but…I love the results. It takes the doors “to the next level”.

Picture 2: Buck Shot~ Again this is our new “Lodge Style” door but I love how the antlers are now 3-D and raised off the branch in the background.

Picture 3: Keene the Moose~ I’ve been really drawn towards darker stains lately but had a request for the light cedar color.

Picture 4: Darth Moose~ After 5 years of we finally decided to retire the first bear door I ever made. It was still in excellent condition but my carving and woodworking skills have gotten so much better that I felt like it no longer represented what I can do. I told you that I’ve been into dark stains lately…and here’s the proof! I made a joke with my son when I was staining that the “Dark Side is Strong with this one…” (referencing Star Wars ~ LOL) and before long we had nicknamed this door “Darth Moose”.

Picture 5: Our first vendor booth at the Altona Outdoor Show. Met some great people and have gotten some interest in custom orders. Looking forward to more shows soon.

Picture 6: Our screen door display at Cedar Mountain Mercantile.

I don’t know if I’ll ever really be profitable with this little business but I’m breaking even and having a ton of fun! Thanks again!

[email protected]

-- Robbinscabin,

23 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


117711 posts in 4056 days

#1 posted 03-29-2012 03:05 PM

I’ve always enjoyed your screen doors and I’m glad to hear they have been getting such a strong reponce on the market. I wish you continued success on your great and unique doors.

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3783 days

#2 posted 03-29-2012 04:09 PM

im so glad you have met with the success you have gotten, i to have loved the screen doors and think that will do well, the more you become known for your work , im confidant you will sell, sell sell….....keep us updated robin…grizz

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View RockyBlue's profile


271 posts in 3173 days

#3 posted 03-29-2012 04:16 PM

Glad to hear of your success! Its always nice to know others like the work you do, and are willing to pay for it. very satisfying indeed.

-- I haven't had this much fun since hogs ate my little brother.

View robbinscabin's profile


313 posts in 3967 days

#4 posted 03-29-2012 05:32 PM

Aw, guys thanks so much! Jim & Grizz~I can always count on you for advice and encouragement! You guys are great!

Rocky~Thanks! I still don’t know as if it feels like a real business yet…but if nothing else it’s paying for the wood for my carving addiction. LOL

-- Robbinscabin,

View bondogaposis's profile


5517 posts in 2831 days

#5 posted 03-29-2012 07:20 PM

A really nice unique product.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View holzmichel's profile


23 posts in 3541 days

#6 posted 03-29-2012 07:24 PM

Very nice work, I’m plannig to do some similar pictures (but smaller) with European wildlife, but I think they won’t be as impressive as yours. Great!

View robbinscabin's profile


313 posts in 3967 days

#7 posted 03-29-2012 07:57 PM

I’ve done other carvings but I love carving the large animals…it’s a fun project!

-- Robbinscabin,

View cabmaker's profile


1745 posts in 3288 days

#8 posted 03-29-2012 08:12 PM

I wish you great success Celicia

View helluvawreck's profile


32086 posts in 3346 days

#9 posted 03-29-2012 08:27 PM

way to go, Celicia. It’s nice to see a fellow Lumberjock doing so well, especially in this economy. Keep on staying on the same course. It sounds like you are on a roll.


-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3653 days

#10 posted 03-29-2012 08:31 PM

You do beautiful work, Celicia.

Weren’t you struggling with how to ship some of your products/pieces, in the past ??

My last career/life was heading up a Logistics department. I still look at things as … stuff I’d have to ship, and … yours /could/ be tough ;-)

Great job. Best of luck with the business. Methinks you’ll be just fine….

-- -- Neil

View janice's profile


1121 posts in 3904 days

#11 posted 03-29-2012 09:25 PM

Good luck Celicia. I’ve always liked your doors too! In fact I want to try one for the cabin.

-- Janice

View Mark A. DeCou's profile

Mark A. DeCou

2009 posts in 4885 days

#12 posted 03-29-2012 09:45 PM

A year? Wow, you’ve done well, and not the best economy to do anything craft oriented.
Most of us struggle for 8-10 years on average before it starts to get easier.
I’ve been at it 15 years last month, and finally I don’t worry over finding some work to do.
I worry over other things, but that’s another story, ha.

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan -

View robbinscabin's profile


313 posts in 3967 days

#13 posted 03-29-2012 09:56 PM

Thanks everyone! Believe me, I have plenty of time when I’m wishing for a project…and then I’ll get three orders all due within two days. I guess that’s how this business goes. While I wish I was making actual profit…in this economy I’m just glad that I’m breaking even. Still, I’m having fun and that’s enough for me!

Mark~ You give me hope. I can hardly imagine my 15th anniversary (even though this year I celebrate 18 with hubby~LOL)

-- Robbinscabin,

View doncutlip's profile


2832 posts in 4035 days

#14 posted 03-29-2012 10:16 PM

Really good work, those are neat

-- Don, Royersford, PA

View Time2beupinAZ's profile


453 posts in 3441 days

#15 posted 03-29-2012 10:31 PM

Great work and congrats on the great SUCSESS…. Always great to see people making money at what they enjoy most.

-- Tim - I usally measure twice after I cut......then I know for sure that I cut it short.....

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