Haak WoodWorks

 Kayla and Justin have such a fun attitude towards Haak Woodworks. Get to know them behind the scenes and don’t forget to enter our contest!
 Kayla and Justin

1. How did Haak Woodworks Start?

Haak Woodworks started when I asked Justin to make a few hexagon shelves for our living room. After he questioned me on if they were in style haha, he agreed to make some. He’s seriously the best. A few friends who came by and asked where we had bought them, saying they had been looking for similar shelves and hadn’t been able to find any. We made a few shelves for friends and they loved them. A while later, when I was on a de-cluttering kick and selling stuff I didn’t need on Abbotsford Bidding Wars, I had the idea to try selling shelves there. I was surprised by how quickly they sold each time, but it was a little annoying to have to repost and watch the bids etc (also some people on Abby Bidding Wars can be a little crazy). My sister in law suggested we start an Instagram page to get the word out on what we had been making. Justin and I both didn’t have Instagram and we felt a little hesitant about joining that world… We’re quite private (him more than me) and not super techy or trendy or instagrammy (if that’s a word). But after some more thought decided why not? And here we are.

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2. What is the most life-giving aspect of your company to you?

The most life-giving aspect of our company to us… there are 2 things I think. The first is that it doesn’t take away any time from our family, in fact, it helps us spend more time together. We have fun with this! Justin builds the pieces (hexagons, tables, headboards etc) and I sand them and stain them and connect with the customers. We do this together in our garage with country music playing while the kids scoot around on their bikes or “help” sweep up the sawdust (which ends up being more of a mess but keeps them involved and they love it). It feels like a hobby we can all share together and it feels good to spend time doing something fun together instead of doing something like watch TV.

The second is that we’ve had opportunities to connect with some awesome people and local companies including Duft and Co, Spruce Collective, and Oldhand. These guys have just blazed the trail for local companies and they are so inspiring. We’ve also had the opportunity to donate some of our products for AMAZING causes including Casa De Luz, I Get To Legacy Chain and the Abbotsford Hospice. I think we sometimes underestimate the gifts we have and forget that collectively, small changes make a big difference. (Ok, let me stop myself here before I get on an inspirational rant. But seriously these guys are worth checking out if you haven’t already!)

 

3. What is the hardest part of starting your company?

The hardest part of starting our company also turned out to be the best and most freeing. Figuring out for ourselves that we could make this whole thing look the way we want and not having to copy a certain model to get there. At first, I thought we would need a Facebook page, an Etsy account, and “oh do I need to now add a blog about my family and post pictures of us making our products while wearing cute local clothing so people feel connected to us?” (Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against family blogs by any means or sharing day to day life. It’s just not me.) It feels good to be authentic and relaxed about it all and to just enjoy it for what it is.

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4. What words of advice would you give someone looking into or starting a small business?

Words of advice for someone looking into starting a business: Be inspired by other companies but don’t compare yourself to them. You have something completely unique to offer!!

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5. What is your favorite item you make?!

My favorite item is the crib we made when I was pregnant with our first baby and is now being used by our second. It’s big and sturdy and holds a lot of special memories. But other than that I LOVE the plant stands we make. I think a plant adds so much to a room, and the stand just shows it off a little better in a nice clean way. We also like doing new projects and hearing ideas from different people. Right now we are making a “house bed” for a friend’s little boy and I think it’s going to turn out amazing!!

 

6.Most popular item?

most popular item is definitely the hexagon shelf. People just can’t seem to get enough haha.

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7. How can we support you well?

Man, we have felt nothing but support from the beginning. We’ve had great encouragement and feedback, some cool collaborations and we’re excited for what is ahead!

 

THANK YOU JUSTIN AND KAYLA!

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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION

Enter to win a Two Shelves OR a Plant Stand (winner’s choice)

how to enter

  1. comment below about what you are looking forward to this summer
  2. like and share (for extra entries)
  3. tag friends in Instagram that would like this prize (one per comment)
  4. make sure you are following us if you have Instagram (Haak and F&M)

Must be 13 + years old to win. This is not a WordPress, Facebook, Instagram endorsed giveaway. Local Pick up only. We do not have shipping. Item will be from Abbotsford, BC. So if you have a way of grabbing it please enter!

 

contest closes Wednesday, June 27th at 11:59 PM.

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Mother's Day Feature #5- Lena Shaw


Tell us a little bit about your family and how long you have had your business up and running?

My husband and I have two little girls, Monroe (4) and Selma (2). We met on our first day of going to University in Victoria and the rest is history. I started Mosie’s Cozies 4 years ago when I was on maternity leave with Monroe.

What was the inspiration behind starting your own business?

As soon as Monroe was born, I immediately started making her headbands. She got lots of compliments when we were out and about each day, so I decided to start selling them out of my stroller when we were at the park, at the grocery store, etc.

What is your favorite part about running your own business?

Running my own business has allowed me to be home with my girls. It’s been so nice to be with them during these precious times of being little. It certainly goes by quick!

When do you find time to fit in work? Do you have a Nanny, childcare, or house cleaner? How do you balance it all?

I am lucky to have both my parents, as well as my husband’s parents who each help at least one day a week. I also have an amazing friend (who also is a nurse, who also is my headband seamstress) who watches the girls once a week. I also try to fill orders during naptime, as well as on weekends when my husband is home to help. I don’t usually work when I have the kids myself during the days where it is just me because I can’t give myself fully to my kids, or my work. It’s a tough one to balance.

What was the greatest advice you have received since becoming a parent or since starting your own business that has helped you?

With parenting, I’ve found that you can read all of the books, and articles there are out there but until you are in it and are experiencing it yourself, you don’t fully know how it will all go. There are so many different parenting styles, and all babies and kids are unique. Do things the way you feel are right, and all will work out. With the business, it’s definitely a learn as you go experience. I have connected with so many other small business owners, who give advice and share what works and what doesn’t. I think the best way to keep going is asking for help when you need it.

What has been your greatest hurdle when it comes to running your own business and raising your family? Definitely finding the balance and trying to figure out the most efficient way to get things done. How do you balance your other relationships in your life (such as friends, parents, partner?) If there is anything, I make time for my relationships. It has always been important to me and I’ve always kept it a priority to keep these up. I work really hard when it’s my “work” day, and try to turn it off when I’m “off”.

What did you want to be when you were younger?

I always wanted to be a cleaning lady when I was young. I remember staying at hotels with my family and desperately wanted one of those cleaning carts!

What careers have you had I the past that led to where you are today?

I’m actually a school teacher in the Surrey School District and recently have gone back to subbing. I’ve taken an extended (2 year leave) to focus on my business and am excited to be going back once a week in the fall.

What advice would you give someone just starting out?

Take it day by day, week by week, and month by month. Don’t allow yourself to get caught up in the world of social media, however, allow yourself to grow by using it. Make connections, ask for help, and find those friends who pick you up and support you.

What would your dream Mother’s Day look like?

Sleeping in and waking up to sunshine! Spending time with my little family and eating delicious food together without any distractions (from work haha).

 

WINNER IS—— SANDRA NEMETH!- congrats mama