Today we’d like to introduce you to Katie Burke.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
The idea for Board At Home came to me during the summer of 2017 while traveling often for another job. I missed being able to channel my creativity while on the road and interacting with other like-minded women. Additionally, I received about thirty requests for handmade signs after I posted a picture of a sign I made for my new house. The answer was clear: I should just get everyone together so we could spend time together “getting crafty.”
Most of my social circle loved to create handmade things but lacked some of the know-how, tools, or materials needed to express themselves. A simple post on Facebook, “If I put together the event, who would want in?” led to the first party. I had around 15 people at the first event that grew into a few more booked events. We painted fun designs on those wood boards, and I happily received many pictures from customers when they found their place on a wall in their home.
Within a few months Board At Home grew too quickly for me to keep up with the demand. Friends and former customers were excited to join my team. Since the fall of 2017, we have grown from just my husband and me to eight artists in North Texas and central Oklahoma and a support staff of two (one working to grow the business all the way from Italy). We continue to grow as the word gets out and the number of requested events has increased exponentially.
Many events take place at local businesses so people can come join in without the pressure of hosting their own party. I am very thankful for the local businesses, artists, support staff, and of course customers who have supported Board At Home and helped it become what it is today. I love being able to help people get crafty, dig into their creative side, and create a product they are proud of and get to see hanging on their wall.
It makes me incredibly proud of knowing that my team has the same love for crafting and supporting these women is a constant source of joy. By the end of 2019, Board At Home plans to expand further into Texas and select major cities in surrounding states.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
For me, the biggest struggle was learning to deal with hiccups. I would beat myself up when any little thing went wrong, but as I’ve grown, I’ve learned that each hiccup is a learning opportunity. Working to streamline processes and write down policies and expectations was also difficult, but necessary for growth. Not to mention learning how to use social media as a business tool, which is still something I personally struggle with.
This started as a side hustle, so managing all of these things while working a full-time job was also a big challenge. I learned that time management is key! None of these struggles are actually challenging though with my team. I have an amazing group of ladies that promote and represent Board At Home, as well as a very supportive husband who helps me a lot
I am a full-time teacher and love to spend my nights in my garage cutting, sanding, and staining boards for our weekend’s events. However, that became overwhelming very quickly as the team grew. We learned to meet these growth challenges as a team, and I found support for many aspects of my business that helped us get to where we are now.
Everything continuing to be handmade is important to me and is a core value for Board At Home. My hope is that our customers know that their end product is completely made with love, both theirs and ours…
Board At Home – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
We specialize in custom home decor, in a fun do-it-yourself approach. I always loved the idea of home parties and hanging out with friends in a low-pressure environment. Combining this with my love for building and crafting Board At Home was born!
We are and will remain, focused on handmade items and empowering women. From the artists on the team to the women that attend the events. My background in teaching helped me get started, I love working with others helping them learn and discover new things.
In this case, it is the process of creating the signs, and building their confidence through creativity. I love seeing the looks on their faces when we reveal the final product, and they say “I can’t believe I made that!”
What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
There hasn’t been any one moment, but I love being able to support the artists on my team. One told me that she was able to pay off medical bills, another said once that her commission bought her families groceries that month. Those little reminders that this business is changing their lives too, not just mine, makes me proud.
- signs average $35
- parties range from 4-20+ people
- Website: www.boardathomeparties.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/boardathomeparties/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/boardathomeparties
Paisley Layne Photography