WWGOA LIVE! Tips for Starting a Woodworking Business with Kiersten Hathcock

Duration: 1:03:25

George Vondriska and special guest Kiersten Hathcock, Founder and CEO of Mod Mom Furniture, discuss tips for starting a woodworking business.

Kiersten Hathcock left a marketing career with A&E and The History Channel in 2003 to spend more time with her kids and wound up building an internationally known furniture brand out of her 400 square foot garage. After four years of crafting and selling over 300 kids’ furniture items, Kiersten braved ABC’s Shark Tank and won an investment deal. Today, her furniture line is produced in Colorado and sold worldwide. In addition to mentoring entrepreneurs, traveling the country as a keynote speaker, and working with her agent on her soon-to-be-published memoir, Kiersten recently launched a co-branded line of children’s furniture with Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, a cultural and educational nonprofit institution established in 1940 by the American design and architecture icon.

2:00 Kiersten’s bio
10:00 Getting people to look at your items
11:20 Choosing items to sell
12:15 Tell your story
13:30 George’s bullet bowl
13:50 Glide Coat or paste wax
14:08 Brands of deep pour epoxy
14:50 Designing furniture/copyrights
20:07 Lathe chuck
21:50 Barnboard and reclaimed wood
22:40 Rising above other woodworkers
24:50 Pricing your work
29:30 How to market
31:30 Transitioning from a full time job to self-employment
35:38 Shoulder plane?
36:35 Capital to start your business
39:15 Lessons learned from Shark Tank
42:00 Finding your first customer
45:00 US made birch ply
46:00 Hand-made vs CNC cut
47:30 Finding a manufacturer to produce your stuff
49:25 Product liability
52:12 Drawing plans
53:35 Start up tools
55:11 Go Fund Me
55:50 Customers asking for discounts
58:15 Tips for getting started
59:10 Important woodworking skills to get started
1:00:00 Parting wisdom from Kiersten

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Discussion
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9 Responses to “WWGOA LIVE! Tips for Starting a Woodworking Business with Kiersten Hathcock”
  1. Darwin D
    Darwin D

    Always wanted to do something like Kiersten has done, but now in my mid 70’s will just keep doing my woodworking for family and friends.

    Reply
  2. Eric
    Eric

    George – Oneway Corp makes some of the best chucks in the business! They’re located in Stratford, Ontario.

    Reply
  3. Wayne Mills
    Wayne Mills

    In general, which is the more useful in a spiral router bit– up-cut, or down-cut?

    Reply
    • Customer Service
      Customer Service

      Upcut if you want performance, and downcut if you want cut quality. I buy spiral bits for performance and longevity, so I go with upcut most of the time.

      Paul
      Woodworkers Guild of America

      Reply
  4. Gregg Pawlowski
    Gregg Pawlowski

    Regarding the Frank Lloyd Wright collection (I love the idea), how did you go about using their name or becoming licensed to use their name? Thanks!

    Reply
  5. Joel Ruths
    Joel Ruths

    Would ShopSmith be a good equipment platform to build a business from?

    Reply
    • Customer Service
      Customer Service

      It depends on what your business is. Shopsmith produces good quality equipment that is designed to make great utilization of small spaces. It isn’t designed for high volume production. It wouldn’t be my first choice to use for running a woodworking business, but if you are space constrained and can make it work with Shopsmith gear, there’s nothing wrong with that approach.

      Paul
      Woodworkers Guild of America

      Reply