Presents have been opened (although not all put away), the Christmas ham has been picked mostly clean, and we are already running low on Christmas cookies (although there’s still lots of pie). It must be time to reflect on the old year and make plans for the new!
We founded Historic Shed in 2008, after several years of planning. That means that we will be celebrating our 5th anniversary in May 2013 (am thinking it might be a good excuse for a party). For a business started in a recession, offering a product that no one knew to look for, we think it’s a pretty big milestone, especially considering that over 50% of small businesses fail in the first five years.
It has not been easy, or gone the way we expected in so many ways. We thought we’d be able to hire more help by now, would have invested in some more equipment to streamline our building process, and have had our sheds featured on at least three national TV shows (why haven’t they called?). But we have made some huge strides in the past year, including:
- We partnered with Citizen’s State Bank to offer financing for our buildings. This is a huge deal since the rates are very good and the bank has a good reputation. Sheds, garages and even cottages can all be financed, in whole or in part.
- We delivered outbuildings to several communities we hadn’t been in before 2012, including Gainesville, Fruitland Park, Ormond Beach, and Safety Harbor. Being located in Brooksville makes us centrally located to reach quite few communities throughout Florida without much difficulty.
- We reached over 1900 fans on our Historic Shed Facebook page. We get a good amount of engagement on the page, making it fun to find images and info to share with our wonderful fans. We have a fair amount of Historic Shed Twitter followers as well, but have moved our attention to our new love, our Pinterest page since it suits our visual sensibilities so well.
- For the first time, we built sheds for owners of newer homes that just like our style, proving that you don’t have to have a historic home to have good taste (yeah, I said it).
- We also built our first neighborhood shed for the VM Ybor Neighborhood Community Garden. All of our other sheds have been for private homeowners, although we do have a really exciting one coming up in the new year for a Historical Society…
- We learned that animals help promote sheds in 2012. We wrote about the miniature donkeys that wandered around a farm in Gainesville where we built an economy shed and it became our most popular blog post for the year. Then we got a shop cat from the pound, named Carmela, who generated lots of comments on Facebook and got lots of clicks in our e-newsletter. She has since come home with us where she tolerates the dog, but is less lonely since the kids are very attentive. The dog will be the subject of a future post since he visits the shop most weekends.
- We participated in a couple of workshops in 2012, including one on Tiny Homes, gave a few talks to historic neighborhood associations, and got some nice press from Bottom Line Secrets, Tiny House Swoon, and the Journal of Light Construction, as well as some other publications. We even got to guest post on Hometalk, a really wonderful home improvement social networking site.
We do expect that 2013 will be an excellent year for Historic Shed. We are starting the new year off with a unique garage project that I can’t wait to show off, even though it’s not built yet (it looks fabulous in my head). And we’ve got some great ideas to implement this year (Craig is the idea guy, so I’m not bragging, just praising him) and new partnerships we hope to form as we continue on this tiny building journey that we have embarked on. Thanks for being a part and let us know how we can help you.