Sign Search

I need to get serious about getting a sign for the exterior of our building.  If we want to open within a month we really need a sign and some may take longer than other to make.  Right now I have some estimates from a handful of companies but Joel and I really want something different.  Everyone in the plaza has channel letter and we just wanted to be a little more unique than that.  Having a hard time finding the right fit so far.  But I have a couple companies that have yet to get back to us so here’s hoping.

Also, we found out we can put a sign on all the sides of the building to help people find us when navigating through the plaza.  This is super awesome!!! We can plaster our name all over the building and that will help bring in costumers… but I did not budget for 4 signs!! I budgeted for one and I was low on that estimate just like I have been on every other estimate for this build out.  This means we have to figure out a way to make one sign into 4… hmmm gotta keep thinking on that.



Shhhh The Floors Are Drying

So this week our contractors are tasked with cleaning up the raw concrete floors at the shop and sealing them.  It should be interesting.  Last time I was there, there was a TON of the dry-fall paint on the ground along with the usual dust and dirt from construction.  There were paint buckets everywhere and two lifts still in there for painting. Oh, and the last time we were in there it looked like they rolled a second coat of paint on the brown and part of the green but the colors didn’t match :-O So I am not sure how they fixed that.  They may have had to repaint it all to match.

The floor should be set by Tuesday and then we are getting our shelves delivered so we can get those set up and ready for inventory.  Anyone want to come rip plywood into 2’x8′ pieces with us for our shelves?


SBA is a Pain in the Ass

So the Small Business Association (SBA) proclaims that it helps all of these small business get off the ground and aid them in their start up process.  This is total malarkey!!! They have been nothing but an absolute pain in the ass for this whole process. It probably would have been twenty times easier to get a second mortgage on our house!

The reason I have been so quiet on here is because I have been busting my ass on supporting our “equity injection” into our business.  I have to prove that I have spent the predetermined agreed upon amount of personal funds into the business before we can close on our small business loan.  Seems like a simple task right?  It also seems reasonable. They want to make sure we are for real. They want to make sure we are taking some of the risk too, not just taking their money and gambling with it.  Well it isn’t so simple.  The amount of support that is required as proof of expenditure is INSANE!!! And there is no materiality.  No matter the size of the expenditure, it has to be traced back to cash that is ours.

For example: I spent $12 changing the to a google sites domain in order to create our website with google.  Since I do not have a credit/debit card for our main business account I used our personal credit card.  To properly support this $12 expenditure I have to show an invoice or receipt, I then have to show that amount hitting my credit card statement, then I have to show my credit card statement being paid for at least that amount in the same period, and then I have to show the funding of that payment; I have to attach or snip in a picture of our checking account being deducted the amount paid to the credit card.  ALL FOR $12!!! And this is just ONE example! We have had so many expenses that went through our Lowes card, our Amazon account, and personal credit card and I have to do it for EVERY one!!

Needless to say I have spent probably 70 hours on one spreadsheet and I currently have 32 statements downloaded and ready to send to the SBA for proof of expenditure.  This is just the expenditures too.  The support for where the capital came from is the same thing! Oodles and oodles of documents.  If I was the one on the other end to review this spreadsheet I would just think “really? it’s $12, who gives a shit” haha

Also.  if you have never used the snipping tool (on a windows computer) you are really missing out!!!


A Counter We Can Be Proud Of

As you may have seen our counter top was poured with about 4 inches of concrete and they used a silicone template for the edges to make it look rough cut! Super cool!

This is where I come in!!! Joel and I had this super cool idea for a counter that we found as a wall decoration online.  I wanted to share it on here so badly but the last time we shared our counter ideas on here, our neighbor ended up with the same exact idea!!! So here is the photo we used for inspiration.  We wanted this sort of look but more 3D.

Counter Ideas

So for my first full day at the shop, I was making this vision come true.  Got there at 7 am and started spacing out the large pieces we had cut from Oran Milling.  Then I moved all the bins and bins of smaller pieces around the counter so I had plenty of options within reach. 20170516_074919

As soon as the guy with the miter saw showed up we were ready to rock!! He would slice the edges off the pieces for the bottom, top and some sides.  We started with the side that will be against the cooler / under the taps.  That way, by the time we get in the swing of it we are at the spot you see when you first walk in the store.


This is the glue we ended up using.  They tried some “magic” glue that was supposed to be rock hard and glue anything but it fell off after one day of their trial.  Then they tried this stuff and for them to get the test piece off the board he had to really bash it on the concrete floor.  It is pretty impressive stuff! The only complaint I had was that by the end of the day I had to use two hand because my forearms were jello from the caulk gun HAHAH. 20170516_080124

It was a super fun puzzle!!! I felt bad for the guy cutting wood for me since he had to just cut a few and then stand there and wait for me to get to the next spot where I needed a cut.  He was real great though.  He would help me find the perfect size pieces for a tough spot or I would say “I need this one to be cut here-ish” and he would be super patient and cut it high and then keep trimming it down to fit. 20170516_102224

Many hours later and we were still chugging along.  We had to shuffle all the bins and pieces of wood as we moved so that I could see all my options. I also started some bins for the pieces I never wanted to see again.  They could have a weird cut or bark missing in an ugly way or whatever but I would keep picking them up to see if they would fit and then remember I didn’t like the piece and set it back down. Once I realized I was going to have plenty of wood I started chucking them in a bin to just take home and burn. 20170516_114857

This is where it got super interesting! We were trying to get the pieces on the end to be flat and not fall off the edge and then we had to get that tiny space filled! Usually the end of a jigsaw puzzle is the easy part.  This was the OPPOSITE for sure! 20170516_135642

We finally got around the corner!!! This is the side most people will see when they come in the shop… no pressure! 20170516_144403

My phone died right before the last piece so they were nice enough to take a picture of me placing the last piece! Funniest part was that since it was a bigger piece he had to take the pic and then go behind the counter and drill a nail through the piece so it wouldn’t fall off. 19CBD97C-

TADA!!!!!!! All finished!!! A few of those big ones have screws in them and the 2×4 on the bottom will be removed and replaced with the same base molding that is going to be in the whole store.  That way there is a little room for toes to be while people pick out their growler fill or pay for the beers. 20170516_155416

A few people have asked what now.  Are we going to poly the whole thing or seal it in anyway but right now our thought is no.  We will keep it raw like a pile of fire wood.  The only problem I see is that people may stand up next to it and put their feet on it somehow and that could strip the bark and/or damage it in general.  Gotta keep thinking on that one.


Lots of Build Out Progress!!

So as we have been dealing with changing our name and logo and all that jazz the new contractor, Whelan & Curry have been plugging along at the shop!!

I would love to share some photos with you:

They started painting!


Roughed in a wall for our back office space!


Before they poured the counter they needed to get the holes ready for the tap lines.  this is them using the tap lines to figure out where to drill a hole in the wood counter and insert a PVC pipe so when the counter is poured there are still holes.


Look at that counter!!!! So AWESOME!!  And a wall! 18426607_10101517460588895_143496796_o


Legal Name Update IX (4/14/17)

I got an e-mail from the Cameron Group (Township 5 developers).  They said that one of the owners of Vine & Barrel (our neighbors who are opening a wine and liquor store) received some snail mail with our name on it.  They said it looked important and wanted to make sure we had it.  It was our letter from Boston Beer Company! I will do a whole different post on our interaction with Vine & Barrel.  But now we have the letter and we just have to review it with our lawyer and send it back.  Then we can start the DBA process. I can update and order more business cards.  I can make a new website.  I can change our Facebook page and Instagram.  Good thing I don’t have a “9-5” anymore. I will have plenty to do.


Legal Name Update VIII (4/3/17)

Boston Beer Company’s trademark lawyer got back to us!!!

“I consulted with Boston Beer, and they would not object to the use of Branching Out that you have proposed, so long as we confirm the understanding about the limited nature of the use in a letter that I would draft and send to you”

How exciting!!!

We reviewed the terms and went over them with our lawyer and they seem very reasonable. Most of them were right in line with our business plan anyway.  We had to go back and forth a bit to clarify some of the items but they are drafting a letter and putting it in the mail ASAP!!!


Legal Name Update VII (3/29/17)

After sending the 5 new names to our lawyer and getting back that:

Out on a Limb – Trademark by a hard cider company

Roots and Offshoots – clear

Liquid Limbs – clear

Craft Roots – trademarked by Craft Roots Brewing Company (duh)

Cans, Caps and Taps – clear

I discussed this with Joel and found out just how attached he is to the second name we came up with. We went over these 5 and none of them excited him and he really had zero attachment to any of them.  I totally understood and I honestly thought the second one was better than the first.  So, I looked up who had the trademark and found out it was registered in the United Kingdoms with some company that is affiliated with Boston Beer Company.  They also had the contact information of their lawyer on the trademark site and I figured it couldn’t hurt to try.  The worst case is we are right back to where we are now…. looking for a new name.  And if we don’t try, if we don’t at least ask than we will be left wondering for the rest of the life of our business.

I sent an e-mail the lawyer list.

Here’s hoping.