Always ask before using something that doesn't belong to you.
When I was cleaning up our basement, I needed something to store all the wood scraps that were slowly taking over my workbench and the floor underneath.
I searched around our house and found an empty plastic container in our storage closet. Hey, it looked brand new! Why wasn't anyone using it? My wife Maranda wasn't home so I promptly took ownership of the container and threw all my wood scraps in and put it underneath the workbench. Perfect!
A couple days later she texted me to say she found all my sawdusty wood scraps in the container her Mom bought for her! Her plan was to put some of the clothes the kids had outgrown in the container and bring them to a local consignment shop.
Oops. Sorry, honey. Out went the wood scraps and back in went the kid's clothes.
After a week or so I found another empty plastic container in our entryway. Hey, it looked brand new! Why wasn't anyone using it? Maranda wasn't home so I promptly took ownership of the container again and threw all my wood scraps in and put it underneath the workbench. Perfect again!
The next day she texted me to say she found all my sawdusty wood scraps in the laundry basket she used for the kids!
Oops. Sorry, honey. Out went the wood scraps and back in went the laundry.
And then I FINALLY had my lightbulb moment (took me long enough). Why not salvage some of the wood scraps I was desperate to get rid of and build my own container? Brilliant, right?
So the next weekend I woke up way too early and built the biggest crate I could with the leftover scraps. I used my jigsaw to make the handles and tiny nails held it all together. I was so proud of my crate! I sent pictures to friends and the responses (especially from my wife) were inspiring.
"I need this!"
"Great job, now come over and build one for me!"
"Good job, hubby...thanks for thinking outside the box ;)"
Believe it or not, I didn't need to be hit over the head with a 2 x4 to realize I might be on to something. I spent the next couple weekends building prototypes for different sized crates and making tweaks and adjustments to the handles and labeling.
I'm not ashamed to admit I put the handles on upside down the first time I built the Sweet Trey crate. But instead of fixing it I decided to keep it together as a reminder to always double check my work and never try and build stuff when I'm tired. Or hungry.
That's the story of how sawdusty scraps in our basement inspired cool wooden crates at Asheville Crate Company.
And how I learned to always ask first.
Josh, Founder of Asheville Crate Company