Business Name: BizArtifacts Website: N/A Established: 2020 Questions answered by: Riley & Juile Jones
Can you please fully explain your business or product line?
We specialize in EVERYTHING custom made in wooden home décor, like wall hangings, board games and backyard games. Starting up doing custom renovation work for people as well!
Everything that we make is all made from scratch and by hand. We are ALL ORIGINAL in terms of our ideas and designs and do everything we can to be unique and stay ahead of the curve. Thinking outside the box is something that is part of our every day!
With the local maker community continuing to grow, what makes you stand out from the rest?
One thing that sets us apart from others is our ability to make something custom EXACTLY to how our customer requests it. From design and materials right down to finish and dimensions.
We do what the big box stores won’t. We communicate in a friendly manner and work WITH our customers to make sure whatever the project is, it gets done EXACTLY how they request it!
What makes us stand out? First off you can ALWAYS see us a mile away at any craft show we attend by our table cloth! Brought back from Mexico by Riley’s parents 4 years ago it has become our staple for how people find us at events! Bright and multicolour, it’s pretty hard to miss!
Second, we are not afraid to be a bit “loud” in terms of our displays. We make sure to bring the fun when we set up our Backyard Jenga games and HEAVILY encourage people to use it while they are there! Usually gets knocked over a minimum of 3 times per show!
Last we LOVE to see the smile on people’s faces when they come up to our table and see things NOBODY else does. Our Acoustic Speakers as an example get mistaken for cup holders or coin trays. But then we pop our phone in, pick a great tune and watch people go “oh my GOODNESS” when they hear the sound amplified through the holes and out the front! NEVER gets old!
What made you realize that you had a product that could be shared with others?
Honestly, Julie wanted to make signs…that’s where it all began. We made about 25 signs and a few bottle openers and took them to our very first market at St. Norbert Arena and sold 1 sign. Complete flop of a show!
After the show we started getting people contacting us with “can you make this?” and as Riley was at work and couldn’t answer his phone, Julie took over with “yeah we can make that!” Really forcing us to adapt and FIND a way to make things we had never DREAMED of making!
Now, we take on any challenge that comes our way with an open mind and we let our creativity flow! There is such demand in Winnipeg as well as worldwide for custom work to be done that there is an ever-growing need for makers not just like us but in general! We market fun! Our products are designed to bring a smile or a tear to people’s faces like nobody else can do!
What has been your biggest success as a maker? Biggest struggle you’ve overcome?
Hands down our biggest success as a maker is seeing just how fast an idea can take off like absolute WILDFIRE!
When we first started doing Backyard Jenga 3 years ago, Julie thought that Riley was crazy. “It will never sell!” Those were her words over 500 sets and counting ago.
The same thing can be said for our 3D Scrabble tiles to display your family names on the wall! Debut was early October 2020 with only 61 tiles for our first customer on them. Within only ONE MONTH we are nearing 1000 ordered! We were BLOWN AWAY by the response to say the least!
Winnipeg has such a strong support for local makers and we have really felt that from the community this year despite all that 2020 has thrown towards so many people. We really have the local community to thank for keeping our creative spirit alive!
The biggest struggle we have had is realizing that while we may be successful as a handmade business, the bank won’t take it as a serious form of income unless we have a consistent steam of business which takes time to create.
While this is a letdown, it is ONLY temporary. As we continue to grow and expand our ideas and clientele, one day we WILL be stable enough as our own stream of revenue and we will be working for ourselves doing what we love and working together as husband and wife. You know… The Dream Team!
Any advice that you would tell someone hoping to start up their own business or product line?
Stick with it! Not every idea takes flight right away! If you believe in what you make, stick with your dream! Not every craft show will be a success and not everyone will like what YOU have to offer for a product. But SOMEONE does! It just takes time!
Next, NEVER devalue yourself or your time. If you believe in your pricing and you enjoy what you do, stick with it!
Please share any upcoming events (physical events, virtual sales, etc.) that you think Winnipeggers would be interested in!
Right now everything we are doing is through our page on Facebook. Anyone interested in pricing or anything we sell is welcome to contact us there or by email and we will be happy to assist however we can!