Business Profile Series | Reclaimed Print

Office Guardians’ Canadian Business Profile

We are excited to announce the launch of Office Guardians’ Business Profiles. We will be interviewing one company a month to ask them questions about how they do what they do. What have they learned from being an Entrepreneur, and much more! Stay tuned as we learn about some wonderful companies in Canada that we can feel honoured to support. If you know a company that fits this criteria, then send them our way!

  1. Canadian owned/operated company
  2. Has a great on-line presence
  3. There is something about them that makes them unique

We hope you enjoy Office Guardians’ first Canadian Business Profile Company 

Business Profile | Reclaimed Print

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What is Reclaimed Print all about?

We print on Wood

We are committed to offering quality artworks & home decor products using locally sourced & sustainable wood & stone. We are proud to be 100% Canadian designed and made. Our current line of, unique & eclectic, art pieces are for all tastes & budgets. If you love our work & want a customized wooden canvas with your own photos on them, we can do that too!

 What is sustainable wood?

We have worked extremely hard to ensure our wood is sourced from local mills that only supply wood from sustainable farming. We are very proud of this fact and you can feel good about the fact that every time you make a purchase with us you are supporting local wood farms that ensure they are planting more trees then they are cutting down annually!

 

Reclaimed Print Interview:

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Katherine Walker

Owner/ Creative Director

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Mel: I have loved watching your company develop and grow, can you tell me where the idea for your business came from?  

Kat: The business idea was seeded to me from my print partner. I had built a really good relationship with this printer because they are local and give excellent prices and service. I was between contracts and looking for a new freelance job and contacted the printer. They asked me to come in for a meeting and started pulling out these items: pieces of wood, hockey pucks, and all around weird items.  They showed me how they were able to print on them and asked me to take the idea; refine it; and turn it into a marketable product. I decided to simplify the product and that was how Reclaimed Print was born.

They asked me to come in for a meeting and started pulling out these items: pieces of wood, hockey pucks, and all around weird stuff.

 

Mel: As an Entrepreneur, what would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?

Kat:

  1. Determination and persistence. Don’t stop when you get told no, keep going. I have noticed when I am not pushing the business things seem to slow down.
  2. Being Bold to ask for things, and get good deals. Our success has come from our price point. Which I wouldn’t have if I weren’t bold and pushed the relationship to get the best price
  3. Transparency. People love our business because we talk about it openly and honestly. We tell them about our whole process and where we get our wood.

 

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Mel: Now that you have discovered those, what would you do differently if you had the chance?

Kat: I would have written a more thorough business plan, that is clearer from the get go, and would help clarify business relationships.

 

Mel: How has being an entrepreneur affected your family life?

Kat: Major, major! I went from working set hours and then being mommy to running a business that fills all the gaps in your life. It can take a lot more self-control to actually turn off a business, because there is no door to shut and everything is all down to me. When the buck stops with you, I find it very hard to turn off.

My family has been incredibly supportive of this dream. It is amazing that I have been able to be around my kids because I am working from home, but on the flip side we look like we are always busy to them. It has meant that I have had to let a few things go, but that is the season that we are in. I have been doing markets on Friday nights so that has impacted our previous Friday night date nights. We are making sacrifices but we believe that it is only for a certain time and
that this is an investment in our futures.

 

Mel: How do you generate new ideas?

Kat: I don’t have a problem generating new ideas. I just need some time and space and a moment to think and the ideas just flow. For me, I have so many ideas to put down on paper; it is almost overwhelming. I write my ideas down and then bounce them off Josh (Kat’s Husband). I find that what he responds to from my ideas are the ones we lean towards.

A lot of my ideas come from things I see around me. I use the notepad on my phone, and record what I see when I am out. I will see something that lines up with what a new client wants, so I will record that down; and focus on ideas that are in line with what clients would like. A number of our ideas have come from ideas from clients/customers

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Mel: From what we have seen you are more marketing and tech savvy than most small business owners, what is the mix of tools that you are using to market Reclaimed Print? And why have you chosen those specific tools? 

Kat: I have done some marketing in my previous line of work. My strengths are in Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. But, Instagram is our biggest Social Media platform and has really gelled with our client base. In past work, I have had to really communicate with people, so it has really helped us develop communication with our clients and customers. It helps to build interest, so now we see sales off Instagram all the time. It is definitely something that works for us.

 

Mel: Is there any other tools outside of Social Media that you use?

Kat: Yes, we have an email list and monthly give-aways. It has been great to communicate with the client base that wants our product. We also have an email list for Wholesalers, so we can communicate what our top sellers are and different ways to set up our merchandise. We use Mail Chimp to send out our two E-Newsletters and it has been great for us

It helps to build interest, so now we see sales off Instagram all the time.

 

Mel: If you were conducting this interview, what question would you ask?

Kat: What is your point of difference to the business? Why is your company different? Why should clients choose your company?

Kat: Our point of difference is that we have combined both an industrial printing process with a unique product and design. The combo of the two is unique, fun, and playful! We want to create cool fun products that are sustainable in the long run


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Mel: What advice would give to an aspiring small business owner?  

Kat: Don’t be afraid to be very bold and be really, really friendly with everyone. The most common compliment we got last year was that we were the nicest vendor neighbours. Get out there and learn and be inspired by other people in your industry

We just wanted to make friends and contribute.

 

 

The Meat Section: Links, Websites, & Who to follow!

We have asked the businesses we are profiling to provide tools, links, and important people to follow; so everyone can benefit from what information is out there and to learn something new that could help your business succeed.

Have a look at Kat’s top picks for Reclaimed Print:

 

Small Business BC: http://smallbusinessbc.ca

This resource has a ton of information on what new businesses need to know about. Use this website to find: Business Resources, Expert advice, and Free Tools.

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Marie Forleo: http://www.marieforleo.com/

She is an inspiring business coach that has lots of information to give away. Her inspiring video blasts come out on a weekly basis with awesome topics to keep the business Entrepreneur going. She also has great selection of business resources to look over. Bite sized pieces of wisdom to really chew on!

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I have also followed the leaders of each of the Social Media platforms ex: Facebook, Twitter, Hootsuite, etc. They usually give great tips and I have found myself learning great tips and tricks directly from the source.

Ingrid from the North Shore Green Markets: http://www.northshoregreenmarkets.com/

Due to the nature of my company I have found Ingrid to be a profound resource for me. This won’t be something that every company can use; but what this person represents for Reclaimed Print, is that networking with the right people in your industry will be key to getting the access and the connections that you need to help your business thrive.

Thank you for checking our Office Guardians’ Business Profile. You can send some loving to Reclaimed Print by going to any of the links below and liking their work.

Website: https://www.reclaimedprint.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/reclaimedprintco
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ReclaimedPrints
Instagram: https://instagram.com/reclaimedprintco/

 

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Thank you Reclaimed Print! We loved interviewing you and wish your business the best in 2015/16!

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We work with solopreneurs, entrepreneurs and various small businesses. Our goal is simple: with our help, you get more time to do what matters most: business development and building your brand. Let Office Guardians be your partner in success by reducing the amount of non-core business activities you engage in.

We help businesses face challenges and opportunities tied to rapid growth, organizational or budget constraints, limited skills, or resource gaps by providing flexible outsourced solutions.