All About Custom Furniture World
This week, we've got a special, behind the scenes peek into the day-to-day operations of Custom Furniture World. Owner, Dina Janicke talks about her inspiration, biggest struggles, and what she loves most.
1. How did Custom Furniture World start?
When I met my children’s Father, he was in furniture business and when we got pregnant with my daughter, his Father helped us to open a brick and mortar furniture retail store in Austin, Texas. That was in 2007 which was a terrible year to open anything and we went out of business about a year later. I then went to work for a furniture wholesaler called Four Hands, which was also based in Austin, TX. I did sales and my territory was the west coast. Many of my accounts were going out of business because of the recession. They could not maintain their overhead and it was very sad. I also had a few companies that had started online stores and were trying to open an account with us at Four Hands. I missed my daughter dearly while I was at work all day and I really had a hard time sitting at a desk! So I had an idea to open an online furniture store and I started it 6 years ago so I could be home with my children.
2. What has been the biggest struggle with Custom Furniture World?
The biggest struggle has been being a single Mother and running a small business on a small budget! There is never enough money or time to accomplish what you want and you always feel that you are not giving enough somewhere. After that, I had many difficulties with shipping furniture because the pieces I sell are very nice and even though you make a sale, that is only 50% of it! You have to get the item there safely without any damage and that was very difficult to do a few years ago. Now I have great partnerships with white glove shipping companies that inspect every item before delivery and make sure that it is transported safely to ensure no damages!
3. What is your favorite part about it?
I love running an online business because there are so many exciting things that you can do online! You can sell anywhere in the world when you are virtual. The world of technology is changing so quickly and there is always something new to learn. I really love working with customers who have never bought online because I am able to gain their trust and make their first time experience a pleasure! I also get to work from home or when I have my phone with me (which is always) I can live chat with customers who are shopping in my store. That means I can be at soccer practice with my son and still work if I need to! I do not have to miss anything.
4. How do you handle being a mother and a business owner?
Being a Mother is the best thing that has ever happened to me and the thing that I enjoy most. I also have always loved business and working so I found a way to do them both. I have found that when I work, I get a lot of personal satisfaction from that which helps me be a better Mother. I feel that I am accomplishing success at work and not just being a Mother. However, being a Mom is the hardest job in the world while also the most rewarding. I just wanted to create a scenario where I could still work and not have to miss out on things I wanted to do with my children. It is really hard to balance them both but I thrive on excitement and energy so it works for me!
For more behind-the-scenes of Custom Furniture World, check out this video.
- Dina Janicke