What is Rustic Marlin?
Have you ever looked for a special gift that truly spoke to you? Have you ever been so frustrated by the complexity and long lead times involved in ordering a custom item with the right name, special date or even one of your hobbies that you just gave up and bought what was on the shelf? Have you ever wanted to find something unique that everybody else didn't already have? Now is your chance to not only back our KickStarter project, but to also receive a piece that we will custom design just for you!
Everybody knows that the most meaningful gifts are thoughtful and handmade. But not everybody has the time – or a woodworking shop – to achieve this. We have developed an easy platform for you to create custom pieces with character – at affordable prices. By offering a variety of sizes, colors and endless personalization options, we ensure that each final product is truly one of a kind.
We love to collaborate with consumers to create pieces that are special to them for homes, weddings, kids, businesses and even pets. The end result is a finished product that is exactly what you want or even better! How awesome is that?
What separates Rustic Marlin from the others?
For Starters - Proudly Handcrafted in the USA
Each piece is individually created with great attention to detail and a focus on quality craftsmanship and design - right here in Massachusetts. We use reclaimed, repurposed and even some upcycled materials to ensure each piece is unique and authentic. Our team is comprised of hard-working and talented American wood crafters and designers.
Memorable & Meaningful
Customers can create unique pieces that will leave a lasting impression and personal touch for an array of purposes: Home & Business Décor, First/Last Names, Wedding Gifts, Favorite Places, Hobbies, Special Dates, House Numbers…and more! If you can think it, we can build it!
Easy Customization Process & Quick Turnaround
We make it easy for you to create a unique piece of artwork and we have quick turnaround times! (That doesn’t happen when you order products made overseas or even here in the USA.)
- 1) Choose your product style and design.
- 2) Select your letter(s), color(s), image(s) and more.
- 3) Receive and enjoy your custom piece!
We believe that KickStarter is the best place for innovative ideas to be spread globally among an audience that appreciates the latest in start-up trends and custom designs. We also want people to know our story and believe that no other marketing vehicle provides such an interactive and insightful platform.
In only a short time, we have gone from selling a few signs each week to winning awards, building a team, expanding our product line and focusing on this business full time.
We have proven our business model works and now we need to ramp up our operations and take the necessary steps to bring Rustic Marlin to the next level. We are working to streamline processes and improve our technology to ensure that we are maximizing efficiencies through each stage of product development.
We need your support in order to move into a bigger workshop and purchase better equipment and more supplies. We are currently handcrafting all of our designs in our garage with tools purchased at yard sales and have no way of staying organized within the limited space. Our goal is to renovate our barn and purchase equipment that is more powerful – and safer.
With your support, we will be be able to scale our manufacturing process which will allow us to meet our current demand, increase sales and grow the business.
How did you even start this business?
To be honest, we just stumbled into it....and we are happy that we did!
Rustic Marlin Designs was founded out of love in the summer of 2012 when we were tying the knot. After searching in vain for the perfect wedding gifts, we decided to make our own. We came up with the idea of giving each of our siblings signs of their last names. As new homeowners and self-proclaimed DIYers, we wanted to create something that embodied the rustic feel of our home’s décor by using some of the extra reclaimed wood from our recently installed floors. Although we had an abundance of beautiful old wood, there was not a single piece long enough to fit a last name. Not to fear - we tackled this obstacle with a little ingenuity and painted each letter on a separate piece of wood, then linked them together. These first two signs took over a month to create, but we enjoyed every minute of our little project.
We presented the signs to our siblings at our rehearsal dinner in Portsmouth, NH. Not only did our families rave about the signs, but other patrons at the restaurant asked where they could purchase their own signs. Following our wedding, we continued to receive requests from family and friends for custom signs, so we started making them “in our spare time” at night and on weekends.
Soon, we couldn’t keep up with the demand and enlisted the help of some woodworking friends to help us analyze and streamline our process to gain efficiencies. This was a big turning point and we came to the realization that this could be more than just our little labor of love as our unique designs were really resonating with people! Our original sign designs are now part of our Marlin Classic collection, and our product offering continues to expand as our business and our ideas grow.
Rustic Marlin is always happy to create unique custom items for weddings, homes, businesses and more! Although no two products ever look the same, we promise that each piece is built with attention to detail and a lot of love!
Why should I back Rustic Marlin?
We are offering some pretty cool rewards and we will be forever appreciative of your support! Our rewards align with Rustic Marlin's essence - truly custom! We were warned not to offer too many custom options due to the complexity of this system, but how can we not offer our business model to KickStarter? It's who we are! Don't worry - as soon as our project is over, you will receive an easy to fill out survey to select exactly what you'd like your reward to be. And, if you're the type that would prefer to order by talking to a real human, we will even give you our phone number.
Most of our KickStarter rewards offer customizable color, text and image options. The Marlin Classic reward options feature a pay by letter system where you can decide on the word and color.
Need us to sweeten the deal a little more? All of our rewards include the shipping cost within the United States and our goal (goal being the key word!) is for all rewards to arrive before December 25!
We could not have come this far without the support of our amazing Rustic Marlin team, our loyal consumers and our amazing family and friends! Our business has grown because of their hard work, belief in our idea and gentle pushes to take it to the next level. We would not be here without all of you. And, now we are excited to have this network grow even more with the support of KickStarter!
Risks and challenges
How do we know we will continue to grow?
Although nothing is guaranteed, we feel confident that we are on the right track. We have tested our model in many different locations and have proven that our model is successful and scalable. We currently sell our products directly to consumers and through retailers at more than 50 locations throughout the USA. At this time, demand for our product is so high that we have to temporarily delay our outbound sales efforts until we can scale our manufacturing. Our customers love us and we want to continue providing them with personal support and quality products delivered within a timely fashion.
Once we can meet demand, we have developed key sales and marketing strategies that will be initiated and will help grow the business steadily within more retailers across the country and through direct-to-consumer efforts. It is a constant balance to find a healthy growth rate and we work hard to make sure that is how we grow our business – one step at a time. Although, if you ask our friends and family, they may mention we’ve been known to take 5 steps at a time here and there!
Here is a quick timeline of our history which outlines our steady growth plan and key points where we proved there was a need (or desire really!) for this product in the market:
September 2012: Tie the knot and gift two custom designed signs.
Winter 2012: Family and friends push us into making signs for them.
Spring 2013: Find that we are enjoying this new little hobby.
Summer 2013: Present our designs at a few local events, including the Cohasset Farmer’s Market and celebrate each time we received a handful of orders.
Christmas 2013: Unprecedented amount of orders arrive. Brian dedicates himself full time and we start to build our team. This is also when we realize that we have some smart friends & family for pushing us.
January 2014: Just when we think the Christmas rush is over, we meet with a local retailer who places a large order on the condition that all items must deliver within 5 days. We bribe our friends and family with pizza and beer to lend a hand. Full order delivers on time.
March 2014: Attend the Boston Gift Show, our first retail show, which connects us with a bounty of local retailers, helping us to grow our business at a healthy pace. We even win an award!
Spring 2014: Start to attend more local events selling direct to the consumer, including SOWA Market in downtown Boston. Win more awards.
Summer 2014: Introduce Rustic Marlin to retailers from across the country at the Atlanta Gift Show. This show brought us to where we are today – ready to expand operations with new equipment and a larger manufacturing space.
September 2014: WCVB Boston Chronicle's TV show features Rustic Marlin. Business soars again.
October 2014: KICKSTARTER project!
To learn more, visit rusticmarlin.com, facebook.com/rusticmarlin or contact us directly. We are always happy to answer questions or brainstorm custom designs!
- (31 days)