Interview with Esther, the owner of Vancouver based Reclaimed Print Co.
I can't believe it has been already three years since I received a phone call from Esther offering me a cooperation with Reclaimed Print Co, Vancouver based company which offers artworks and home decor products using locally sourced and sustainable wood. After numerous e-mail and phone communications over the years, Esther and I finally met at craft markets last year and even exchanged our thoughts about running a small business over a cup of coffee. It was such a pleasure to finally meet a person I've been running a business with for years and to get to know how much we have in common.
I wanted to introduce her and her business to you as well so I came with this mini interview and Esther was kind enough to answer all my questions in between running her business and taking care of her son.
1.) What was the motivation behind started the business?
Reclaimed started as a hobby business, like so many small businesses out there, a small tent at a community market. There was an interest in quality made home goods with a “hometown” feel. That was the beginning…now we’ve got a fantastic list of stockist that cater to everyone from tourists, adventure seekers, local supporters and international clientele. And, may I add, we’re SO thankful for every sticker, coaster, wall hanging purchased. Truly!
2.) What are the core values of the company?
To provide locally sourced, sustainable, quality home goods.
3.) If you have only one word to describe Reclaimed Print, what would it be? Only one word?
It would have to be: Quality. We have high standards for the pieces we put out into the world. They’re going to last, stand the test of time, both the material and style.
4.) What is the most valuable thing you've learnt while running your business?
Oh boy, SOOOO many things learned but patience and trust would be the most valuable.
Patience that hard work will pay off.
Patience that my ideas and process will evolve.
Patience that relationships with artists and possible vendors will grow and flourish. Patience with myself that I’m doing what I can at a pace that doesn’t burn me out or leave me behind.
5.) What is your most favourite part of running a business?
The freedom to stop in the middle of the day to take care of my family, to catch the 30 minutes break in the rain outside, engaging with other small business owners and artists and a sense of accomplishment in continuing to grow.
6.) What is your least favourite part of running a business?
Errrr, the mass amount of administration type responsibilities. It’s never ending and can really slow things down!
7.) What do you think is the biggest myth about running a small business?
That you’re liberated from any type of 9-5 schedule or responsibility or that you’re your own boss. Yes it may be true that you will find yourself making the final call on certain decisions, but it’s also you who is going to be held accountable for those choices. And you’re accountable to every client, customer, artist and employee you work with. Time, time is the real boss in running a small business and if you don’t manage it well (including knowing when to take breaks!) it’ll run you down.
8.) What did you decided to work with Mountain Mornings?
Knowing MM would be a perfect fit the second I saw the designs… and also a bit of perfect timing! I had it on my list of “to-do’s” to reach out to Petra and see if she would be interested in partnering with Reclaimed when a wonderful client, 5 Peaks, reached out to me with their annual request for race medals. They wanted something that would be fitting for their racers from across Canada who would be competing in a virtual cross-nation race(s). It was one of those “pinch me” moments, all very synchronistic, and I was so excited when Petra agreed to us using her provincial images for the Great Canadian Visual Race Series.
9.) Where do you see Reclaimed Print in future?
Currently we’re expanding our group of artists, to offer an even more varied and diverse portfolio to clients.
I’d also love to grow our product line to include a more versatile home decor line.
Click here to buy wooden stickers or visit Reclaimed Print Co. website to buy Mountain Mornings' design on wooden coasters, postcards or as wooden prints in various sizes.