We’re excited to introduce you to the always interesting and insightful Daniel & Chelsea Hunter. We hope you’ll enjoy our conversation with Daniel & Chelsea below.
Daniel & Chelsea, looking forward to hearing all of your stories today. So let’s jump to your mission – what’s the backstory behind how you developed the mission that drives your brand?
I read a quote on Pinterest by Dallas Clayton that said “Find something that makes you happy and use it to make others happy”. This quote really stood out to me because it is exactly how we feel with Board & Brush. When we discovered Board & Brush, we loved the concept and knew we wanted to be a part of it. We love creating something beautiful from nothing and also love sharing our excitement for DIY with others. Our goal in each workshop is to empower our customers to create. We give you all the materials, tools, and supplies, then guide you through each step of the process. Taking it step by step allows you to enjoy each step of the process and leave with a finished product you’re proud to display in your home. The pride that customers exude at the end of workshops reminds us over and over, why we do what we do. We provide adults a casual, fun environment to play and create. We handle all the setup and mess so that customers skip the stressful side of DIY projects, while still enjoying the creative process and the satisfaction of a job well done. Customers often come here to celebrate occasions like birthdays, bachelorettes, and anniversaries which makes it even more special for them. They make memories with their loved ones, then display their project in their homes where it reminds them of their workshop and the sense of accomplishment they felt for years to come.
Daniel & Chelsea, love having you share your insights with us. Before we ask you more questions, maybe you can take a moment to introduce yourself to our readers who might have missed our earlier conversations?
At Board & Brush Creative Studio, we hold instructor-led workshops, teaching you how to make personalized wood decor. We have many project options including signs, planters, boxes, coat racks, trays, table trivets, and clocks. We are also BYOB so you can bring drinks and snacks to your workshop. We make DIY projects easier and more accessible for the average person. We handle the set up, clean up, and everything in between. Our instructors guide you through each step to achieve the look you want. The hardest part for you, is picking which project you want to make from our gallery of over 800 options. We have seasonal designs and designs you can display all year round.
Our workshops are different from other paint and sip workshops because each person can choose which design they want to make when they register in advance for the workshop. Each person can choose something different, based on their preferences and their homes. Many of our designs also allow personalization that may include a last name, a pet name, or city name. Then in the workshop, customers choose all their stain and paint colors, along with their painting techniques to create a unique wall-worthy piece of art for their homes.
Workshops are fun and therapeutic. We love that we can provide a creative space for so many groups to make memories and celebrate milestones together. We hold workshops that are open to the public and private workshops as well. Some of the most common groups that come for private workshops are corporate team-building groups, bachelorette parties, birthday parties, and even family/friend groups looking for a fun get together.
We are a family owned local business. Board & Brush is a franchise but we only own the Nashville location and operate it together. Our names are Daniel and Chelsea Hunter and we have 3 small children that often run around the studio “helping” us work (when noone else is there). We love the flexibility that Board & Brush provides since we only need to be in the studio during scheduled workshops. This allows us to spend time with our young kids and work our other jobs while we build Board & Brush. We also like that we can show our kids that work can be enjoyable. I hope they continue to love working with us when they are old enough to work. More importantly, I hope they catch our entrepreneurial spirits and find a job that makes them happy as adults.
Let’s move on to buying businesses – can you talk to us about your experience with business acquisitions?
Yes, we bought this business. Board & Brush is a franchise and the Nashville location was opened in April of 2017. I (Chelsea) went to Board & Brush Murfreesboro for a corporate team-building workshop in October 2019 with my coworkers and fell in love. I spoke to the owner to see how she liked the franchise and found out she owned the Nashville location too and wanted to sell it. This was too exciting for me and seemed meant to be since the Nashville location was less than a mile from my house. I started passing it on my way home from work every day as we pulled together the money and information to get a business loan. It was confusing to buy the business because we didn’t know how much it was worth. It wasn’t like buying a house where you can pull comparable houses that have sold recently. We didn’t have anything to compare it to. We obviously didn’t want to pay too much but also wanted to pay a fair price that would adequately compensate the original owners for the work they put into the business.
Since we both had full time jobs already and 2 kids 3 and under, it was easier for us to buy this location, than to complete a build out in another city further from our home. It was nice to already have part of the groundwork done but we still had a lot to figure out during the acquisition process and after.
Have you ever had to pivot?
We purchased the studio January 20, 2020. We had all the normal stressors of being new to the business. We were learning how to work in the business, teaching workshops and making signs, but also learning how to manage the business and integrate it into our already full life. Then covid came along and customers started rescheduling all their upcoming workshops in March. Board & Brush is a social business where you come in to create and make memories with other people. Due to social distancing needs, we stopped holding workshops for a while. We closed for a couple months, after only 2 months in business, with rent and a loan payment to pay.
We started taking custom corn hole board orders to keep some revenue coming in. Since people were looking for fun things to do outside at their own homes, our corn hole board orders enabled us to pay our bills while our studio was closed. We made the boards in our garage, sewed the bean bags, and sanitized everything before customers picked up their corn hole sets.
As covid continued, we added other pre-made backyard game options. We also released @Home DIY Kits that include all the supplies needed to make mini signs from home. People needed to stay home and these allowed them to stay home, but still DIY with us from home. Later in the year we also started offering virtual workshops. We continued to offer our new project offerings even after we went back to in person workshops. The initial pivot in order to pay bills, turned into expanded offerings for our business.
- Website: boardandbrush.com/nashville
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/boardandbrushnashville/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/boardandbrushnashvilletn/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel&eid=ARA2eJ7Vq8Ja6TGdEa3I3CgEy4cHwYlDMvpHPGvBOovOFb0YUFVphLyHFkOsu0gdGYaTUwmaERvotFkA
- Linkedin: https://www.facebook.com/boardandbrushnashvilletn/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel&eid=ARA2eJ7Vq8Ja6TGdEa3I3CgEy4cHwYlDMvpHPGvBOovOFb0YUFVphLyHFkOsu0gdGYaTUwmaERvotFkA
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/board-and-brush-creative-studio-nashville-nashville-2
- Other: https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g55229-d23933651-Reviews-Board_Brush_Creative_Studio_Nashville-Nashville_Davidson_County_Tennessee.html