We had the good fortune of connecting with Terry & Mable Owens and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Terry & Mable, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
From a very young age, Terry has been involved in the construction/woodworking industry, where he and his 13 siblings made up the “crew”. Terry has always enjoyed working with wood which has allowed him to use and enhance his creativity over the years. Mable has a background in quality and customer experience and loves the world of e-commerce. Therefore, when we tossed around the idea of starting an e-commerce business – it was a no brainer that we could work together and use our combined talents to design and produce “amazing handcrafted wood products and party props”, in addition to custom product requests. Hence, KNICK-KNACKZ.COM was born. All of our wooden products are handcrafted by Terry. Our son, Zachary contributes to design ideas/photos, Mable handles quality control, customer care/experience, marketing and the entire family tackles order packaging, shipping, material procurement and local product delivery. Working together, we have the expertise to cover pretty much any issue that we might encounter in running our small family business.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Delivering an exceptional customer experience is one of the most important aspects of our business. Our awesome customers are our number one priority – we strive to personalize and constantly improve the customer experience encounter. We are here to assist and serve our customers’ needs. It’s so exciting and very rewarding to hear from the customer that we not only delivered an excellent product, but we also provided an amazing experience.
The main challenge for Terry in his woodworking was learning the patience it takes to bring his thinking from a rougher large scale (building a house), down to the pristine, small and meticulous details required to complete an object that can pass the detail oriented, quality conscious eye of wife Mable. One of the main comments that we get on our products is regarding the quality of the items. That is the greatest compliment that one can get in this field, especially with so much competition out there from other woodworkers who are working to impress that same customer. Having your creations literally placed under a microscope, teaches you quickly how to do it as close to perfect the first time, so that you don’t have to do it again.
We have always loved the idea of owning our own business and have been a part of multilevel marketing opportunities in the past. We knew that deciding to start our own small business from the ground level would involve a lot of time and effort and that the endeavor would present challenges and opportunities. One of the first hurdles was in choosing the proper legal structure for our business idea which included setting up and registering the business. Much research went into this step as we understood that the business structure could impact our operations. We also reached out to the small business association in our local area to obtain information and help regarding our options. With the knowledge and guidance, we were able to choose the proper entity that works for our business at this time. Another challenge was in setting up and designing our website as we had no experience in this area and very little funds with which to outsource the work. Therefore, we began by researching and reviewing what others in the industry were doing. After a bit of trial and error, we gained the necessary insight in how to proceed with the design & layout of our platform. The journey has not been easy, but we love what we do and we try to have fun along the way. It is so gratifying to see the finished products and receive such wonderful feedback from the customers – that’s what makes it all worthwhile!
- wood products which include serving trays (wood/epoxy mix & 100% wood), cheese boards, charcuterie boards, coasters and little wooden house signs
- party props such as candy/dessert carts, backdrops, arches, pedestals/plinths and large wooden party blocks
- custom requests including custom signs, unique party props/serving trays and that one-of-a-kind special piece
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Houston is such a diverse city – there are things to do that can fill a MONTH long trip – no shortages of exciting and unique activities. Of course we have all of the sports in town with the Rockets, Astros and Texans – we would definitely attend one of those major sport venues. Right after the game, it would be time to enjoy an awesome meal at one of the many fine dining establishments in the Houston area – just flip a coin to choose which type of amazing cuisine to dine on for the evening. A visit to the fourth largest city in the United States would not be complete without a trip to the famous Space Center Houston and depending on the time of year, an enjoyable day at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo would be in order. About an hour away are the beautiful beaches and the historic downtown Galveston with its Strand district – the ultimate day trip. Galveston offers water sports, fishing, sightseeing and wonderful dining. Back in the city, a day visiting Houston’s inspiring museums would lead into a gorgeous evening/night at the opera or theater. We could go on and on. But, knowing Terry, he’ll probably just try to take our out of town guest fishing for an entire week.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
A big part of our success goes to our parents – who encouraged us & helped us to believe that anything is possible if you put your mind to it, stay focused and consistent. They instilled within us that anything worth achieving, takes time & work – you must keep moving forward, one step at a time. We each grew up in a family where we were given the freedom to explore and learn, to make mistakes that would teach & help us to grow. Being a quick learner, Terry acquired knowledge in LOTS of areas during his young years growing up in Spanish Camp, TX. From farming, to trucking, to construction – there was always something going on in the Owens’ household no matter the time of year. Mable has always been somewhat of a perfectionist – even as a young child, things had to be just right before she would give her stamp of approval. It’s those valuable lessons learned years ago along with the pursuit of excellence, that contribute to the outstanding quality and craftsmanship that goes into every item designed & built by Knick-Knackz.