Here at The Grommet our mission is to put an end to nameless, faceless business and highlight the people and the stories behind the products we launch each day. And it's in that spirit that we're continuing this series to further share the stories of our Makers with you. Get to know them better, learn more about their journeys as Makers and entrepreneurs and learn how you, The Grommet Community, have changed their businesses for the better.
In this installment we're catching up with Brad Bernhart the Maker behind Earlywood Designs. Earlywood started as a creative outlet for founder Brad, a mechanical engineering student who fed his artistic side with woodworking. He works solo from his cozy studio in the wilderness of Red Lodge, Montana. We recently caught up with him to learn more about his journey as an entrepreneur and asked his advice for other Makers looking to build their businesses.
Tell us more about your design inspiration.
Before being a full time business owner and woodworker, I was a mechanical engineer. As a result, I'm more concerned about how my utensils work than how they look. If that makes you suspect that Earlywood utensils won't be beautiful, then I point you in the direction of this Buckminster Fuller quote: "When I am working on a problem, I never think about beauty but when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong."
What Maker tool can you not live without?
The one "tool" I can't live without when I'm at the shop working is... podcasts! Stuff You Should Know, Astronomy Cast, StartUp, Snap Judgement and After the Jump are a few favorites. My favorite "real" tools though, are my pneumatic drum sanders. Can't live without those.
What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?
Don't think your business is going to succeed... know it is going to succeed.
What three personality traits do think have helped you become a successful entrepreneur?
Hard working, analytical, and positive
What has been the most rewarding part of business for you?
The most rewarding part of this business is when I hear from people in different parts of this country or even in different countries that say they got some Earlywood from a friend for a present, and they love it so much that they are now giving it to everyone they know. It's not rewarding because it's sales... it's rewarding because it means that people are loving their Earlywood so much that they want their closest friends and family to experience it too.
To learn more about Earlywood Designs, watch our video here.