RedneckDIY Shop Campaign
We have known each other a long time. Many of you have followed my journey as I openly share my life on YouTube. You have watched my ups and downs, triumphs and failures, my challenges and workarounds, and my gratification and disappointments in the pursuit of becoming a better artisan, business person, and generally a better human.
One challenge has rang consistent over the last couple of years and that is having an adequate space to do my work and pursue my passions to a higher level. Because of this I have missed many opportunities for things that are within my capability but I couldn’t execute because of work space and it has been difficult for me to teach and help others.
Captain Kirk made famous the iconic phrase, “Space….the final frontier”. For me no words ring more true, though my meaning has nothing to do with stars and galaxies. Rather, it has to do with space to work out of. Captain Kirk and the gang conquered the problem with phasers, warp speed, and presumably large budgets. I have none of that so I have to find another way to achieve victory.
I have always been very independent and self-reliant. I have never been much good at asking for help. As I have gotten older I see that trait as more a weakness than a virtue. We all need help! So now, as I ask for help, I am driven to the most uncomfortable corners of myself. I try to remind myself of all the people I have helped, inspired, provided education, answered questions, bought something I didn’t need from, entertained, given or helped to make money, or extended some other generosity. I think I have paid forward a lot of dues.
As I ask for your help I do it with humility, absent any sense of entitlement, and with the realization that I have been more fortunate in life than many but I also know I can’t get over this next hurdle without some help. And perhaps this life lesson of learning to ask for help will further my pursuit of understanding my own humanity.
I have the opportunity to purchase a building in Bristol, TN that will serve my needs for a very long time and most likely forever. It is currently being used as a church. Somewhat ironic that I am trying to buy a church, huh…….? About half of the interior is finished space. Some of that will remain for a small retail area, an office, a bathroom, and small artisan studios. The rest will need to be demo’d and reconfigured to workspace.
I am under no illusion that I can possibly raise the entire amount needed to buy this building. I don’t think that is a fair expectation or “ask”. I will be putting down a significant amount of my own money (discussed in detail below) and financing the rest. Even at that, it is still in uncomfortable territory for me as it stands now without some help. What I hope to do is raise enough money to move me a little closer to being able to make this happen and to also help with the up-fitting of the building and closing costs on the loan.
I believe the property will cost as much as $170,000 but will require some demolition, renovation, restoration, power and plumbing upgrades, lighting improvements, HVAC repairs and upgrades, and replacement of a few windows. Because of this I am setting the total “all-in” budget at $200,000. Whatever amount I mortgage will have to be a reasonable obligation I can meet. I am able/willing to finance up to 50% of the project.
My home is kind of in no man’s land but Bristol is the closest city proper to me. It is where I go for entertainment and leisure. The historic downtown has a great vibe and creative mojo. Bristol is a growing force with revitalization efforts all around. The annual Rhythm and Roots festival brings thousands of tourists every year and the Nascar race two times per year does the same. The biggest “bet” most of us are making is a proposed casino that will go to the voters this spring. If passed, the Hard Rock has agreed to operate it under their brand. This will rapidly accelerate the growth and tourism of Bristol. So why Bristol? Tourism, vibe, mojo, and opportunity.
- Content Production
- Making content for YouTube is how this entire journey started but as my shop became filled with equipment like CNC machines and larger tools I have struggled to produce content because of the limited space. Lighting, camera angles, and setup and storage space are elusive. I want to do a better job producing entertaining and educational content than I have the last couple of years. This space will provide an ideal studio for build videos, instructional videos, and vlogs.
- A small retail space that will offer very affordable hardwood lumber and slabs as well as other artisan products for sale.
- Some of my work will be in the showroom but I will also let other artisans display and sell their work. This space will also be available for “friends of the channel” who want to place their items for sale.
- An Artisan Hamlet
- I understand how difficult it has been to locate affordable space to work out of. I would like to help others who are struggling. There is enough auxiliary space in this building to allow me to create two or three small studios.
- I would like to provide this space to local artisans to use while they launch their own business. For example, I envision an artist/painter, a woodturner, and a leather worker.
- Very MODEST rental cost is the goal! Help me pay the light bill kind of scenario!
- Exhibitions and Demonstrations
- There is adequate space on the property to set up exhibits for artisans to display their products and perform demonstrations.
- In time this could grow into and artisan “farmer’s market”.
- Training, Education, & Fellowship
- Though I do not envision a “Maker Space”, this will be a place where folks who are eager to learn are welcome to come work and apprentice.
- I would like to offer a limited series of free or affordable classes to make use of shop downtime. The goal is to teach fundamentals of woodworking, welding, safety, CNC, and other basic topics.
- Host meet-ups with fellow content creators and their viewers. Who would you like to see?
- Creativity thrives when like minded individuals coalesce together. This space is a place for that to happen.
- The Bristol Artisan Village
- If success can be demonstrated with 3, 4, and 5 above then there is adequate property for expansion and building another structure.
- This structure could provide studio and retail space for 5 or more artisans.
- Again, the idea is AFFORDABLE rental space.
- Earn a living
- I wish my goals could be 100% altruistic but it is just not that easy. I will have to utilize this space to earn a living as well.
- My immediate need is to resurrect the Stair Scribe product. Sales have been lagging because it has not been given much attention. An innovative new design is forthcoming. I want to get this product clicking away in the background again.
- There is a new patented product for the flooring industry that is near launch. I need to place focus on this and have the space to produce it and fulfill orders.
- Expand the focus on the signage business to support local businesses. There is an opportunity for a large project with one of the local municipalities this spring. I need the space to spread out for this project.
COMMITMENT TO CONTRIBUTORS
All donations will be used exclusively for the purchase and upfit of this project. If the project does not come to fruition within 12 months I will return all donations.
DOES REDNECKDIY HAVE SKIN IN THE GAME?
Yes, and a lot of it. I can’t ask for help if I am not willing to put skin in the game. Together, Jenny and I will be putting $50,000 toward this project.
MY GIFT TO YOU
In addition to my tremendous gratitude, all who are willing to help out will become a member of the RedneckDIY Nation and will know they have a shop to use in Tennessee if they ever need it. Each contributor will be issued a RedneckDIY Nation Identification Card to commemorate your induction into the family and serve as a reminder of how grateful I really am for your support. It will serve as your passport to the shop.
Everyone who supports will receive a GIFT from me as follows: **(Designs are forthcoming. Please allow 4-6 weeks after closing and move in)
|$20||Pine – RedneckDIY Nation ID Card|
|$50||Maple – RedneckDIY Nation T-Shirt -or- Cunning Stunts Hat|
|$100||Ash – Table Saw Push Stick – DiResta Style or Shocker Stick|
|$200||Hickory – RedneckDIY Nation Color Core Sign|
|$500||Oak – Spend the day with me working on a project of your choice|
|$800||Cherry – Spend a weekend at the shop working on a project of your choice|
|$2,000||Walnut – Spend four days with me working on a project of your choice with lodging provided at the RedneckDIY Command Center|
|$3,000||Mahogany – You craft your own experience at the new shop for a week with lodging provided at the Command Center. Woodworking, CNC Router, CNC Plasma cutter, welding, or whatever you want to try your hand at|
|$5,000||Sequoia – A week in the new shop with lodging provided at the Command Center AND a date with Jenny. 🙂|
|$10,000||Redwood – I come to you for a long weekend and we work on a project in your native environment|
* Don’t see anything you like? Suggest a substitution.