Today we’d like to introduce you to Jay Kuderik.
Hi Jay, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstories.
Well, it all started back in January of 2018. My Best Friend Amanda was getting married to the love of her life, I was already catering all the food for the wedding shower, but I needed to have an amazing gift that will stand up to the life challenges and stay strong throughout their marriage together. So, I created a built a coffee table for them and included some messages on the underside of it to remind them where the table came from and where it all started. This table is now a focal point inside their first home together that they got here in August of 2022. During the Covid pandemic, the lumber prices went through the roof. So, I turned my focus to bourbon barrels. They were cheap, and I could get a lot of them. This pivot in the business sparked many ideas that we are creating today. Not to mention a new love for bourbon.
Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
The road to success is not smooth at all; originally, this business started with another friend. We parted ways, we rebranded, and started growing more and more with new ideas and adding more shows and festivals to our schedule. We are always looking for a new place to showcase our products and gain new ideas.
Some struggles I am running into now is time. Being a small business and the only one creating, designing, and producing the products, you can get burnt out. I am also running into higher barrel prices and availability of them. This is causing me to reach our farther away for barrel inventory and much more traveling. But I will say even with higher costs; I have not drastically increased prices on my end.
We’ve been impressed with Kentucky Creations of Michigan, but for folks who might not be as familiar, what can you share with them about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Kentucky Creations of Michigan is well known in the Downriver/Metro Detroit Community for our creations made from bourbon/whiskey barrels. We are currently offering home decor, some tables, and patio items. Our customers keep coming back because they are loving the personal touch of getting updates of their orders while they are getting built, and love that they are speaking to me directly and I am the one making their items. I may take time on some orders, but the customer knows that art takes time.
What sets me apart? I am adding personal touches to my items; I can allow some customization on our items as well. I am typically 40% less expensive as companies doing some of the same items. I will be fully transparent with all customers on my products.
I am most proud of where this business has came to. From the ground up, losing friends, I am still going and making this business successful.
If we knew you growing up, how would we have described you?
Growing up, I was an outside kid. I didn’t play video games. I was in Boy Scouts and obtained the rank of Eagle scout before I was 14. I was racing go-karts when I was 5 to 12. I was the outgoing kid that always had jokes and small pranks on friends and teachers.
- Website: www.kycreationsmi.com
- Facebook: @kycreationsmi