Today we’d like to introduce you to Kayla Klug.
Kayla, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
The Minted Grove started a little over 4 years ago while I was on maternity leave. My husband “encouraged” me to either get rid of my ridiculous amount of crafting supplies or at the very least- dust them off. One thing led to another, and as I was surfing the web one day for a new quirky doormat and gasping over the prices I didn’t want to spend-I decided why not DIY it.
The prototype turned out great, and I genuinely enjoyed painting the mat; it was almost remedial. After showing the mat to a few people, I decided to start an Etsy shop, and from there, the rest is history.
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?
Initially, there were the anticipated first hiccups of “oh wow, look at all these orders! How on earth do I get these fulfilled?” which then carried over into, “I am spending hundreds of dollars on shipping; how do I cut these costs?”… etc., etc.
The first two years were pre-pandemic and were full of those smaller yet exciting bumps. Once the pandemic hit, the hardest part for us was acquiring blank coir mats to paint.
We had a business relationship in place with a vendor out of Georgia that gets the mats imported from India then ships to our home. Del, their accounts manager, is the nicest guy out there. He helps run this large manufacturing company yet still managed to take the time to call me to chat about an order or take a text on the weekend with status updates on a shipment. I still remember that first order I needed to place after the initial shutdown and Del being so remorseful when telling me they have no inventory, do not see inventory coming anytime soon, and on top of that, prices will more than likely go up once they are back in stock.
During this time, I struggled finding other vendors to supply me with the blank mats, and of course, when I did it was at a higher cost and realistically about 50+ trips to stores all over Michigan, wiping their inventories clean. At this point in time, and still to this day, I have not had to raise my mat prices, and that is something I take a lot of pride in.
Looking back at all of the small and larger bumps, I still have the perspective of how fortunate am I to even be in the position to have these struggles?
Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
The Minted Grove is my creative outlet. We have over 100+ designed mats on our website but also have a “Create-your-own” option which is one of my favorites. The ideas my customers submit are incredible, and their reaction after bringing their idea to life is an indescribable feeling.
One thing I love about my business is the ability to be quirky and sometimes downright vulgar, all with a humorous touch. Our doormats allow you to speak to your guests in a way you don’t have the guts to.
My mats market themselves. They have brought in some of the coolest customers and opened up some incredible doors for me. Having Ellen DeGeneres’ studio request a “back that grass up” doormat after her latest stand-up that went live which mentions that phrase, down to being featured on Buzzfeed multiple times. At one point, we were even having our Hocus Pocus-inspired mat featured on CNN in one of their feel-good stories.
I can’t pinpoint one thing in particular that I am proud of; all of it makes me feel honored to see my hard work pay off.
Risk-taking is a topic that people have widely differing views on – we’d love to hear your thoughts.
If my family was reliant on my small business income, you would not find me taking risks. I feel very fortunate that my husband and I both have a full-time job on top of this small business. We need those jobs for the boring but necessary things like healthcare, retirement, paid vacations, adult interactions… the list goes on. 😀
Running any small business always has a unique set of challenges and risks you ultimately will have to take in order to grow. One that comes to mind right away was making the decision to hop off of the popular online marketplace, Etsy, and create my own e-commerce website. I was fortunate Etsy gave me the exposure to really take off, but as many of their sellers will tell you- on top of the ever-rising seller fees, the seller support is not there.
The Minted Grove’s success has allowed me and my family to do unimaginable things. I will forever be grateful for the Minted Grove due to the risks I have taken, but I feel it is important for me to always have my “front desk at our local police department” backup plan.
- Mats range from $32-40 on our website!
- Website: www.themintedgrove.com
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/themintedgrove/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheMintedGrove/
Next Door Photos