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The Broken Plank story hasn't been an easy story, but in the words of my parents and Theodore Roosevelt "Nothing worth having comes easy." Me and my husband started this business in 2017. As our teenagers were turning into young men, I realized we needed something to fill that empty nest that was heading towards us like a runaway freight train. I had spent most of my time raising our two boys and managing all of the other daily needs that keep a family and home running properly. Between football practices and power lifting meets and everything that goes along with raising kids, I had once had plenty of things to keep me busy. As our boys were growing up and preparing to head off to college, we knew we would soon be empty nesters.
And just like that, the kids were grown and it was time to put all of that love and hard work towards something new. I had always had a passion for great photos, graphic design and a creative side that had been trying to resurface for many years. That passion I had combined with my husbands love for wood working is how The Broken Plank Photo Boards & more was born.
Honestly, I had prayed for a job or career that would allow me make people happy and would also enable me to be home and spend more time with the family. I wanted to be apart of something that had purpose and meaning. Well, God answered that prayer loud and clear. We started building small projects and putting my husbands natural talent for wood working to use. Most of the time those projects lasted into the late hours of the night.
As the creativity juices were flowing, we decided the Christmas of 2017 that we would make all of our family handmade photo boards for Christmas. I wanted to give them something sentimental that you couldn't buy at the store. After watching at least 150 hours of do it yourself videos, I took on this challenge. After spending a hundred dollars on supplies and many, many hours of tutorial videos, and maybe shed a few tears, our first chemical transfer had taken place.
It was such a time consuming gift, and I was really hoping my family would love them, but as any homemade gift, they were far from perfect. Of coarse, I didn't realize at the time that each transfer would take days and the mess and the chemicals and the paper would be such a major hassle. Like all DIY videos, they made it seem effortless. They failed to mention how many hours it took to make the video, and how many mistakes they made along the way. So after spending two weeks making many mistakes and perfecting these photo boards, I decided to post them on Facebook to show off all of my hard work. Not bad for a chemical transfer! After all I was putting at least 60 hours a week on perfecting this process. I was living to work, not working to live.
They were a hit, and our local friends and family were ordering from us on a regular basis. After months of this, the chemicals were taking a toll on my hands and I had wore my finger prints off to the point of not being able to even open my phone. That extra time I had asked for with my family, had suddenly disappeared. We were working around the clock to make sure everyone had their orders on time, not to mention my husband had to go to his regular day job. As the house filled up with photo boards, and the smell of chemicals, we were exhausted and burnt out. I knew something had to give. We had to go big, or go out of business! So we took a big leap of faith and invested into a massive piece of equipment that is made for printing on wood. No more bloody fingers, or chemical smells through out the house and soggy paper all over the place. As you can see, the final product is absolutely gorgeous and we have been moving forward every sense then.
We are still a small town business with very close customer service. We offer so many custom items that you cant find anywhere else. We cut each piece of wood in our workshop in Dayton, Tx. We manufacture and design each photo board that leaves our workshop. There are no precut photo boards ordered from outside sources. We are proud to offer handcrafted products that are made in America.
We are so thankful for every order and still love interacting with all of our customers. We still do our small town trade shows to stay involved and in touch with our local community.
Along the way we have met so many customers and friends, and hoped to meet many more. We are so grateful for every single one of you, we could not have gone on this journey without you. We are so excited to see what the future holds for us. We want to thank you so much for allowing us to make your special gifts.