Ready for a change? Ready for something different? Melissa and Rocy Pillsbury share their story of how they transformed a traditional carpentry background into something extraordinary!
What inspired you to create your Hobbit Holes?
Rocy had been doing traditional carpentry for over 15 years and was ready for a change. He was uninspired by the work he was doing and the schedule was unfriendly for our young family (two sons: Richard,3 and Maxximus,1), so we wanted to build a home-based business rather than a job-site based business. Rocy is a really creative designer and a big fan of fantasy, so it was a natural fit for him to apply his mastery of carpentry to more creative and whimsical structures. Hobbit Holes are just one of many fantastical structure concepts brewing in Rocy's mind, but once we built the Hobbit Hole prototype, the idea started to gain traction and we've built the product from there.
How do you ensure worklife balance?
You have to keep things in perspective. There will often be more demands on your time than you can meet, so you have to be good at prioritizing, not over committing, and remaining calm under pressure. And when things get too overwhelming, take a deep breath and remember what's really important in life. The rest is just details, and it will all get worked out one way or another.
What would be the ultimate goal for your business?
We'd like to be a successful small family business that's also manageable and sustainable. We'd like to provide a few jobs for others in the community. And we'd like to be able to take our family on a nice vacation every year.
Who are your customers?
The one thing our customers have in common is that they have an appreciation for the attractive and whimsical nature of our product. And also an appreciation for the value we offer, which is an intersection of high quality and reasonable cost. We build hobbit holes for a wide variety of uses: playhouses, sheds, cottages, saunas, chicken coops - and many customization options to create an even longer list of possible applicaitons, so anyone who likes our product well enough will be able to come up with a practical use for one. Check out the portfolio.
What advice would you give to someone starting a business?
Don't expect overnight success. It takes time to build a business and you have to be mentally (and ideally financially) prepared for the long road ahead. And don't lose your optimism! If you believe in yourself and are passionate about what you do, others will believe in you, too.
What is your favourite or most popular product?
At the moment our favorite product is our new Woodshire Hobbit Hole, which we're in the process of developing into a kit. When it's fully assembled and installed you have a beautiful "hole-in-the-ground" Hobbit Hole that looks like it belongs right in The Shire, and it's just as lovely inside as it is out. You have to see it to believe it!
What would you use your Hobbit Hole for? Let us know :)