owned and operated
owned and operated
Well, it's quite a story so hold tight.
I, Kaitlyn, started Wildfire Engraving back in 2017 after deciding I no longer had the urge to spend hours in dense traffic every morning and night, to do a job I didn't really like anymore. I loved woodwork, I loved being outside and doing things with my hands, making things. I have always seen myself as an artist.
At the time I left my old job, my then fiance and I were building a house, and just about to get married - so stress levels were already pretty high! Plus, we were living in a shed on site!
So after finding myself a laser engraver, and squeezing it into 1/3 of the shed we lived in, I took my Graphic Designer hat and made a website and designed a few products to sell. After a pretty slow start, and a little hope lost, one day a customer asked me if I could make her a cutting board, to which I said sure! Why not?!
Little did I know it would lead me down a path I never knew I would take.
Originally Wildfire operated the shed we lived in, then to the underside of my brand new home, with just myself. Soon, I needed help. And not too long after that, I was asking Mum to come in every day to help pack up orders (thanks Mum). And we were a busy little trio. I was full time in production, Lauren was full time emails, proofing and engraving, and Mum was a packing machine.
Time went by, and the unexpected happened. I was pregnant with my first child! Then the realisation hit that I could no longer work in production, couldn't lift the heavy stuff or cut up any more timber. I was excited, terrified and a little sad that I had to stop making things for a time. Consequently, Wildfire had to undergo a massive redorder. To compound that little bit of overwhelm, I received a letter in the mail not long after informing me that I had to cease operations or move out from under my house. I'd had a noise complaint, and unknowingly breaking some council rules. So, we had some decisions to make. Give it up, and maybe try again later? Give up everything I had worked so hard for?..... I dont think so.
4 months pregnant I hired 2 new production crew, Charles and Matt. 6 Months pregnant we looked for and puchased a warehouse in Yatala, Qld. At 8 months, and as big as a house my wonderful husband fitted out the warehouse with a brand new office, built all my lovely work benches, cupboards, installed all my tools and machinery, worked day and night to build it all for me. I painted the walls (which I will never do again) and gave directions! Talk about feeling inadequate!
At 9 months pregnant, ready to deliver, I finally had the perfect workplace all set up and ready to be used.
And my beautiful little boy was born in May 2021. I took my maternity leave and spent that precious time with our little man, all the while Wildfire operated on without me.
Not to mention, Covid became a deal in March 2021, so there's that too.
Somehow, through it all - getting married, building a home, becoming a parent, building a business, living through covid and setting up a business we managed to make it out alive.
Running and operating a small business is not easy. It has it's ups and downs. But it's worth it for every happy customer who loves what we do. Every person who walks in and says oh this is just lovely, your products are so amazing!
There's worth in trying hard, and believing in what you do.
And that's what we do. We try bloody hard, and believe in it, and what we offer.