This is hard to post – and mostly because it’s a pride issue. I (Jessica) wish I could say that Kraft & Jute was in this big beautiful old Victorian home all to its own… or a really cool trendy office space downtown. One of those places might come true in the future, but that’s not how Kraft & Jute was born.
I began Kraft & Jute at a very transitional period in my life: my husband and I had moved from Nashville back to my home town area in northwest Pennsylvania in 2009. To say we were on a tight budget would be exaggerating. We are huge fans of Dave Ramsey and firmly believe in living debt-free (many of our favorite meals consists of rice and beans!).
Kraft & Jute began in my parents home (the loft, to be exact), where we were living during this transition time from Nashville, TN to Saegertown, PA. I needed unique packaging for my own weddings. I couldn’t find anything I liked that was within budget and created Kraft & Jute as a result. The view from my make-shift office/loft was absolutely spectacular and breathtaking.
[View from my uncle’s house, looking down at my parents house over the Venango Valley]
My husband Dave and I eventually bought a home in Edinboro, PA – with a nice big basement that would be the new Kraft & Jute headquarters. The 1970’s ranch house needed lots of updates; we replaced all of our interior doors, which became tables for Kraft & Jute!
[A few days after we bought our house; did I mention we live in the snow belt? We get LOTS of Lake Effect Snow from Lake Erie]
[ When not snow blowing, my husband and I tore up the place, hoping it would one day look better. It’s much more cozy today.]
We were very thankful and excited to have a huge space to grow into! We knew the basement would need LOTS of work, but it kept our expenses down as we grew little by little.
[Yes- we had random left over carpet from tearing it out upstairs… but eventually it had to go. It just smelled too bad. Very hodge-podge – but paid for!]
[Poor Dave. Still shoveling snow. I’m glad to say we repainted the deck – no more hunter green!]
[More and more boxes were set out for the mail lady; we could see Kraft & Jute growing just by how much the mail lady had to pick up every day! Good thing she is REALLY sweet!]
[This is what one of our die cuts looks like; this is how they cut our raw paper to size, so we can stitch each product. All the waste materials go back into recycling to make corrugated sleeves]
About a year after we had been in the very basementy Kraft & Jute office, we decided it was time to bring in some paint. We put everything in the back corner – rolled up our sleeves – and started to paint!
[Even our recycled door tables got a fresh coat of white paint!]
[The back corner – with the blue floor is now re-done also]
[As we keep growing, we added yet another desk; updated photo coming soon! Kristie (standing) showing new hire Adele the ropes – picture below]
[Mary surrounded by new paper stock – ready to be put away! And of course, the sippy cup, which can be seen daily somewhere around the office.]
We have grown even more since these photos- which are only a few months old! I will post more photos for you – so you can continue seeing our progress. Again, I must point out that we have continued to grow by leaps and bounds – all debt-free! We realize that not everything is going to be perfect – but we can sure work our way toward it. For those of you who have been ordering from us since the beginning – we thank you! You have spread the word about Kraft & Jute like no one else. And welcome – all of you new fans and friends! We are excited you have joined us on this part of our journey! We hope that we can continue making amazing products and giving you incredible customer service. We would love if you could keep sharing our story – and help us continue to grow! We are a family-owned business who loves to spoil our employees and create an amazing work environment that others can be envious of. We LOVE using our creativity to create new products for our amazing customers; we have so many ideas to share over the next year and beyond!
Thank you again – for helping Kraft & Jute grow! We will continue to update you on the progress.