A Bit of Kraft & Jute History: Where We Have Come From

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!).

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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.

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[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!

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[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]

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[ 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.]

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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.

KraftandJute14[Owen still keeps the Kraft & Jute girls smiling away with his silliness!]

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[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!]

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[Poor Dave. Still shoveling snow. I’m glad to say we repainted the deck – no more hunter green!]

KraftandJuteOffices07KraftandJute12[The kids and family are why we still do what we do!  Cali & Owen (Jessica’s kids) with Riley (Melisa’s kid) in the middle. Mason, Melisa’s second kid was a baby at the time.]

KraftandJuteOffices10[Underwear Fridays are popular at Kraft & Jute]

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[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!]

KraftandJuteOffices26[We are very thankful for our paper supplier – who just happens to be 12 miles from our office! We get to shop LOCAL for our supplies!]

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[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!

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[Even our recycled door tables got a fresh coat of white paint!]

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[The back corner – with the blue floor is now re-done also]

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[As we keep growing, we added yet another desk; updated photo coming soon! Kristie (standing) showing new hire Adele the ropes – picture below]

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[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.

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9 thoughts on “A Bit of Kraft & Jute History: Where We Have Come From

  1. Inspiring. Thanks for posting this! I love your debt free living. My husband and I are also the same. I just moved out of a fancy space downtown to live more simply. It’s not all it’s cracked up to be. Clients care about your quality of work, not where you produce it.

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  2. From small beginnings comes such greatness 🙂 I love your story, your growing place, and amazing products… I have myself some gorgeous Kraft and Jute corrugated sleeves and they show a product made with handmade love and goodness 🙂 well done and thanks for the insight 🙂 karina

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  3. To say I am a proud papa is an understatement. Unfortunately for my son David I did not teach the stuff i teach now when he was growing up and I certainly did not model it for him. I am grateful that he and Jess are living and modeling what I now work hard to teach to families. This is the way to change our nation by passing on these values to the next generation ( my grand children) Thank you Dave and Jess for making me proud. I also need to thank Dave and Rose Acker for raising such a wonderful daughter. I love you all.

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  4. I’m glad I know you and Dave from working with him. Your values of love, joy, excellence, people, God, and diligence are consistent in your marriage and general living. I’m glad I get to see it. It gives me encouragement as I’m trying to live those values too. Thanks for doing what you do and how you do it, day in and day out. I think you have a lot to be proud of. It means a lot to those of us around you. I’m glad you shared the photos and story.

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    1. Tavia! Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving a sweet comment! It’s hard to be consistent; I guess that’s why the reward can be so big when we ARE faithful and consistent in everything we do. (not saying that I have it all figured it out though! Glad you can appreciate our story and see how far we’ve come (and how far we have yet to go!)

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  5. LOVED this post! So cool to see where you started and I know even more great things are ahead for you 🙂 Thank you for taking the time to share and give us a visual of where your awesome products are created. It was cool to see your cute kids too 😉 xoxo

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