The Restorative

I’m a hobbyist. I jump from hobby to hobby all the time. Photography, electronics (briefly), now I’m crazy into collecting and listening to records.

But my latest hobby, has been making things. We had a garage in our house in San Antonio, and it was at that point when I was able to build a workbench and start buying a few power tools and begin making things in a little workshop in the garage.

Workbench in the old garage

At first I started with making small things, like Christmas ornaments for the kids, but it’s grown since then.

Superman Christmas ornaments

This is really when the bug bit me. I wanted to keep making things like these.

When we were building our new house in New Braunfels, I had to make sure that our garage had plenty of room for a workshop. It’s the main reason I insisted on adding 4 feet to the length of the garage. Now I have a bit more space to work, so I’m really pumped.

Workbench in the new garage

I’ve always wanted to make things and sell them, so I started thinking about what I could sell. My photos were definitely on that list, and by far the easiest thing for me to sell. But I wanted to actually make something, so I started keeping my eyes open when we’d go to antique stores, craft stores, and really, every where.

Texas Christmas ornament by The RestorativeWhere we live is filled with antique stores. We’re also close to a ton of small Texas towns like Gruene, Johnson City, Blanco, all of which have a lot of antique shops as well as Texas gift shops. And that was my inspiration and starting point, Texas gifts. I started with Christmas ornaments and photographs and I kept running with that theme.

I’ve slowly been adding new products like coasters and signs, and I’m always thinking of what else I could add.

New York City tile coasters by The Restorative

The biggest hurdle for me was the name and branding. I was making things before I even had any of that in mind. I’m big on names and branding (hi, I’m a marketer), and the name for this had to be perfect. The name is what has held me back for so long. It had to be a strong name that would reflect what I would make and sell. Quality products with a vintage flair.

But not just the name, the look of how I would present my products and my store. I probably drove Ali nuts with this back and forth on the name, but one day on a drive back to New Braunfels from Houston I had her trapped in the car for two hours and I was adamant that we’d have a name when we got home. After an hour or so we had a list, with one definite option.

As soon as we pulled in the driveway I ran into the house and set up the store name on Etsy. I began working on a logo and branding. It needed to be simple, bold, and timeless. The packaging also had to reflect the store’s brand, and I think I did just that.

The Restorative packaging

I haven’t been promoting the store at all while I was adding more products and trying to make sure everything was perfect. However, people starting finding and favoriting some items here and there. After a few weeks I made my first sale, and I was ecstatic. Since then I’ve managed to sell a few Christmas ornaments and tile coasters without really announcing to my circle of the Internet that I embarked on this project. I had something in the back of my head that I had to be “finished”. I needed to have all the products that I had in my head on the store before I started promotion. Well, that’s crazy. I’ll never be done, so I was just delaying this because I’m a crazy person.

But not anymore.

Now I’m ready and very excited to cut the digital ribbon on The Restorative.

The Restorative

Vintage inspired designs and creations using wood, fabric, photography, and a little blood, sweat, and tears. And maybe some slight cursing. Also, whiskey.

Hi, I'm Mike. I'm From the Internet.