LIVE from WORKBENCHcon 2022: Craig, The Barefoot Forge (Organization Conversation, Episode 15)
Craig Cowan, owner of The Barefoot Forge, was at his third WORKBENCHcon when he sat down with Richard Grove to talk about not only what he enjoys about it, but what he’s learned over the years. He shared how he got into blacksmithing, how the business is growing, how he now has gotten into woodworking, his take on failure, and much more.
Craig Cowan, Owner, The Barefoot Forge
Located in the North Hills of Pittsburgh PA, “The Barefoot Forge” is a collective blacksmithing group owned and headed by Craig Cowan, a young self-taught blacksmith native to Pittsburgh.
Craig started blacksmithing as a hobby over 10 years ago, inspired by boredom and completely self-taught, has grown his experience and passion into a unique skill set that allows for incredible, custom, heirloom pieces made traditionally. With a bit of luck and lots of experimentation, the methods used to hot forge beautiful Damascus rings were developed and now The Barefoot Forge is thrilled to make awesome rings for awesome people!
To them, your ring truly is special. The very idea of creating a lasting, custom piece that’s unique and somewhat random inspires them to do the very best work we’re capable of. Your wedding ring is something you’ve spent plenty of time considering, and it’s something that represents your relationship, shouldn’t it be something indestructible and unique?
About Organization Conversation
Organization Conversation features interviews with movers and shakers in storage and organization, from professional organizers to the creative and talented Brand Ambassadors who use Wall Control products every day. You’ll hear tips, tricks, and how-tos for storage and organization, as well as receive first access to Wall Control promotions. We talk with our suppliers and partners to give you a look behind the scenes at how we operate, what makes our family-owned and operated brand tick, and some of the fun and interesting insights that go into making our business run. We love our guests, as they are engaging and entertaining with interesting experiences to share. By focusing on those guests and the amazing stories they tell, we hope you will be enriched and find your time listening to the Organization Conversation podcast as time well spent.
Organization Conversation is hosted by Richard Grove, and broadcast and produced from the North Fulton studio of Business RadioX® inside Renasant Bank in Alpharetta. You can find the full archive of shows by following this link. The show is available on all the major podcast apps, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google, Amazon, iHeart Radio, and others.
About Richard Grove
Richard Grove‘s background is in engineering but what he enjoys most is brand building through relationships and creative marketing. Richard began his career with the Department of Defense as an engineer on the C-5 Galaxy Engineering Team based out of Warner Robins. While Richard found this experience both rewarding and fulfilling, he always knew deep down that he wanted to return to the small family business that originally triggered his interest in engineering.
Richard came to work for the family business, Dekalb Tool & Die, in 2008 as a Mechanical Engineer. At the time Wall Control was little more than a small ‘side hustle’ for Dekalb Tool & Die to try to produce some incremental income. There were no “Wall Control” employees, just a small warehouse with a single tool and die maker that would double as an “order fulfillment associate” on the occasion that the original WallControl.com website, which Richard’s grandmother built, pulled in an order.
In 2008, it became apparent that for the family business to survive they were going to have to produce their own branded product at scale to ensure jobs remained in-house and for the business to continue to move forward. Richard then turned his attention from tool and die to Wall Control to attempt this necessary pivot and his story with Wall Control began. Since that time, Richard has led Wall Control to significant growth while navigating two recessions.
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About Wall Control
The Wall Control story began in 1968 in a small tool & die shop just outside Atlanta, Georgia. The first of three generations began their work in building a family-based US manufacturer with little more than hard work and the American Dream.
Over the past 50+ years, this family business has continued to grow and expand from what was once a small tool & die shop into an award-winning US manufacturer of products ranging from automobile components to satellite panels and now, the best wall-mounted tool storage system available today, Wall Control.
The Wall Control brand launched in 2003 and is a family-owned and operated business that not only produces a high-quality American Made product but sees the entire design, production, and distribution process happen under their own roof in Tucker, Georgia. Under that same roof, three generations of American Manufacturing are still hard at work creating the best tool storage products available today.
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