Blue Earth Design opened its doors on August 15, 2014 and has been flourishing ever since. Doubling their sales their first operating year. Blue Earth Design handcrafts and manufactures custom product display cases for retail businesses and product manufacturers interested in increasing their sales through unique and beautiful retail presentation.
How did it all happen? Adam Kinney had been working in the construction industry as a master carpenter for twenty years and knew he needed a change. When Bruce Nygren posted his woodworking business of 17 years up for sale, Adam jumped at the opportunity. Adam understood the future potential and knew it was the opening he’d been waiting for; an existing business, in his trade, bringing in money from outside the San Luis Valley with an established client base with possibilities for growth.
Adam and his wife, Cristina, managed to retain Bruce’s previous clients while bringing in brand new clients. They redesigned all the displays of one of their biggest clients, Sounds True, transitioning from Russian birch plywood with toxic lacquers to reclaimed and regional beetle kill pine with no VOC water based lacquers. They now encourage utilizing environmentally conscious materials in all of their displays while helping to bring awareness to responsible material sourcing.
Goals for the future include streamlining their manufacturing processes, continue localizing their material sourcing, create more jobs, and build a new shop. Currently on a long term rental arrangement, Blue Earth is quickly outgrowing their space. They have building plans for a 3,200 square foot shop to include shipping room, storage space, offices, break room, and silkscreening. The plans include renewable energy sources and closed loop waste streams to maximize their efficiency and environmental impact. The have secured a local commercial location and will be the first to start a new Industrial Eco Park in Crestone, Colorado.
Learning how to step out of their comfort zones and follow their instincts was a real change maker for Adam and Cristina. By accepting what they didn’t know and seeking to understand and learn new things, they found they could pursue anything they set their minds and hearts to. Realizing the ebb and flow to business and navigating those waters with patience and perseverance has enabled them to see a long term future of creativity and innovative business ownership. And they learned the value of laughing . . . a lot.
Attending Leading Edge training through the Small Business Development Center (SBDC), Adam learned how to bring their vision into reality and the necessary steps in creating a dynamic and thriving business for themselves and the community. Cristina says, “Jeff Owsley’s constant support has been invaluable. Also, the business counseling we received from Kimberly Bryant has proven essential to our growth and confidence.”