Invention is the mother of necessity, they say.
In Nicole Oliver’s case, it was Etsy.
Fresh off a move from San Diego, the Pendergrass resident was planning her wedding when she was laid off at her dad’s company.
“A month going into our wedding, job security wasn’t there,” husband Jeff Oliver said.
Nicole, who had started selling on online marketplace Etsy items similar to the personalized crafts she was making for her wedding, ramped up production after the couple returned from their honeymoon.
Success came fast.
“Within six to eight months, I was begging for (Jeff) to quit his day job,” Nicole said.
Her job clicked with Jeff, who had been helping her anyway with items she was making.
“I was having a hard time decorating for the wedding, so I decided I would start hand-engraving things,” she said. “I would buy wood boxes and wood signs. (Jeff) would make me something and I would hand-engrave it.”
Jeff, a boat mechanic when the couple moved to the area seven years ago, said he grew up in carpentry.
“I’m very much a hands-on person, so when this (business) started, it happened fast,” he said. “She had the ideas and the skills to hand-engrave.”
As the business grew, Jeff caved to Nicole’s demands to quit his job.
“I started to understand the potential when the demand for the woodshop started to take off,” he said. “I realized there was a demand for this business.”
The Olivers operated the business out of their home until 2014. They needed more room, so they leased a 2,500-square-foot warehouse next to Road Atlanta in Braselton.
“I was still hand-engraving, but my hand was killing me,” Nicole said. “It was becoming where the business could only do what I physically could do.”
“And we couldn’t train anybody else to get the quality we were looking for, so I saw the demand for machine-engraving,” Jeff said.
“So, we bought our first machine at the beginning of 2015.
That’s when Amazon…