Chapel Hill Forge blossomed from a job loss in 2016. Zadok Leggett, owner, was a State Constable in Pennsylvania, and his wife Mandy worked as a Customer Service Representative for an online sign retailer.
At that time, Mandy was working the “normal” hours that people expect. She was gone from about 7:30am to 5pm everyday and had weekends off. Zad worked days, evenings, nights and weekends, depending on the job. Making time for each other was tough with these kinds of schedules.
The Constable position faded due to County changes, and Zad found himself starting his own business. He was longing to find a new purpose and the couples’ goal was to have more time together as a family instead of seeing each other in passing at the front door.
Zad started small. He made metal jewelry at home and eventually branched into carving signs. When the couple moved to a more rural area with more land and a barn, they expanded even further. They were able to do more with signs, heavily expand their fabrication and blacksmithing market and their son even branched off starting his own business at the age of seven called Bud’s Outfitters, where he makes marshmallow shooters from PVC, firestarters, felt animals and many other handcrafted items.
In 2017, they decided that it was time for Mandy to take the leap of faith and quit her full time job. They were putting all their eggs into one basket, and it was scary and exciting.
So far, three years later, they are blooming. The business is growing, their community involvement has grown into joining their local Chamber and they are building their online presence. They are curating their Etsy shop daily, promoting themselves via social media and attending events to reach new customers.
This, however, comes with its own new set of challenges, some of which, they were not expecting when they started a business.
One of their biggest challenges: dealing with peoples’ reactions to two parents working from home who mostly make their own schedule and sleep when it suits their bodies and their timeline.
Sounds silly, doesn’t it? “Just do your thing, and I’ll do mine,” as the saying goes.
BUT…it’s not always that easy. In a small business, you want to please your customers. You want them to be happy, and you want them to come back. You want them to recommend you and give you great reviews.
Zad and Mandy are night people. Their son is a night owl, and more than likely, their little one coming in August 2019 will be, too.
They have heard it all: “You were up till what time?!” “Why are you still sleeping at 11am?!” “You took off on a Monday?!”
Entrepreneur life is nothing like “normal” job life. There isn’t a set schedule. There isn’t a normal day.
There are meetings, there are creative planning sessions, there are work order days, there are shop maintenance days, there are networking days, there are event days…and there are days where they rest, recover and simply enjoy life together as a family on their small homestead.
When you own your own business, you accept the responsibility that you are making the rules now. It took them a while to accept that working all day Saturday at an event meant that IT WAS OK to take off Monday. That working till 2am trying to get orders made for shipping out that same day meant IT WAS OK to sleep till noon the next day before plowing back into more orders and inventory.
There are still judgers. The people who faithfully get up at 5am, the people who work 9-5, the people who never work a Saturday. But if you are chasing your dream, you are allowed to that on YOUR schedule. You are allowed to take time to rest. You are allowed to sleep when you need to sleep.
If you have a meeting at 7am and you were up till 2am, work the meeting, come home and nap! Turn your phone on silent, and enjoy some peace. The world will still be turning when you wake up.
Don’t let the world dictate your sleep, your emotions, your well-being or your dream.
Chapel Hill Forge proudly accepts custom orders, enjoys making blacksmith items, like fire pokers and meat hooks, carves unique live edge signs for campers and cabins, makes essential oil jewelry and so much more. Check them out on Facebook: facebook.com/chapelhillforge and on Etsy: chapelhillforgepa.etsy.com.