Texas is a big place. A place that varies so greatly, even in landscapes, that you are sure to find a plethora of incredible small business owners. In fact, we think you may be able to find the greatest kind of business owners and people right here in Texas, but that is our completely wonderfully biased opinion, of course.
If you are one of our Instagram Fam members you have probably noticed that we LOVE to promote Texas small business owners and entrepreneurs, and small businesses in general. After all, here at HoM, we are Texas small business owners, too. So, we are extremely excited to be able to start sharing more with you about some of our favorite Texans right here on the blog!
To get things started off right, we recently had a conversation with Kathryn at Ramble & Company. And when I say Kathryn with Ramble & Company, I mean Kathryn the starter co-owner of Ramble & Company! She is not only an incredible business woman, but also a woman with vision that inspires all that meet her and follow her on social media. (Head on over to @rambleandcompany to see what I mean).
Ramble & Company is a small business based in Wichita Falls, TX that specialized in screen print tees with inspirational messages and armadillos every Texan will love. They have a brick and mortar store, travel to fairs and markets and were recently even a vendor at Silobration, and have an online store. What is really special about Ramble & Co, though, is that it is a true family operation.
But enough of my ramblings (see what I did there), here is more about this Texas business and family straight from the horse's mouth. . . or armadillo's mouth in their case.
First off, your products are beautiful, but what drew you to screen printing, and what made you take that first step to make it into a business?
I've been curious and more of the free spirited creative type all my life. I'm the middle of 5 kids, went to 3 colleges before I came back home and attended Midwestern State University. I decided to get a business marketing degree because I like people and I knew I didn't want to sit at a desk all day. My last year of college a great uncle approached me about buying his screen printing business, I really didn't hesitate. I talked to my parents and told them even though I didn't know a single thing about printing a t-shirt, I wanted to do this. So, I wen to our local bank and got a loan for $11,000 and bought a business. Looking back, the first 2 years solid was nothing more than hard work, late nights of printing after school and after work. It was A LOT of trial and error as there are way more technical pieces to printing than I ever anticipated. Fast forward 4 years of custom orders only part time I decided to start designing and printing my own designs. l started in a rented space within another store and did well. I left my full time shop in 2015 to pursue graphic design work, photography and screen printing. We opened our first retail location in 2016 and the rest picked up quickly. We purchased our own building in downtown Wichita Falls in of January 2017, remodeled and now have a retail store and screen printing shop under one roof. I took the leap to go full time in 2015 because I was working way too much on my "side gig", it was sustainable (or say I prayed) and it made me really happy. I'm thankful to say it's worked out! With the retail and apparel brand picking up so much I cut out photography and graphic design out of our business model this year and it's been a great way for me to focus.
As many small business owners know, each state has unique ways of handling small businesses, what made you stay in Texas as a small business owner?
Texas is were my family lives. Ryan and I both grew in rural small towns and it is a part of who we are. We like simple, wide open spaces. When opening a business, especially a store front I knew I wanted to be in Wichita Falls. The problem is that our downtown, where we purchased our building, has not been economically sound for years. It is now revitalizing however it is going to take years for it to thrive and for more people to come downtown. This challenge is one I have accepted. As the business strategist in our company I work very hard to grow awareness of our store and brand in Wichita Falls and I also work to grow our business outside Wichita Falls, Texas. We have an online store and we also wholesale our tees. As of June we are now in over 170 stores across the US.