Six months ago, ModernWell officially opened its big glass doors. There’s been a gust of growth in women’s businesses within this inspired co-working community ever since.
Brianne Boettner, owner of Timber and Tulip, a custom furniture design company, is a shining example of that.
“Joining ModernWell was a pivotal point in my business,” she said.
Two years ago, feeling burnt out from her job as financial controller at Best Buy, Brianne took a leap of faith by turning her furniture-making hobby into a full-time endeavor.
It was a slow and somewhat isolating start while renting a studio in a quiet section of the Northrup King Building. But since moving to the vibrant, networking oasis that is ModernWell in January, business is flourishing.
“Before, it was always a little bit of a stretch to keep the business going. I was always wondering where that next project was coming from,” Brianne said.
But then Julie Burton, who at that time was still in the process of constructing and furnishing ModernWell, contacted her about making a few pieces, and Brianne knew she’d found a better fit.
“Julie and I had our first meeting in the ModernWell space before there was even anything there yet,” Brianne said. “Julie was so passionate. The more she talked about ModernWell, the more I wanted in.”
Brianne claimed an office space right then and there even before the walls went up.
“I’ve had huge momentum ever since. Now, I have a pipeline out for the next three or four months.”
Business is so good that Brianne recently signed a lease for a large new showroom in St. Louis Park where clients will be able to go and feel the different slabs of wood and see projects being worked on. “I’m taking it to the next level,” she said.
The showroom also will help reduce lead time on client projects. “The goal is to be closer to 2-4 weeks, depending on the piece vs. the current 10-12 week average,” said Brianne.
Although she will be working primarily from her showroom space when it’s complete, Brianne plans to continue her membership at ModernWell, of course!
It’s not only the contacts she’s made at ModernWell that’s made the difference, though. It’s the motivating environment and support.
“There’s an energy here that lifts you up,” Brianne said. “On those days when things aren’t going well, when it seems like problem after problem, you can go in and have conversations about it with other women. It’s a community you can tap into when you need it the most.”
Timber and Tulip’s offerings are described as “high quality furnishings with a natural modern twist.” Brianne collects unique lumber and materials from suppliers that have mills all over the world. One supplier of hers grows their own monkeypod and mango trees in Costa Rica.
Then she gets to work creating customized tables, chairs, credenzas, kitchen islands, cabinets, and accessories for clients’ homes and businesses. She even built a new host table for the Twin Cities Live show—KSTP Channel 5. Check it out front and center each day from 3-4:30 p.m.
“I’ve always had a creative side and a knack for rearranging rooms, but I didn’t really learn I had a passion for furniture making until I bought my industrial-like loft downtown. I had full reign to decorate it,” Brianne said. She started by repurposing old items for the loft, like an old railroad cart into a coffee table, and one thing led to the next.
When asked what advice she’d give other women launching their own businesses, Brianne said: “Just be ready to persevere and don’t be afraid to ask for help. There will be days when you’re like ‘holy crap, can I do this?’ On those days, you have to make the decision to move forward. And that’s what sets you apart from those businesses that fail.”