Blog Series: Morris Makers
Maker/Owner: Peg Rinkenberger
Business Name: Rinkles
Peg is the kind of person that will bend over backwards and go out of her way to make people feel comfortable and welcomed. As a colleague of hers in the high school, I feel inspired by the rapport she has with her students, how she is always up for trying something new in the classroom, and to put it simply... her drive.
Peg does amazing work with reclaimed wood and always has an upbeat spirit about the design process. I enjoy hearing about what she is currently working on or a new tool that she picked up and cannot wait to try out over the weekend. Beyond that, she is one of the kindest people to be around and I feel so lucky to have her in my life not only has an inspiration, but as a friend.
Everyone, meet Peg!
"What a joy it is to be considered a “Morris Maker”! Amanda Nygaard is one of the kindest and thoughtful women I have ever known. This quality woman is so talented. She is a genuine person with a generous spirit. Thank you, Amanda, for inviting me to share in this experience!" -Peg
1. Provide us with a little background about yourself.
My dad and my grandpa both played with saws, drills, hammers, and wood. Grandpa regularly was out in the garage (pronounced like “gare ridge”) making something. My dad must have spent time with Grandpa as he was also handy with tools. As a little girl, I remember watching Dad while he was at the workbench in the garage on Saturdays. Both of those influential men have passed now. Now it is my turn. It is sad to me that I found my love of working with tools after they had gone but it feels good when family members speak how my dad would be thrilled that I have found my own way to work with wood and create items for my home. There are times that it feels as though my dad is outside working with me.
2. Tell us about what it is you make or the services you offer.
Most of the items I have made are signs, home décor, and headboards. I have enjoyed doing custom work and try hard to make the item “special” in some aspect. However, working on custom work can be a bit stressful as it is important to me that the customer is completely satisfied. Everything I do is hand created and therefore there are small imperfections as I use reclaimed wood to create my crafts. My customers typically embrace the “one of a kind” item that I am able to create.
3. At what point did you decide to take your entrepreneurial leap of faith?
A couple of years ago some friends and I were having coffee at the Common Cup in Morris. We decided to go to a friend’s shop and play with pallets. My first item I made for myself was a 42” pallet clock. When I began showing my work, other friends responded favorably. I continued to make items to give away. Friends convinced me to try to sell some of my creations. The final push came from my colleague and friend, Jenny Maras, proprietor of Junk by Jenny. She was having a sale and invited me and several others to join her. The sale was successful! It was at that point I decided to take the “leap of faith”.
4. Where do you gather your inspiration?
Inspiration can come from absolutely anywhere. Most recently, I took a trip with a friend to Waco, Texas where we visited Magnolia Market and the Findery. Both had fun items and ways of displaying them. I was definitely inspired by Chip and Joanna Gaines! Other HGTV shows provide inspiration as does Pinterest. Honestly, this morning’s sunrise and early morning rainbow got me thinking as I was driving. Sometimes that thinking time allows for insight into solving problems that have come up while creating items.
5. What has been a highlight since beginning your business?
Of course, I love the creative process and the learning that comes with all of the work but I think the highlight of my business is the time that my husband and I spend together. We go dumpster diving for wood. I should say that he dives and I haul the wood to the truck. Taking pallets apart is much more fun with the two of us. Those of you who have dismantled pallets you know they can be buggers!!! Last year, my hubby and I worked together to raise enough money to take our family on a vacation over the Christmas holiday. We’d never done that before. This business endeavor has been a “win-win” in so many ways!
6. Tell us about a challenge you faced and how you went about overcoming it.
Working in my little garage and on my front yard can be challenging. I do not have a shop. Every time I work, I have to take my tools out and when I am done, I have to put things away. It is important for me to be cognizant that there are children in the neighborhood and so it is important that I unplug, lock, and use any other method of securing the tools when I run into the house for a short while. My neighbors are awesome! I appreciate that I am not the only one who likes to play with saws. One retiree said he would call an ambulance and collect my limb if I have an accident and the other told me he would teach me how to change my saw blade on a table saw that another neighbor gave to me! I have embraced my challenge and enjoyed the fresh and sometimes brisk air I share with my wonderful neighbors!
7. What do you see in the future for your business?
This business is more of a hobby. It is relaxing and it soothes my soul. I do not foresee it growing into a larger business. My husband and I have recently purchased a Harley trike with the purpose of spending time together and getting out on the road. My business really is a way to enhance my life rather than rule it. Therefore, I can see that it will ebb and flow as time allows.
8. What advice do you have to share with someone thinking about the entrepreneurial route?
The process of becoming a business is rather easy. I would say, “Go for it!” There is something rewarding about learning how to start a business. It was good for my brain! I have also enjoyed getting to know other creative people in our community as a number of us get together to have sales. This fall will be our third sale. We are currently looking to set a sale up for September. If you want to create a business, remember to let it work for and reflect you. If it does that, it will enhance your life which will guarantee its success!
9. How can people purchase your products or services?
Honestly, if you have an idea, contact me. I might be able to make it come true. However, I might not. I will tell you if it is beyond my abilities. If my work does not meet your expectations, I will not hold you to purchasing the item. I prefer local customers as I have not yet tackled the world of shipping. You can also come to one of our sales! Watch my Facebook page for notification of any upcoming sales events!
10. Where can people find you online to follow your creative journey?
You can see some of my work by checking out my facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/rinklespallets/
Thanks for giving me your time!