Business of Craft Episode 54 Barry and Jane Schacht


My guests today are Jane Patrick and Barry Schacht of Schacht Spindle Company located in Boulder, Colorado. Jane and Barry have not only had a successful marriage for 37 years, but they’ve also been successful business partners running Schacht Spindle for 50 years. They discuss different recessions, the shift of business over the years, and key components to running a successful business.

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#1 I read that you two first met in the weaving shop in Boulder in the late 1960’s. That’s some staying power for both your marriage and your business.  What was your first product? [2:26]

#2 Did you guys decide early on what aspects of the business you each would do? What’s your secret to a successful business partnership?[5:55]

#3 And did you make any concerted effort to keep business discussions and problems out of the home and marriage? Or was it all merged into one life experience for you two? [10:25]

#4 So many of our listeners are craft entrepreneurs who’ve never felt the effect of a recession on their business. Since you’ve weathered a few- what advice would you have for them for the next downturn? [14:22]

#5 We also talk a lot about failure as the greatest teacher on this show. Can you share with us any flops you’ve had or mistakes you’ve made and tell us how those really became learning opportunities? [16:25]

#6 You’ve got a big 50th anniversary coming up September 20, 2019, can you give us a highlight of something you’re really excited about? [24:05]

#7 A big part of your brand story has to do with local sourcing. Is it correct that only about 1% of your inputs come from overseas? [27:30]

#8 And how many employees do you have? [30:00]

#9 I think your Cricket loom really was a breakthrough product because it helped knitters and other fiber artists explore weaving without the investment and intimidation of a big loom. Can you describe what that loom is and how did you get the idea for that product? [31:40]

#10 How did you make the shift from traditional advertising to utilizing social media and other digital tools to engage with your customers? [35:20]

#11 How did you stay innovative and in front of changes in the business? [36:00]

#12 After so many years, many folks would assume you’re getting close to retirement age. What’s the succession plan for Schacht and are you working on that now? [39:20]

#13 If you had the opportunity to take out a full page ad in the Entrepreneur or Fast Company magazine that expressed some sort of life lesson learned in the lifespan of your business experiences, what would that say?[42:15]

Additional Resources

Connect with Barry & Jane Schacht Spindle Co | Facebook | Instagram

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