A Conversation with Rachel Eubank of Sticks, Inc.
Sticks, Inc. President Rachel Eubank speaks about the distinctive handmade furniture, accessories and object art from this small business with roots in Greater Des Moines (DSM).
Path to Ownership
Rachel talks about watching her mother grow Sticks over the years. In college she worked in an art gallery and had her first foray into selling. Once she graduated, she moved to DSM and tried working at Sticks for a year or two. She found that she loved selling. After holding several different roles within the company, including retail, sales and marketing she realized she wanted to step into a role of leadership.
Originally, the Sticks customer base was selling into galleries and fine furniture stores and galleries. Around this time, Rachel had to rethink how to grow Sticks as the economic downturn in 2008 took its toll.
Stepping into a managerial role, Rachel knew she had to get her hands dirty. She’s swept floors, loaded crates and more. She’s worked alongside her team as the business grew. A lot of the Sticks employees have been there more than 15 years.
Rachel talks about moving away from smaller items. From there, a new product line became evident. Sincerely, Sticks is the signature line of Sticks art prints at a lower price point. Product types in the new line range from keepsake boxes to ornaments to small plaques.
In 2008, Sticks went live online with direct retail. Initially, in order to appease the brick-and-mortar stores selling Sticks products, Rachel says they made their online pricing higher than what it was in stores. They also would not offer free shipping and tied any promotions to the other stores, offering them advertising done by Sticks and promoted by Sticks for the other stores.
Hear the stories of other small business and startup business owners in the community in The Partnership’s Small Business Resources Hub or sign up for the NAME TBD newsletter to stay connected for information about upcoming events, other resources and the latest announcements in the small business community in DSM.