Blake and Travis McDaniel had always done their own thing in terms of business, and when they moved their family from Florida to Georgia a couple of years ago – that didn’t change. Rooted and Grounded came into the picture soon after the move and what started as a business for home decor soon evolved to include fashion, and from what Travis tells us – the growth will continue into the new year. Now let’s get to know more about this entrepreneurial family and their heartfelt pieces.
Kendra: You’ve mentioned that you two had a business before Rooted and Grounded. Was it in the same arena or something completely the opposite?
Travis McDaniel: I had a local service business in Florida before. So an online product business was completely new for us.
Kendra: Have you always had an entrepreneur’s spirit or did that develop with time after perhaps not being in love with working under someone else but rather for yourself?
Travis McDaniel: I have always wanted to work for myself. I went to school and got a business degree. But don’t feel like I learned a lot of practical things there. I never used my degree to get a “real” job. I started working for myself in 2007 when I got married. But also had two side jobs to help with income for the first year.
Kendra: Were there any business-minded folks you looked to for inspiration or guidance?
Travis McDaniel: Pretty much anyone who had a successful business. I’ve always been intrigued by self-employed people. Anytime I meet anyone with a business, I ask a ton of questions. You start noticing similar answers from the successful ones, and it shapes your thinking.
Kendra: You’re all about home decor that in turn inspires. Which I get. I don’t like walking into a home and not seeing what drives the person who lives there. With that, what three things have driven you this far?
Travis McDaniel: The business initially started because we made a move. We sold our other business and needed an income. So it was sort of a necessity thing, which is common for a lot of people I think. But it needs to go from the necessity to make a living, to an actual vision at some point. That happened for us about 4 or 5 months into this business. We hired our first employee and our vision for what this could be grew. We wanted a brand that had inspirational word art on a multitude of products. We are Christians and most of our products are themed that way as well. The concept of creating attractive products that also served as a reminder of something deeper and truer, that has been our main driving force.
Kendra: When did fashion come into the mix? And was that an easy thing to start incorporating into the brand?
Travis McDaniel: Right now, our brand kind of looks like a wall decor company that also sells clothing. Truthfully though, clothing was just the second addition in a much longer product line. In the next year, we are launching pillows, journals, letter ledges, and mugs. Pretty much anything that we can put our word designs on. Our motto is “words that remind. words that inspire.” so that is the direction we want to go. The physical products themselves are almost secondary. The word art and it’s message, are the main concept behind the brand.
Kendra: As we look ahead to 2020, what’s in store for Rooted and Grounded?
Travis McDaniel: We have lots of new products in store for next year. We picked up seven new employees in 2019 as well as multiple additions to our building and equipment. I would imagine we will need the same amount of productional growth in 2020 to keep up with sales, and the vision we have.