If you happen to be a DIY enthusiast, buckle up, this one’s for you! AR Workshop is a privately held franchise with 175 locations in 34 states and is entirely women owned. They produce custom home décor out of raw material and also provide the instructions on how to assemble. Their inventory kits span from cornhole boards to lazy Susans, wood signs, bed frames, photo frames, chunky knit blankets and so on. It’s DIY heaven.
After visiting one herself, Catt Pulli was all in.
“I decided to just go for it and purchase a franchise!”
Catt has a background in photography and was an art major in college so becoming a home décor/DIY business owner was something that she organically gravitated towards. While it was a very spur of the moment decision, it fit nicely with her lifestyle.
Catt’s spontaneous choice was made in the summer of 2019 and had six months to find a location. While she was undertaking the brunt of the work herself, she figured it wouldn’t hurt to reach out to Nathan from Sperity, an acquaintance that was made from shooting restaurant real estate photos. He was her first point of contact.
“His advice was to find someone professional and that is how I got connected with Veronica.”
Veronica Wiles became Catt’s go-to person at Sperity. She had a lot of insider knowledge and was a welcome protection from landlords who might have taken advantage of Catt’s unfamiliarity with the ins and outs of real estate purchasing. Catt and Veronica were able to develop a great working relationship. When asked to describe the relationship she built with Veronica, this is what Catt had to say:
“She focused on everything I wanted, didn’t show me anything to waste my time and would meet me at a moment’s notice. Once we found our space, which only took a month, she helped us nail down the details of it. We moved on to working with a lawyer which she graciously recommended.”
The specifications of Catt’s desired space were 1500 – 2500 square feet to meet the needs of a craft studio. Veronica presented 10 options to choose from, and Catt had her eye on one.
“I wanted to be central to Mechanicsville and found a spot which we initially didn’t get. It was over our price point, but Veronica was able to work a deal out and we eventually got the space!”
Veronica’s help was invaluable during and after the process. She had recommendations for even contractors. Nathan was a welcoming presence as well in the background, ensuring everything was moving smoothly.
Starting a new business has its challenges under normal circumstances and the current pandemic meant Catt had to adjust to the situation. After opening up in her new business in February 2020, she immediately had to turn around and close her business before they could really get going. Faced with the task of providing her services in a safe and convenient manner, Catt pivoted to preparing DIY kits to-go. Her resilience is a testament to the dedication she has to her patrons.
The space, at 7362 Bell Creek Road, worked out perfectly because it is in a well-known area and customers are aware of their presence. She was able to make the best out of a novel situation.
Catt’s journey to the perfect location was achieved because of the devotion and guidance of Sperity Real Estate Ventures.
“Nathan was the first person that I thought of. I know a lot of real estate agents, but he was my first thought. I knew he would answer my questions and I trust him. When Veronica and I were looking at places, she knew everybody. She was warm and friendly. It feels like we are good friends now.”