How it all started...
I started 'TheBusBox' off of an idea that I had thought of many years ago. I drew up some plans, bought a mailbox, and started painting. Well, if you know me at all, you would know that I am very picky about how my work turns out. I worked on that first mailbox for many hours. I started with a paint scheme and a lot of measurements. There were many hours spent looking online at buses, getting measurements from actual VW Buses, scaling those measurements down to the size of a mailbox, and then drawing out a rough sketch on the mailbox. I tried some different ideas with paints, vinyl, etc., and didn't get the results that I liked. I put that BusBox on the shelf and forgot about it. Oh well, it would have been a good Idea, right?
Six months went by before the nose of that BusBox poking out from the closet shelf bothered me enough to try again. I wanted a fresh start, so I bought another mailbox, and went to work on it. I did the same thing...started with paint, taped it all off for a two-tone lower half, and then got to work on the measurements of the windows, logos, lights and wheels. I went back to the internet, and took actual measurements, and brought them down to an accurate size on the box. With that box things were looking better, but still not quite right. I didn't like how it was turning out and eventually put that BusBox on the shelf right next to the other failed plan!
After that, I started talking myself out of the whole idea. Where would I sell them anyway? Who would buy a mailbox for the price I would need to get out of it, for the time I would put into it? Would I buy one like it? Would I ever get it to turn out how I wanted it to?
Three years later, Carmen (now my fiancee), saw the two 'mishaps' parked on the shelf, and she started to answer all of the questions that I previously had. She told me that I could sell them on Etsy and a couple other sites online. She said that people would "totally buy them", and encouraged me to pursue my original idea. After she purchased a sandblaster for me, I was back on it again! I had a new plan, encouragement, and some new tools! I got to work on the new design, and she started tracking down someone that would get me started with some custom cut vinyl. That is when she met Wade with 'A Sign of Success' on Etsy. He cut some custom VW logos for me and that was finishing touch to the front of the long awaited debut of TheBusBox!
It was that very first completed mailbox that I put on our own post at our house. I took some pictures of it, listed it on Etsy, and in three days, I had my first three BusBox orders!
All of the other mailboxes that I paint, have all stemmed off of that first idea. After the split window, I put plans together for a bay window BusBox, and made that...then the campers, the 21 window boxes, and the school bus. Shortly after that I made my first porch style mailbox splitty, and a few other ideas that I had ended up in my store.
I now stay at home with Carmen and our kids. Carmen and I now work on the mailboxes together, and we have even recruited the kids to help out with some of the details. Now no one is surprised when we have at least ten mailboxes in the house at all times, in some stage of the BusBox makeover, lol.
I went to college for mechanics. I work on aircooled Volkswagens from my home shop, I have owned many bugs, a squareback, and a bay window bus. I make the mailboxes from an office in my house. Carmen (among many other things) is a knitter, sews and also writes knitting patterns. Her store on Etsy is VintageofNow.
Both of us working from home allows us to volunteer in our kids' schools every week. We help out in the classrooms, in the office, during special events, and on field trips. Our life is each other, and the kids. We enjoy being together, and we pretty much do everything together.
I just want to finish with a thank you to Carmen, for making this possible. I would also like to thank Wade for putting up with all of my vinyl demands when we first got things going.
Check them out here: