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AT HOME | a blog by Joanna Gaines

Artisan Spotlight - Jimmy Don

January 30, 2017

a note from

JOANNA

I met Jimmy Don when I wanted to have a few things custom made for our house and for my clients. The first time I went into his metal shop, I loved the way it felt like a small town family business. Jimmy Don is so personable, and within five minutes of meeting him, he felt like someone I’d known for years. Back then the shop was a little smaller—with only one metal cutter—but I love that no matter how much his shop has grown, his family is still most important to him.

interview with

JIMMY DON HOLMES

 

How has your business grown over the past few years?

I’ve always been a big ole ham, but this whole experience has really humbled me down. I’m humbled by the amount of great people that I’ve met, whether they’re customers or even the Magnolia staff. I don’t know how Magnolia has hired that many good folks, but they have, and when you’re around good folks you try to become better yourself. This whole thing has been a big blessing and I just can’t believe it. There was a lady in the shop today all the way from Georgia who said, “It was an honor to meet you,” and I’m just Jimmy Don Holmes! I was out in the pasture this morning. I’ve got mud on my feet and I’m chewing on a cigar. I’m just me.

Our guests love to meet you in person at the store. Tell us about “Meet-and-Greet Thursdays”. 

It’s the best. I deliver signs to the Market on Thursdays, and the first time I went in to deliver at the Silos, I didn’t have a JDH cap on or anything. People went nuts and kept asking to take a picture or would stop and say “Hey, that’s Jimmy Don.” So my wife, Lori, told me I should start dressing up when I go to the store, and I love it. I meet the customers and it just kind of turned into meet-and-greet Thursdays. I know they love it, but I’m gonna tell you I love it even more than they do.

What is your design process when crafting metal signs?

It depends. Joanna will tell me what she wants and I’ll do it, and then she will make some edits. In the past we’ve used a handwritten font. The signs that are handwritten, like the “Act Justly” sign we make for the Market, are the most rewarding because they’re so original. Joanna is always telling me “less is more.” I’ve learned from her that sometimes a plain Jane design works best.

What is your favorite part about being a small business owner?

I can do what I want to do. I love that our business is out in the country. Sure, we would get more traffic in downtown Waco, but I love the fact that I can be right where I grew up and go fill up the trough for my cattle right at the back of my shop. I’ve always worked lots of hours and had lots of drive and ambition — and I’m not trying to talk myself up, I’m just telling you how it is. Now I realize having help is pretty nice. This whole thing has been a big, beautiful whirlwind.

What advice would you give to other small businesses?

Find something you like to do and try to make a living doing it. You know the old saying, “You’ll never work a day in your life if you’re doing what you love?” I think that’s true. You just have to have a good product that’s good quality. I’ve made choices to throw things away that weren’t perfect. Maybe the customer wouldn’t have even noticed the details I notice, but my name was going on it, so it has to be perfect or I chunk it. When you’re going into business for yourself, it’s like it’s your baby. Just do the right thing. You gotta keep that attitude.

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  • Kristin
    1:14 pm, November 14, 2017
    I would love to buy a scripted metal sign for my pantry door that says “food shed”......is that possible??
  • Ruth Gambitta
    10:13 pm, October 31, 2017
    I would like to buy the "There will be miracles" wall art and saw that it has been discontinued. Can I purchase it through you? Please let me know. I was interested in the larger of the two sizes she offered.
  • Elizabeth Ann Polo
    6:41 am, October 21, 2017
    We are the proud owner of a large Jimmy Don sign - Act Justly, Love Mercy, Walk Humbly - and we love it. Characteristics this world needs more of and it’s good to see the reminder daily.
  • CHARLENE CHRISTIAN
    6:15 pm, October 19, 2017
    Boo Woo, last season to see Chip, Jo and Jimmy Don. Jimmy Don I could tell you every episode in which you were in on. I looked forward to each and every one. I love your craft. I think your craft is Special because when words of the heart are chosen to be displayed alone on a wall, shelf or piece of furniture for all to see it is meant to touch the home owners and their guests. And the steel with words one would think would be cold yet brings warmth to the home. I just love it!! And your just a teddy bear..hehehe Really Jo and Chip all your trades people that you have chosen to enhance your properties are gifted and have enhanced your properties. Thank you to ALL. You'll all be terribly missed.
    Food for thought....Maybe you could do a once a year summer or fall makeover. Of course bringing back your tradesmen. :) Loyal Friend
  • Doreen Adams
    1:46 pm, October 11, 2017
    trying to find the sign that says "Good Eats breakfast lunch and dinner" It was on one of the shows. it is round.
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