I (Brooke) made my first book journals as Christmas gifts. I’d always loved books, upcycling, environmental responsibility, and creativity. All those passions combined into a project that I threw myself into. What I loved even more was the way people reacted. I hadn’t been expecting the excitement, nostalgia, and inspiration people felt when they received their journals.
After the holiday, I decided to broaden my collection of vintage books, storing them in my family’s red barn. When they began to crowd the space, I had to face the problem of what to do with them all. Remembering the way people had cherished their journals, I decided to start an upcycled journal business.
Like many businesses, it started small. I flew cross-country to my parents’ property, scoured the red barn for a starting selection of titles, and drove them home to Utah. There, I started turning them into journals and finding a group of people who would love them like I did.
Things took off after I met my husband-to-be, Ben, while roller skating in Liberty Park. After a few laps around, we were friends, and by 2014, we were partners in every sense of the word.
Now, Red Barn Collections is a thriving small business. We still do all of our work right here in Salt Lake City, Utah. We still unfold our stand at farmers’ markets, and have expanded to shows and festivals throughout the country. Recently, we have begun to sell our journals online as well.
We enjoy nothing more than matching a customer with a journal that has personal meaning to them. It takes me back to that very first Christmas, and the delight on people’s faces as they opened their gifts. It’s deeply satisfying to watch someone fall in love with a book all over again in a new way. We all need books. We all need joy. Let’s find them both together.
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