A request from a friend to make a simple nameplate unexpectedly developed into a business, generating about 100 sales made in less than one year of operation for one Effingham resident.
Last July, Zach Ritter bought a pile of horseshoes during his lunch break and bent and welded the material until he had successfully written his name with copper and steel. He called his efforts Horsin’ Around Creations.
“I was just horsin’ around on my lunch break and that’s kind of how the name came about,” he said.
Soon after, Ritter compiled a list of home decor items he was able to produce, although requests for custom designs for both friends and strangers began coming in more frequently. Ritter admitted the business’ success took him by surprise.
“There’s been a couple times when I would have a full notebook page full of orders and trying to make deadlines for birthdays, anniversaries, and weddings,” he said. “It can get hectic sometimes.”
A lengthy list of requests means long nights in the garage for Ritter, who must juggle the duties of his full-time job, household duties and the responsibilities he assumes at Horsin’ Around Creations.
“There’s a list of things we make,” he said. “Now I also get a lot of people asking me to make things.”
Ritter’s most frequent request is a cross, which is made from a series of welded horseshoes of different sizes.
“Lately it’s mainly been nameplates or a heart with two initials for weddings,” he said.
Most recently, Ritter has introduced a cross with the words ‘amazing grace’ to his line of creations, which, despite its limited time on the market, has been selling well.
“People really fell in love with that one,” he said.
Although Ritter charges for his creations, the side business does not generate much money, since the cost of a piece is primarily the cost of the materials. Ritter said since he did not seek out to create a business, he is satisfied with the small profit he does make.