A local business has found a way to give back by using their talents and skills to bless a nonprofit. The Burn Shop is a custom metal fabrication shop that can do just about anything with metal. The owners, Ivonne and Keith Wineinger, are becoming quite well known in Wichita Falls for their inventive approach to sign making. One lucky nonprofit will be able to win one of their custom-made signs with the application process starting March 1st.
Some of the signs they have produced in Wichita Falls include Highlander Public House, Patsy’s House, CrashWorks STEAM Studio & Makerspace, Park Place Event Center, and Wichita Falls Brewing Company. They are also known for the sheet metal bikes that are popping up around town. There is a Downtown Proud Bike, and a Midwestern State University Bike. “We are going to be revealing a different bike each month,” said Ivonne.
The idea to give away one of their signs came up when they joined the Chamber of Commerce recently. “We joined the chamber and are taking little steps to get to be known around here, but what comes with entrepreneurship is the commitment to be involved in the community and be a part of what is happening in our city, so we want to get behind a nonprofit,” Ivonne explained. “We have a passion for our community. As a gesture of our gratitude to the people of North Texas, we have decided to give back a portion of the support that has been given to us. The Burn Shop is giving away one custom designed large-scale metal sign to a local nonprofit to help with their branding and community awareness efforts. Applications for the giveaway will be accepted from March 1 through March 15, 2019. Any nonprofit can apply, and the application is available at http://theburnshopwf.com/giveaway/. We encourage everyone to share it with their favorite nonprofit. It will be based on need, what they already have in place, do they really need a sign, and do they have a location. Every nonprofit will have a chance to turn in their application. The Final 3 will be highlighted on all Burn Shop social media and the winner will be selected through online voting. The top 3 finalist that will be announced on March 25.
The Wineingers have a lot of experience with an online presence. “We have created a great media presence through Instagram and Facebook, and now we want to create a presence in Wichita Falls. We have really gained a strong following in the barbecue community. The way we grew on social media is by giving things away. We would create some kind of a giveaway, and people would come and ‘like’ it and we would pick a winner to receive the product from the Burn Shop; and that created a little exposure,” Ivonne said. One of the top sellers for the business is custom grates for grills. They can put any picture or logo or initial, as long as it doesn’t have a copywrite. They sent some grill grates to some of the well-known grillers in the barbecue community. “We didn’t expect much in return, but if they loved their product, we wanted them to rave about it—and they did! So little by little we gained 7,000 followers on Instagram and 8,000 on Facebook.”
“That has been our strategy in terms of marketing, so now it is time to do it in Wichita Falls, and what better way than with a nonprofit. The idea came from Henry [Florsheim] at the chamber. He gave us a few ideas, and the one for a nonprofit pulled at my heart,” Ivonne said.
“The way the business got started was that I had two passions. One being playing with metal and the other one outdoor cooking. What better way to blend the two? To play with metal and make outdoor cooking accessories,” Keith said smiling. For that to happen they needed an expensive plasma cutter table. “There was a lot of fear when Keith first approached me about buying this table, I was like ‘NO’, but I knew in my head that if anyone is going to make this business work it would be him. So, I had to be with him—I’ve got to be. He is the risk taker and I am not. That’s how we balance each other,” Ivonne said.
They have been in business for 3 years and have shipped their products all over the world and to every state except Hawaii. “It is a matter of getting people to find out about us. I promise there is something I can make for any person that will make them say, “WOW! This is really neat, this is cool,” Keith stressed.
Last year for the IDEAWF contest for entrepreneurs they won in the expansion category which netted them a cash prize and in-kind services for lawyers, accounting, web design and advertising. One of the criteria was how much outside business they were already doing. “We were shipping worldwide so that made a big influence on their decision. We want 2019 to be the year that we are known within Wichita Falls. This is just one of our ways to give back, and at the same time it is going to create some buzz about the Burn Shop, so I see it as being a great thing for us and the community,” Keith said.
The future plans for the Burn Shop include a store front with a barbecue store and barbecue classes. “The next step for us is to move and expand, and we are looking for that perfect place to move to,” Ivonne said. The Wineingers also received the Chamber of Commerce New Business of the Year Award on February 12th.
-Cindy Kahler Thomas