Written by: Abbie Crowther, Co-Founder of Bar Baby Co.
About eight years ago, I visited a psychic/medium along with my mother, grandmother and sister. Think Golden Girls meets Ghost Whisperer vibes. As you can imagine, it was a super strange experience. But out of all the weird things she mentioned, there was one thing that stuck with me. At this meeting, the psychic looked me straight in the eye and asked the following questions:
What do horses mean to you?
Umm, nothing. Horses don’t mean anything to me.
Horses don’t mean anything to you? Are you sure?
I mean, horses are cool, I guess. But no, they don’t mean anything to me.
Hmm… (silence) don’t worry about it. Let’s move on.
My mind raced. I thought, “OMG, I’m going to die by horse. Someday, I’m going to die by the hooves of a horse in a horrible accident. NBD.”
Fast-forward eight years, and I’ve largely forgotten about the psychic’s comments until recently. I am happily engaged to a guy named Chase (who promises to never take me horseback riding). Chase is a certified Sommelier with a background in the restaurant industry, so our pillow talk usually revolves around our dream of opening a rad wine bar in Sacramento.
After many “SCREW OUR CUBICLES” discussions complaining about our day jobs, we found an interesting idea on the internet. We could convert an old horse trailer into a mobile bar for events and weddings. It was a popular idea in Europe and Australia and just seemed to be getting started in the U.S. It was a creative outlet that could place us back in the industry we love, serving people and having fun doing it.
Just as soon as we started forming business ideas, we found ourselves seeing a man about a horse trailer parked in a field on the side of the road. As we walked to the trailer, chatting about the ‘good bones’ of its structure, a curious horse walked up beside me, practically face to face. The horse was beautiful and sweet, with unique painted markings all around her body. I thought about the psychic’s comment and felt strangely comforted by in our decision. We dived in!
We didn’t own a truck. We didn’t have renovation or construction experience. We didn’t even know how to use power tools! Yet, here we were having a rusty, behemoth of a trailer towed to us.
With no real plan in mind, we started power washing and stripping materials that were spoiled by horses. You never fully appreciate the amount of horse pee and poop a 1973 trailer can hold until you breathe it. The previous owner had slathered on bondo in almost every crevice, so we had to chip away at it by hand, only to find rust underneath. We had the trailer sandblasted and witnessed decades of paint colors underneath.
Finally, we were left with a metal shell. However, the rust was so bad that it had eaten away at much of the metal siding and we knew it was time to call in the pros. But each time we found a welder that was excited to help, they bailed on us. Until one day, we found Chad at Any & All Fabrication. He was amazing and knew exactly what we were going for. Oh and did we mention his wife’s name is Abbie and son’s name is Chase. Serendipity at work?
Then came paint, flooring, shiplap, and electrical, real Joanna Gaines type stuff. Our wonderful neighbor down the street owns a mill and helped with all the woodwork. My dad is an electrician and wired it for us. We worked day and night, leaving our jobs at 5 pm to put in a few hours of work each day and then some.
As an Art Director for a beverage packaging company by day, Chase practically frothed at the mouth at the idea of branding this business. However, it’s a funny, albeit stressful task branding your own business. Your emotions get tied into the process. Countless hours scrubbing through libraries of fonts and a thesaurus, trying to summon a creative way to say, “Hey, do you like cocktails? Us too! Wanna pay us to make you cocktails? Neat, thanks!” After four or five… or maybe 20 different logo mockups, Chase landed on our mark that we proudly display today.
People often ask what the business name means hoping to conjure some elaborate story, but in all actuality it’s a small, tiny little bar; a baby if you will! And just like that, Bar Baby Co. was born, boasting it’s big beautiful head of hair… errr tap tower and wrap around bar. She’s much like a real infant at times to be honest.
As we approached the finish line, we were inundated with interest from all over Northern California. We even booked a few weddings before the horse trailer bar was complete! Now with several events under our belt, we’re entering into our first season, eager to crush it and do Sacramento proud.
Now if I could just get my seven-year-old to stop talking about beer kegs and cocktails at school, that would be great.
To send an inquiry or book an event, visit www.barbabyco.com
Professional photography: Juliana Aragon, @julianaaragonphoto