The last week for us has been an interesting experience in local marketing. The Serving up Style event was unlike anything we've done before. We didn’t fit in exactly as most of the booths were interior decorators and we were promoting physical items such as furniture, the teardrop trailer and our architectural design...but it turned out to be a fun event all the way around. People are drawn to the teardrop like moths to a flame and it was amazing how many people wanted to crawl inside or check out the legroom. It may have actually detracted from people noticing the booth design itself and the things we were trying to promote, but was fun to see people’s reaction.
Can’t say we are expecting any clients from the show, but the connections with other designers was great and hopefully something in the way of paying jobs will come of it long term. The way we look at it - nobody knew we existed a week ago and we gave out 50 or so cards, so there's now at least 50 people who know zenbox exists.
The judges also decided to give our atomic zen booth the top prize, the Serving up Style 2014 Designer’s Choice Award! We are humbled, and all around excited to have been honored by the judges and everyone taking part in the event! We also got to attend the Gala, where everyone had a chance to give to the cause through both a silent and live auction. Fun event and nice way to wrap up after a long week.
We showed up early the next day to tear down the booth (again proud that almost every piece used had a future plan and we had almost zero waste after it was all said and done. After that...we slept. A long week of standing on the concrete and talking with strangers really took it out of us, so we spent a few days recuperating and taking care of minor tasks at home. I constructed and install a black steel pipe lamp in the bathroom and love it! Definitely one of those projects that's been in the works since we designed the garage conversion but just kept getting pushed to the bottom of the list. There also may or may not have been some electrocution in the process and i may or may not have made jen think for a moment that i was lying dead on the bathroom floor...but we won't go into installation details.
On Thursday we had an open house as part of Design Week Portland. A week of design-centric events and talks that we’ve run into in the past but haven’t really taken part in. Launching our business seemed like a good enough reason to sign up for an open house and we also sent out an email to our neighborhood email list just in case any neighbors were looking for a chance to check out what we’ve been up to.
I checked the rsvp list earlier on Thursday and expected about 25 people to stop in for a quick tour and say hello. As it turns out, we seriously underestimated the interest. Half an hour into the event our small home/studio was flooded with people and the crowd grew as the night went on. Jen and i tried to hop between interested parties and answer questions as best we could but we weren’t at all prepared for this type of a crowd.
Word has definitely gotten out about Portland ADUs and the possibilities that exist for flexibility, offsetting your mortgage or living rent and mortgage free as we are doing. The crowd was amazing and everyone wanted to talk about lifestyle changes, our design aesthetic and the projects they had in the hopper. We had a fun but exhausting night, hit the local pizza place for a final glass of wine and a bite to eat with new friends.
We are excited for the possibilities to work with neighbors and look forward to the meetings in the coming weeks to see where it all leads. We also got great news this morning of a new partnership making stools for a pub in San Francisco. Our largest order to date by far and in a premium location that we can’t wait to visit later on and see our stools in action!
For now we are headed north to BC. An airBnB guest checks in tomorrow, so it’s off to the great white north for our anniversary, canadian thanksgiving and some long overdue friend time north of the border!