Serving up Style

What a whirlwind.  We have been exceptionally busy.  All for good, but busy nonetheless.  The stress has remained in check and while im working hard im enjoying it again.  We’ve been moving in and out of our place as AirBnB guests arrive and we’ve been spending long days at the shop finishing up all the pieces for Serving up Style.

A few finishing touches on the teardrop camper, 2 fireside chairs, 6 stools, a new standing table design and even a pergola that will display at the show and eventually (along with all the other pieces) get used at home on the garage.  I even managed to start making a new bathroom light out of black steel.  Fun!

Wow.  That was a big month.pipe lightchairs tablestools I’ve also been talking with a few potential clients for zenbox and have been getting an odd number of requests for furniture.  It’s ironic...i decide to move away from the furniture and more towards designing spaces and homes- and almost immediately interest in the furniture comes pouring in.  A few emails even came in about large orders that made me start rethinking my model, especially in a month where i’m flat out busy.

Given my newfound admittance that i can't do everything myself- I began looking for some help.  Someone to help me weld and create the stools so that i could focus more on design than making each and every piece by hand.  Ive slowly been realizing that for me, the fun part is in the design and in creating/testing/recreating the first piece.  After the first or second copy of any one piece my interest and enjoyment plummets rapidly.  Now, I’m trying to find ways to spend more time doing the parts that i love and less time doing the rest.  A good lesson for someone who doesn’t typically do a very good job of seeing the value in their own work.

It's creating a good learning experience, especially as quotes came back in a wide array of costs...some 4 and 500% above what i can charge to make them, even for the same exact process and quality.  Amazing.

I think i now have some solid options and processes in place that will allow me to fulfill orders without spending countless days/weeks personally in the shop, and it made me almost immediately more excited about the furniture part of our business.  It also made me realize that i don’t have to choose between furniture and space design.  Why not continue doing both as long as they continue to be enjoyable or as long as i continue hearing from clients who want them?  Seriously, what better way to feed my ADD than with a variety of projects and clients?

Anyway, we have some bids and quotes out there, so maybe in the coming weeks we’ll get a chance to test the new theory/process and see if we can make it work.

Our neighbor Anna was nice enough to allow us to use her new garage/studio space as a trial setup for the show.  So fun to see the design start to take shape and working with the contractors allowed us to figure out a system we would setup, partially disassemble and then transport/reassemble onsite.  She saved us for sure! trialServing up Style Today was the first day of setup onsite, and - wow.  Woke at 6am (have i mentioned we don't really use an alarm anymore...and certainly don’t wake at 6)?  That one hurt.  We hit the portland expo center, and over the course of the next 12 hours went from an empty box taped off on a concrete floor to something that looked remarkably like the plan.

So fun, and so great to work with a small but effective group of people all chasing one goal and working together to make it happen!  Also great to have a chance to work with a few of the people we spend the most time with at the shop and hopefully show off some of their products in the process!  If youre in the market for hand crafted lights or custom butcher block cutting boards go check out some of what will finish out our space.

Jen and I came home exhausted and crashed, but still excited to go back tomorrow and finish what we started before the show opens midweek.  If you happen to be in or around portland over the weekend, come out to the show and spend some time with us...we'd love the company!partssetup crew madebymabryday1