Sunday, March 26, 2017
As the website and webstore draws near, we have been coming up with home decor items to peddle.
I'm a guys guy, but candles and stuff that smells good have always been a weakness of mine.
In doing research on the world of "MANDLES" I discovered some of the absolute dumbest shit you can imagine...candles marketed to men that smell like "fart", "dirty sock", "whiskey", and a slew of other tasteless bullshit.
Here's a news flash...nobody wants a candle that smells like a fart.
Can guys be gross? sure, but no more and no less than any other gender.
Our candles are far from novelty.
These are art pieces. Every aspect of it is art. From the steel holder design, the hand painting, the scent blending, the wax pouring, etc. It's craftsmanship focused into a 2"X4" sculpture.
You're basically buying mini sculptures that you can set on fire and it will smell good.
We're doing a lot of one off's and things that are made to order, like the hand painted clevis hooks too.
Going into a online and retail format is a great way for us to push our creativity and just have fun and get loose.
We didn't get into this because we like refinishing table tops or doing lame production stuff. Although we do and will continue to do it, the farther our creativity gets pushed, the better every aspect of our business will run. Basically, if we're happy...you're gonna be really happy. Just a bunch of happy fuckers doing business.
Part of the exciting thing to me about these candles has been the learning process.
Even at my age, I'm constantly trying to learn something new. I need to be constantly challenged. It's what makes you feel alive.
There's a science to candles, there's math, there's the thrill of working in a unfamiliar medium.
Excitement in your work.
Think about that.
How many people wake up and say "I can't wait to get to work so I can underwrite this insurance policy", or "come on Monday...I have some fuckin' awesome tech support to provide!"
There's nothing wrong with working for a check. Most people are cool with it. It's justified by most because they'll say "my job affords me to do all the things I want to do", and that's cool, kudos to you.
I haven't been on a real vacation in 8 years. Why? Not only can I not afford one...I don't really need one.
You see, a lot of people do shit they hate 40 hours a week, 51 weeks out of the year, to go get stupid in Cancun for 6 days and 7 nights.
Shall we do the math on that? My math equates to "you're getting fucked".
I love what I do, so I don't feel the urgency to get as far away from it as possible for a week or two a year, nor do I give a fuck about what people think about my car, so I don't need a new one every year, or a big house that has rooms I don't even go in.
"Brian....don't you want MORE for your family?"
Fuckin' aye right I do....THAT'S why I'm working my ass off, doing shit I love, because as much as I want to give my family the world...I need to be happy and fulfilled too.
I don't wanna be miserable and end up looking at my family as a bunch of thankless free loaders, I want them to ride or die with me. I want them to be fully invested in my ups and downs, but when I get us to the other side, it's going to be as much them as it is me.
That is LIVING to me.
Life has a price, and we kind of get to choose how we pay.
There's no right or wrong way.
I don't write these things to tell other people how they should live.
Your job is important because...I need tech support, I need my insurance policy, I need my orders delivered, I need food.
We ALL have a purpose.
We took our son to the aquarium a few weeks ago. I stood at this giant tank and stared at this big ugly ass fish. I was looking at this thing, swimming in circles, eating shit that happened to float by, and this big ugly bastard looked as content as he could be.
I thought to myself, "what a miserable way to live...just content...no highs, no lows...just content". All this fish has to do is try not to die.
I don't want to live by just trying not to die. I need some tragedy, some success, some failure, a whole lot of real love, and a sense of fulfillment in my work.
Keep it simple.
Kids will teach you that...as long as you listen to more than their words.
Monday, March 20, 2017
I hop over to Instagram where I'm hoping to be saved by photos of guns and motorcycles, but I'm stopped dead in my tracks by a post from DannyDixxon from www.Dixxonquality.com.
I don't remember the exact post, but after reading it, I was overwhelmed by a sense of hope.
Things have been rough for me lately.
My fathers health and it's effect on our family, work and financial stress just reigning punches down on me, a constant feeling of being on the verge of drowning at the shallow end of the pool.
Like I said, I can't remember the exact post, but it definitely cleared some of that head fog, and I felt positive again.
I shot him a message, letting him know that his post gave me some hope, and we went back and forth for a little bit and my attitude and outlook has been changed for the better.
I made him this helmet rack with the leather stitched double X's as a sign of gratitude.
Follow DannyDixxon on Instagram. There's a lot of shenanigans but a ton of positive stuff coming from a guy who clawed his way to where he is now, and knows the road to being in business for yourself.
He told me 3 things to do when the chips are down and you wanna quit.
2.Get more creative
2.Become more social
The next piece is a result of #2 on that list.
We had to deliver some product to or retailer Jaunt in Arlington Heights (www.jauntchicago.com) and they sent us home with some slab tables to be re worked because they just wouldn't sell in their current state.
The next morning me and Zack re worked one of the legs from the slab table, into this sleek 2 tier walnut side table.
Our best work comes out on these collaboration pieces.
Very little discussion takes place. Each person plays off what the other is doing, and it all falls into place flawlessly.
One day I want to set up a GOPRO camera, so you all can witness the process. I think that people would see what it's like when things get created from the soul. There's a lot of staring and walking around the piece being created that would have to be edited, but that's the process.
If you know us, and you know our work, you'd be able to see this piece somewhere and be able to say "that's some MAKERS shit right there."
That's the goal.
You see a Nakashima table and you know it's Nakashima, you see a Dunbar chair and you know, or a George Nelson piece....That is the end game.
When your work is defined by itself, and it can stand alone and say it's name without speaking...THAT is a makers nirvana.
Following your passion and listening to your creative soul is a bumpy ride. You have to have balls of steel and know how to take punches when they come in bunches.
You have to get up, wipe off the blood and tell the universe that she punches like a little bitch. Or you can stay down, turtle up, and live with defeat.
I can't live with defeat.
I can't tap out.
I can only dig deep, I can only get more creative in my attack.
In the end, you can't throw your hands up and say "it just didn't work out", because YOU created the "IT".
"IT" didn't give up...YOU did.
Monday, March 6, 2017
There's been some personal drama in my life that I'm trying to navigate, but I'll get to that shit once I run through our builds (cause that's kinda sorta what my blogs were supposed to be about).
Live edge rolling bar cart for our retailer JAUNT in Arlington Hts.
A lot of times me and Zack go off and build stuff on our own and sometimes we merge. This cart is the result of the "merge".
I like building like that. It doesn't happen enough. Business volume sometimes dictates the divide and conquer method.
The next one is a coffee table that was commissioned by a group of co workers who's co worker is getting married.
Better than a toaster or a SHAM-WOW.
Lastly is another wall organizer, which was designed to help sloppy mother fuckers get organized.
My fathers bad health took a turn for the worse this week.
He's cheated death a few times, and he seems to have dodged the grim reaper once again.
Call it the luck of the Irish, call it being a stubborn bastard...I don't know.
The emotional toll these situations put on a family is brutal.
I found myself operating in a daze all week.
Everything is touch and go. You panic every time the phone rings, I found myself scrambling to get information from my mom, brother and sister.
Emotions bubble up inside you that you've repressed for years.
You tucked all those feelings away in some dark corner of your brain, and one by one they surface to pay you a little visit.
I tucked them away in the first place because I had no need for them, I was done with them, but with the recent situation, they came out, and I had to acknowledge them again.
I'm a different man since I tucked those feelings away a long time ago.
I'm able to see them in a different light. I've grown past them. They're there, but they're not so painful anymore.
Delicately put...Me and my fathers relationship had always been strained.
It was either strained or non existent. More so in my youth and early 20's, and after that, it became cordial for the most part.
I wasn't the easiest kid to parent, but I also now acknowledge that I have never known enough about him or his past to gain any insight on why he was the way he was.
After going to see him in the hospital on Sunday, I realized that his past nor our past really matters because you only have today.
Do you all hear me? Stop for one second and take it in...you only have today.
Your past should only be a point of reference, all things good or bad. Your past should be a tool and not a crutch or an excuse.
Ask yourself...If I only get 24hrs. at a time, do I really have time to hold on to negative memories, feelings or emotions? I'll answer that for you...NO you don't, you have shit to do.
It just sucks that sometimes you gotta figure that out when it's too fuckin late.
Me and my old man are never gonna toss a football around in the backyard, nor will he be giving me piggy back rides, or push me on a swing, but at least in my head and in my heart, he and I are in a good place.
Let shit go my friends.
Call your dickhead brother that you haven't talked to in 10 years, reach out to that friend that drew a giant penis on your Iron Maiden album cover when you were kids...cause you only get today.