Monday, May 29, 2017
I was going to skip a blog this week.
I do that that sometimes just to let my thoughts back up like Friday traffic in Chicago.
Since I'm up at this ungodly hour, I figured "fuck it", it's Memorial Day, and from my observations of society lately, at some point today, everyone will have their faces jammed in a phone while life is passing by, so maybe I'll contribute and give folks something to read.
All this stuff here is going to our retailer Jaunt in Arlington Heights.
1. console table made from old bowling alley lanes
2. live edge bar cart
3.cafe chair with swivel table top
4. stitched steel desk lamp
The way a retailer usually works is...you make and piece and they consign it, and once it sells, you get some money in 30 days, or the have specific requests and you wholesale it to them.
They gave us a bunch of money and said "make us cool stuff".
Trust and belief.
The two ingredients in any successful relationship.
By Jaunt doing that, they were saying "I trust that you won't blow this money at a shady titty bar, and I believe that you guys will make us items that we will be able to sell".
It's the equivalent of letting a chick leave her tooth brush at your house.
I'm loyal to a fault.
"Do me good and I'll do you better"..."do me wrong, and I'll super glue the locks on your house and set that bitch on fire while you're sleeping"-That's basically my life mantra.
When someone goes out of their way for me and especially my son....there's nothing I won't do for that person.
That's more so on a personal level. In business, the extremes are toned down a little.
We've been pretty lucky to have good customers and we've built some really solid relationships.
We've also had our share of shit birds.
There are people who look at me and see the tattoo's, the dirt and sawdust ridden clothes, and take me for one who is easily manipulated.
Bitch, I read "The Art of War" when I was 15, so trust me...I see right through the tactics.
Here's a couple tell tale signs of when a customer is going to be a piece of shit...
1. the promise of a lifetime of future work before you've even started on their current project.
This is done in order to get you to make this customer a priority above all else, and as leverage to slip in a bunch of free shit, because they have soooooo much FUTURE work for you.
It's the dangling carrot tactic and believe me when I say I will snatch that fucking carrot and beat you with the stick it was tied to.
2. Promise of payment.
This is when a customer goes above and beyond to express how money isn't an issue and how they have no problem paying. This is usually done before you've even given them a price on anything.
When I hear that speak, I automatically shut down.
I shut down because what they're really saying is "I don't really have any money at the moment and I'm desperately hoping to string you along until I can either get some money of flat out ditch your ass".
Good customers go about things in a very sensible, cut and dry manner.
Shitty customers have a tendency to whip their dick out before even buying me a drink.
It's business though. There's gonna be good and bad.
If you get a bad vibe and you proceed because you're hungry, well...be prepared to eat shit.
The good eggs...give em' your best and never take them for granted because they are your foundation.
I'm off to the gym, then to the shop to hopefully knock out what I need to so I can get home and get some yard time with the fam.
Now, put your phone away and engage those around you.
Monday, May 22, 2017
It's a motorcycle/hot rod street fair with bands, bikes, beer, a pin up contest, film festival and a slew of other shit. (www.motoblot.com )
We don't do the street fair scene.
A lot of folks that kinda do what we do, happen to love them. In fact, they make their money for the year by doing them.
I really want to spend 12 hours a day for 3 days, sitting behind a table, in the blaring sun, with thousands of people working their way into a drunken stupor, about as much as I want the inside of my asshole tattoo'd.
I don't like crowds of people. I get real squirrely at those types of things.
The reason we chose motoblot to display our goods is because the moto / hot rod culture is one that is near and dear to us. The other reason, is that it's put on by the same people who do Riot Fest, and I know from first hand experience how they run things.
If you look at their website, you'll understand why we decided to represent ourselves there.
As much as those street fairs weird me the fuck out, it's probably going to be a lot of fun.
I want to meet the people that buy our stuff, or at least just like our stuff and our down with what we're trying to do. I want that connection, that interaction.
You see, social media has made it real easy to make friends all over the world, and not have to spend any time with any one. I don't wanna knock it, because I have made some really close connections with some really great people via social media, but goddamn if I don't want some human interaction.
I wanna hear your story over a coffee, I wanna meet the dude that "LIKES" every photo we post and tells us how bad he wants to quit his sucky ass job and make knives, because he was inspired by us.
One day I took my kid to The Bean and Maggie Daley park last summer.
My son is playing in the playground, and there's this dude lookin' at me, and I'm thinking to myself "man, I think I know this guy from somewhere", and the dude is thinking the same thing, cause he makes his way over to me and says "Breclaimed?"
Turns out to be Christopherrabbit from Instagram, and we chat it up for a few minutes, but both of us had out kids, and it's a big crowded tourist haven, so in lieu of what was a really nice conversation, we had to ensure our respective children didn't get abducted.
But THAT is what I'm fuckin' talking about.
I'm a slow starter, but once you get me talkin'....I don't shut the fuck up (Zack will confirm that).
So, if you can...come visit us at motoblot.
Allrighty then....on to the photos
Cool ass lamp, big ol' LED edison bulb, I didn't think I'd be into the bulb, but I discovered that...I'm into the bulb. If you're not into the bulb guess what....you can change it. It's a light bulb. Real easy to swap out.
You don't NOT buy a car because you don't like the windshield wipers, right?
Lastly is our helmet/jacket hanger as seen here on display at the Witness Company lair.
The owner of Witness was very involved in the chopper scene, and it's only fitting that his gear is parked properly.
I love seeing our stuff in use. These hangers will be available at Motoblot in many variations.
We try to switch them up as much as possible, so everyone gets something unique.
Thanks for checking in.
Come visit us next month at Motoblot, hell...come visit us at the shop anytime.
There's only 3 rules to visiting the MAKERS shop...
1. be cool
2. don't play with the tools
3. bring coffee
Monday, May 15, 2017
The first question was...
"Are you going to tone your blog down now that it's connected to your website?"
The short answer to that is...Fuck no.
The second question was...
"Do you think you have to appear more professional now that you have a website?"
My answer to that is....I don't "appear" to be anything. We are professional. In fact, we're very fuckin' professional.
I don't even really know what the fuck that means. Am I supposed to dress up like the fuckin' Monopoly Man when I go to the shop?
"Appear professional". This isn't a scam. We're not selling vacuum cleaners door to door or doing an infomercial on some magic cream that makes your dick bigger.
We don't alter our appearance or verbage when we meet clients. Most clients don't give a shit. We're not making talking coffee tables. If a client doesn't like the way I look or speak, they never have to see nor speak to me again once their piece is in their space if they so desire.
That question kind of bothered me because I'm not a fucking idiot.
Yeah, if we have a meeting with Starbucks or a Bar owner, or a home owner, I'm gonna try to not smell like burnt metal, but if we're meeting you at 2pm, chances are we have been building shit since 7:30am, so my apologies if I offend, you'll get over it.
I understand society is all about appearance, and I still don't give a fuck. It's not like we're babysitting your kids, we're making you pieces out of steel and 100 year old wood and leather and bullet casings and barbed wire and a whole slew of other dangerous shit.
I'd buy a motorcycle from a guy in a bunny costume if the price was right. Once the paper work is signed and I go riding off into the sunset, I never see Mr. Bunny Suit again.
Things like that get me a little worked up, and what's worse, is that the question is actually a common occurrence.
Let me get to the photos because we all have shit to do...
Chain lamps..they're happening...you can buy em' now...they're not that expensive...they're really fuckin' cool.
The coffee table was a custom build for an old friend.
It was built from reference photos that he text to me of his existing decor.
It was a perfect match apparently, because he ordered 2 more.
Nothing makes me happier than when our clients are stoked.
When all your work, all your worries disappear after a client receives their piece...THAT is the ultimate gratification and THAT is what we strive for every single time.
Thanks for dropping by and thanks for all the positive feedback and support on the new website.
It's Monday...Lets "appear" to be happy, let's "appear" to be grateful for another day above ground, let's "appear" to treat each other with kindness and respect, let's "appear" to give every moment the best of us.
If we're an appearance based society, lets at least try to appear human.
Monday, May 8, 2017
Me and my son picked him up from his hotel on a beautiful Saturday morning, and gave him a little tour of Chicago, outside of the tourist traps.
Let me tell you a little bit about Dr. Carr...he looks like a body builder, that went to prison, where he was broken out of the joint by the editors of GQ magazine....That's just looks. Don't judge, because this big, tatted up, well dressed teddy bear collects chemical engineering degrees for the fuck of it.
So we're driving through the asshole of Chicago, and Dr. Carr has on these big silver and brass rings, and I say "hey, let me try that skull one on".
I've never worn jewelry in my life, but in that moment that I'm driving with this massive piece of carved brass on my hand, something changed in me.
He got his rings from a place called Witness Company (www.witnesscompanyusa.com).
When I got home from our outing, my 7 year old son, dug out every gumball machine ring he had and adorned his tiny hands with those tiny pieces of junk to look like Dr. Carr.
That's when it clicked.
I love fine denim, artisan made clothing, rugged leather, but all those things will wear and die over time, but jewelry...hand crafted, artisan made jewelry...I can pass that down to my son.
When I exit this life, my son can look down at his hand and remember his old man, if only for a moment.
When something interests me, I study it like I'm going for a masters degree in whatever it is that interests me.
I studied the process, the people who make it, the history...I probably looked at every artisan mens jewelry maker on the internet, and they all brought me back to Witness Company.
Stuff was either cheesy, over the top, over priced (for me), or just not interesting enough for my taste, but Witness was just the right fit for my style, ethics, and budget.
I was inspired to make the skeleton hand jewelry display.
I'm not sure if it will work, because I don't own any rings yet to display on that piece, but regardless, the challenge to make a skeleton hand out of steel filled me with a huge sense of accomplishment because let me tell you...that shit was not easy to make.
The next piece is a commissioned clothing display for Botteligera in Rome Italy, which is a mens clothing store that highlights American made brands.
The last photo is me working on a chain lamp.
As Zack finishes up the website, we have been creating pieces for our webstore. One of the many things we will be offering, are these welded chain lamps.
This is the product that we'll eat shit on because the amount of work that goes into them, definitely did not dictate the price.
We made them more affordable, because people should have them. They're rad as fuck. But there is a huge gap in what we deserve for them and what we can charge for them.
We're combating the process by simply being better prepared to make them by making specific jigs, and ordering the electrical guts in bulk.
Everything we have worked for over the last couple of years has brought us to this moment.
The moment when all of our work, all of our creativity, all of our soul, will be available and easily accessible to the public.
It's time for us as well as time for you.
In the age of consumerism, you now have a choice.
You no longer have to settle for made in China bullshit, or big box store garbage that every other swinging dick has.
You can choose quality. You can choose products that out live you. You can choose to surround yourself with art that exudes the quality and individuality that represents you.
Or...you can save a couple bucks, shop at IKEA, or Urban Outfitters, or Kay Jewelers, or any other outlet that rapes you of quality, integrity, and purpose.
It's your money...I don't blame you. We've all been conditioned through out our lives to settle for mediocrity. That's why McDonalds, Starbucks, Ikea and a shit ton of other market manipulators make billions of dollars.
Break free. Don't settle. You're an individual not a consumer or customer #224795...you deserve better.
Until you figure that out on your own, you remain a means to someones bottom line that satisfies share holders.
How fuckin' bogus is that reality?