Lessons on Ego, Chickens, Failure, and Design

May 30, 2012

Building this business has been interesting to say the least. In the next week, Stash family and friends will be sharing a lot more of what goes on behind the scenes. In the moments of quiet before the next wave of happy chaos, here are a few things I continue to learn.

I am reminded daily is that there is no room for ego in this building place. You can bleed and sweat and sacrifice and it can mean everything and it can mean nothing and the odds turn on a dime. For this reason, I often recall the best advice ever received from my grandfather: don't count your chickens before they hatch. And I swear if I ever do, he is somewhere over my shoulder getting a good chuckle. 

Just work hard, play well with others, and let all the rest go. 

No matter how many hours you invest in a day or a week or a month or a year or even five years, you will achieve and you will fail, daily. And in each achievement and, perhaps even more, in each failure is a lesson. The best tact is to laugh and move forward.

People often ask how can I do the same thing day in and out. I believe that building things, anything, is an exercise in focused problem solving and for me, that eliminates a lot of the tedium. I never build the same bag every day. And because I am a small independent designer and the process occurs by my own hands, I look for ways to improve and innovate my product with each build. Thus I function always in a state of continuous design and process improvement. 

Certainly there will always be points of convergent inspiration in our saturated media culture. I collect and study the handwork on vintage bags. I consider it my school. How did they do so much with so little? How can I do more?

One of our primary goals for Stash is to educate consumers on the history, legacy, and value in small production goods. Not just Stash goods but any product painstakingly built, designed, created at the hands of an individual without the backing of a multi-national manufacturing facility. To forward that goal, I am sharing a link to a recent, brilliant article in Dwell magazine on the true cost of design. 


[photo support provided by reality photography]