"You know when you're sitting on a chair and you lean back so you're just on two legs then you lean too far and you almost fall over but at the last second you catch yourself? I feel like that all the time."
- Stephen Wright
I can't think of a better quote that sums up the way I've been feeling lately. So today, as the last shipments for 2012 are nearing the door, I reflect.
Last year at this time, I was up in the factory studio, bundled up to my eyeballs, working on Christmas orders alone with only the hum of my sewing machine and rhythm of the rattling windows to punctuate the minutes. In terms of growth, for an artisan business, we have tripled in size within the span of the last 6 months. We now have a retail location (the factory) open by appointment. I continue to train other artisans to place the same care and attention to detail that started Stash years ago. There have been great successes and a few hiccups along the way. So, I thank each and every one for your patience as we grow.
Seemingly overnight upon the release of our updated website along with the feature in the Houston Chronicle, our daily shipments quadrupled. We implemented new shipping software to help us manage the change and that software has streamlined things with just a few bumps in the road as we get up to speed.
The Factory Revival (photos throughout) was a tremendous success and we have decided to host such shows at least twice a year (fall and spring). In addition, we will continue to host acoustic events throughout the year. The first one of 2013 will be our friend, Will Johnson
in February. Stay tuned for details.
The cottonwood table now resides at the factory surrounded by those lovely white cowhide stools and is covered with computers, graph paper, color pencils, snacks, printers, shipping supplies, new collection sketches, and empty coffee cups.
These few weeks of external quiet will be utilized to build a stronger foundation and structure to carry us into the new year. My primary goals for 2013 are product and process perfection, factory preservation, and community connection.
This business is powered by folks who run hard about 12 - 17 hours daily. And those folks are powered by laughter, music, kosmic kombucha, muay thai kickboxing, and a pure love for design and challenge.
I think what I want to say today is that I am grateful for my team as well as all the customers who have joined us on this journey and placed their faith in our product. Wishing you all a merry holiday season and a prosperous 2013.