There is an enormous box fan for which we are deeply grateful. It provides the rhythm for our summers here. It is not so loud like all the modern cooling devices. It does its job in a way that you only notice if it is not on.
It looks out over a mattress closing machine. A Singer that sits retired watching over the occasional project we expand to its table bed.
Some days I connect to the history here more than others. This morning over tea, the rabbit hole of my modern devices led me to something not so modern. Woody Guthrie's Dust Bowl Chronicles on vinyl. I was struck by the stories they contained. This building was barely in its late teens when the Dust Bowl began.
A confluence of static electricity, environmental conditions, the depression, and newly employed mechanized farming created one of the most widespread environmental disasters in our relatively young history.
Mindfulness suits us here. This year we celebrate 10 years in business. Our mission has been clear from the beginning ... "to embrace mindful production over mass production."
We are collectors of materials and investing in focused production allows us to feature the legacy of our materials while imbuing each item with thoughtful usability.
Yes, we really built your bag by hand. We hand cut. We thought about what would be the coolest part of the leather to feature. We lined up, glued and punched. We used machines for a few things. Getting your straps straight and sewing. There is no grand workforce.
Small we are but mighty too. This year we have built nearly 10,000 units of product in this space, with our hands, and with the same mindfulness.
Each morning I greet Kristen, my production manager (aka boss over all the things besides sewing) and my cousin Becky, HR and right hand (aka boss over all the extra things with which we need help). I get a call from Davina, our sales manager (aka boss over all the folks who purchase our goods). We work together.
I still sew. And on my best days, I get to build something new. I get to fall into a quiet work rhythm with that old box fan and muse on the gossamer threads connecting us backward to our history and forward to our future with each customer who will carry or wear what we are building right at this moment.