Have you been asking, “What the Hell happened to Stewie & MANdrew?”
If anyone has gone through a family death, you might know some of the upheaval we faced.
MANdrew’s fair mother passed to the next realm the weekend of Labor Day, 2015 -and this is when chaos ensued
As a two-person shop it was tough enough when one of us fell under the weather, but to close the shop due to a family death -for almost the full month of September- was devastating to the bottom double black line. Because it’s just the two of us, neither one of us could make nor could we be in the shop to greet customers.
I know you’re desperately asking, “Well, couldn’t you have hired someone to shop sit for you?”
Because we know how to sell our handmade product better than anyone, I have found it takes months of training to get someone up to speed. It’s especially important to know when not to make promises we can’t keep –no one else can do that except the artist herself.
Being an artist is a very intimate experience when making a handmade product. To convey that intimacy via 3rd party gets lost in translation. Also, as a gentle reminder, we do not have a warehouse of inventory to push when life does hit the fan.
So, in the end, no, we could not hire someone else to shop sit for us.
Additionally, we had already announced that we were moving to entire workshop dirigible the PNW –Seattle to be exact– and were in the initial throws of planning. As we were adjusting ourselves, wares, and 3 major fall exhibitions, we were also trying to close the shop that included culling displays via that dastardly: Craigslist. If any of you have committed to Craigslist, you know how that mechanical squid enjoys eating one’s profits. That, along with the initial stages of readying our permanent abode ready for sale, finding a long-term care [read: non mechanical squid] facility for my FIL, and finding a new space to anchor our airship on the other side of the continent was more than two adventurous people should have to shoulder.
In the end, we couldn’t recover. Consequently, we had to close the Raleigh shop.
This does not mean we have closed our business. Oh no! For we must reinvent our own abridgement!
Lastly, you’re probably asking, “Why Seattle?”
Simply, I couldn’t keep MANdrew busy enough building custom leather bags. As we soon discovered, the mechanical squid was busy forming his own racketeering scheme in the backroom consuming our profits like an overgrown beast. Hence, MANdrew’s plan was to return to corporate America to rekindle his passion in Global Brand Marketing. His goal was to remain on the East coast territory, but those positions soon waned from the region.
Also, because North Carolina has become less and less welcoming and supporting to small business overrun by scallywags and tags, we decided it would henceforth to tack about another region within the US continent to continue our creative endeavors.
“Like converting from air to steam, I don’t know why we didn’t consider the PNW sooner.” ~Stewie
The PNW and Seattle were our beacons to the progressive lifestyle we strongly desired. The quiet nuances that speak to us as we walk amongst the Seattleites, we are reminded how valued people are by the way the state treats them -now us- as human beings. We will henceforth, be ourselves that values originality.
Will we endeavor to build product?
From whence we came, it shall be a formalized hobby. Whilst we continue to create, construct, and build product, therefore, take heed it remains just the two of us. Much of what we build will be OOAK (one-of-a-kind) and custom at this point. When you see an original piece perfect for your abrigement, jump on it posthaste, alas repetition no more!
Currently, we search for workshop space in the ports of Seattle. Alas, it most likely will be mid-Summer.
It’s been a very sore road and we behold forward to reinventing ourselves in the ports of the PNW. I hope you’ll continue to follow us and wisheth us well.
Infected be the air whereon we ride,
Stewie & MANdrew