We often get asked how we got our start in this business or how we achieved success. It happened 2 or 3 times this week. I don’t mind talking about it, actually I enjoy it. But really it’s a simple idea. Try something, get results, try again, do it better, keep trying often. Evaluate things, make changes and try them out. Keep going or give up and it ends. The master has failed more times than the beginner has even tried.
I got my first camera when I was 6 or 7. It was an old Kodak box camera. My Dad showed me how to use it, and I started taking pictures of anything. After much anticipation of developing the film which took a week, I saw some of my pictures looked ok, and many of them were blurry. It was easy to take a bad photo on this thing. I could have gave up, or gotten disinterested, but I bought more film and kept taking photos. I’ve gone through maybe 10 cameras since then. And I’ve learned that I shouldn’t get caught up on the hardware I am using. It doesn’t need to be a $25k Nikon with a $5k lense. It’s part skill, with a lot of heart, and a lot of clicks. Yesterday I took a couple hundred photos and videos. Maybe a few came out decent. It’s just like our designs. They aren’t all home runs. I could give up after 1 bad one, or 2, or 10 in a row. Or I could persist. When I say bad ones, they aren’t really bad. They just don’t sell. I really like, or love, all of our designs, otherwise I would never make them. So I can’t lose. Design something I love, be creative, see it in real life, rinse repeat.
I think it was last year, I needed to organize the photos I took with my old Nikon. Turned out I had 35k of them which I took over a 2 year period. People look at our photos and usually think that they are good, some say professional. But the quality didn’t happen overnight. Go take 35k photos and I bet some of them will be awesome.
It seems each generation is losing the will to work hard. We’re becoming more of an instant gratification culture. But I tell you, nothing good comes easy. If you get free money, it’ll be meaningless. It won’t fill your heart.
I didn’t know much or care about furniture before I started this adventure. But now I eat, sleep and dream about it. Furniture is something we all need and use. I suppose we could work, eat, sleep, and sit on the floor or standing up. So now I surround myself with things that matter, things that have significance to me. I enjoy the backstory of products, people too. How did it come to be? What is the designer or manufacturer’s story? So now I save my pennies to buy these things because they tend to be more expensive. I’d rather save up my money for a year and buy a vintage Eames chair that I’ll enjoy for the rest of my life, then buy an imported trendy piece of junk that will last a year before failing or going out of style.
Here’s our latest design. I got the idea for it last week and drew it up. We managed to have it built in less than a week. I snapped 50 pics of it yesterday and this was my favorite. I still need to go through the photos and play with some different backgrounds. This table is something new we’re trying. It’s a much more affordable piece with all of the style, durability and longevity of our other designs. This one is on sale right now at $3350 as pictured which is less than half price of our other designs. Makes a nice table or desk and has a reclaimed maple boxcar top.
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I’m a big fan of your work and your blog, what you write rings true from my experience and provides inspiration for where I have yet to go. Also, photo linked isn’t displaying properly and I can’t see the new desk design!
Thank you Ameer. I fixed the photo too.
Love the vintage cast iron lathe leg styling! Thanks!