I haven’t shared many written updates lately on whats happening with my shop, so here I am, attempting to make myself sit still and write down some thoughts on the last few months, and the next few ahead. I want to document where I am, because I already feel so far from where I was this time last year. Work is moving quickly, and I am making so many decisions I think I’ll soon forget in all of the rush and sometimes (self-created) chaos of small business life. Lately I’ve done a lot of handwringing during the day, and tossing and turning at night, worrying about lumber and cardboard… but mostly cardboard.
I don’t have any favorite blogs anymore, and I miss that source of creative inspiration. There was a time I had a few female writers tucked nicely into my reading list, that wrote about interesting, personal, weird, or funny things. That list has dried up, or become too different, I don’t recognize most of it anymore. Mostly I loved writers sharing photos and thoughts about their collections and side projects, I liked that more than the stylish cool hunters with flawless houses and outfits. I liked the process stuff, women exploring their work through experimentation and admitting to mistakes and flaws. There are plenty of blogs that I look at regularly now, but I don’t necessarily love them or find inspiration in the same places anymore.
This December felt like a complete blur. Even today, on my twelfth day away from work, production and my inbox. I haven’t taken very much time off this year, but I’ve been able to enjoy a good break from work after an intensely busy holiday production season. Time off (and the weeks leading up to it) have included a few colds in our household, and a lingering cough for one of us. Because of my somewhat susceptible and germ-fearing neuroses, I was quietly convinced I had whooping cough. I got tested though, and it came back negative. Turns out, I was just exhausted and sick, nothing more.
In case anyone out there is curious, the pertussis test feels like a wasabi-coated q-tip is slowly being threaded up your nose and down your throat, then slowly removed. All while you breathe deeply and your eyes water intensely. If you’re anything like me though, that news probably won’t dissuade you from following your germaphobic emotional journey to the doctor to soothe your middle of the night fears.
We’re several weeks into the holiday production season, which although it is going very well, feels very very crazy busy. We had a relaxing Thanksgiving in Calistoga, then jumped immediately into holiday parties, booking flights to Seattle, crab season, holiday orders, an even busier production schedule and oh my god, rain… all to the tune of a hacking cough that won’t quit. This year I tried to strategically wind down client work as I ramped up production in the shop, though the “winding down” part took two weeks of intense pushing, while racing back and forth between the production space and my office.
In the last two months I launched a few new products, namely genre record dividers and book dividers, then just last week, I threw in some holiday record ornaments, just to keep things teetering towards too much, just for fun.
Now my production assistant and I are hustling to keep it all going– packaging orders to send out every few days, and keeping up with production demands. All wholesale orders for Urban Outfitters, Turntable Lab, Dijital Fix, Sound Fowndations and others are all wrapped up for the year, and I’ll be closing up the online shop around the 20th of December to take a few weeks off. Its hard to believe that a little over a year ago I was just launching the shop, unsure of how it would all work out, and worrying whether anyone would want to organize their vinyl… and now… I don’t have that worry anymore!
The new genre collection is set to launch in the shop on Monday, and it already feels like this new collection has been a long time in the making. I will readily admit, I am not an audiophile, I am not a music expert, I am a not even a super fan (except when I’m drunk and its Tracy Chapman). I’ve stumbled into this world of serious experts/hardcore music enthusiasts/musical classifiers… I just want to organize your shit so it’s easy to find, it’s accessible, and more enjoyable for more people. I sometimes wake up at night with a new genre idea in my head, or wake up worrying that I’ve forgotten a significant genre… (real serious worries, guys). I’ve been toting around a list of genre ideas for weeks, a crumpled paper full of ideas and genres. I’ve been talking to collectors and bartenders, browsing music stores and making prototypes. I’m up to about 50+ genres at this point, but its hard to be selective when hilarious ones pop up, like “80s Hair Bands” or someone requests “New Wave” or “Children’s Folk”. This process is a little different this time around-last November I was running around like a madwoman, getting ready for my first shop launch. It seems hard for me to believe that the shop has been live for less than a year… but when I let my mind wander to the actual number of panels I myself or my assistants have sanded and packaged in the last few months… then yes, it suddenly feels like I’ve been doing this for years, not 11 months.