Have you been asking, “What the Hell happened to Lisa & Andrew?”
If anyone has gone through a family death, you might know some of the upheaval we faced.
Andrew’s mom died Labor Day weekend in 2015 -and this is when shit went sideways.
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 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 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 the PNW –Seattle to be exact– and were in the initial throws of planning. As we were adjusting ourselves, wares, and 3 major fall shows, we were also trying to close the shop that included culling displays via Craigslist. If any of you have done the Craigslist thing, you know that’s a full time job. That, along with the initial stages of getting our house ready to put on the market, finding a long-term care facility for my FIL, and finding a new home on the other side of the continent was more than two people should have to shoulder.
In the end, we couldn’t recover. Consequently, we had to close the shop.
Lastly, you’re probably asking, “Why Seattle?”
I couldn’t keep Andrew busy enough with building tech bags for me, so his plan was to return to corporate America to rekindle his passion in Global Brand Marketing. His goal was to remain on the East coast, but those positions are few and far between and when they do appear, the ratio is 200:1.
Also, because North Carolina has become less and less welcoming and supporting to small business, we decided it would be best to find another region within the US to continue our creative endeavors.
“Like converting from PC to MAC, I don’t know why we didn’t consider the PNW sooner.” ~Lisa
The PNW and Seattle were our beacons to the progressive lifestyle we strongly desired. The quiet nuances that speak to us as we walk among other Seattleites, remind me how valued people are by the way the state treats them -now us- as human beings.
Will we continue to build product?
Sure -but it will be as a formalized hobby. While we will continue to build product, please be understand that it’s 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 something available, jump on it, because that’s it.
We are currently research workshop space in Seattle but at this point, it most likely will be mid-Summer.
It’s been a very difficult road and we look forward to reinventing ourselves in Seattle. I hope you’ll continue to follow us and wish us well.
Lisa & Andrew