On Sundays I reflect.
I did not drink alcohol this week. I also did not write a reflection last week. I was overwhelmed by work and the current state of affairs, so I decided to take a week off after attempting to write and hitting a wall.
But I’m back. What a time to be alive?!
First and foremost, I would like to say that it is time to end police brutality and that Black Lives Matter.
I am not sure how to enact the necessary change, but I have been doing what I can. Primarily we have developed “Cups for a Cause” in which I have been auctioning off cups to raise money for the ACLU. We have raised over $2,000 so far, through donations made by artists in the industry wanting to help after seeing my first auction featuring a piece I made with my shipmate Rob @logglass.
Raising money is not enough. I am struggling through the book “How to be an antiracist” and working to educate myself on the situation and sharing my resources with other white people looking to help. I have been conscious of the need to educate myself, and not burden black friends and people of color in my life with the responsibility. I understand that behavior perpetuates White Supremacy, by positioning people of color as inferior and of service to me.
I have also been hyperconscious of who I spend my money with. I believe that this is a choice we can all make to spend with intention, supporting brands who align with our ethical and moral positions.
Aside from all that is happening in the world, I should share a studio update. Things have evolved quite a bit over the last few weeks. Almost out of thin air, a staff has been onboarding at the studio to assist with the explosive growth we are experiencing. I mentioned in my essays over the last few weeks that I have never sold cups like I am currently. I am ordering from multiple artists every week, and they continue to sell out. Most of the artists cannot keep up with my orders, but are doing the best they can.
Let me tell you about the new team.
You may have met Bibi the intern in my recent interview, or through my social media. Bibi has been helping with all things digital media and graphic design. She is a very talented artist studying at CU Boulder, and has alleviated many of my online responsibilities while keeping our brand active during these unprecedented times. We are becoming more active on Reddit thanks to her, and she is working daily to keep our social media planned and prevalent.
Marta @martajoyy moved here two weeks ago to be the chef. She has also helped with printing DV T-shirts (a few of which are still available for $30 in limited sizes). I signed up for a CSA, or weekly allocation of locally sourced organic produce. We have had multiple meal options at all times in the fridge and we are even starting to plan ahead and freeze meals.
Additionally, she’s helping me to sort through 3 years of glass trash and leftovers that have accumulated at the studio. We're going to use this to produce a wall-piece, from what otherwise would have been trash. This is a meticulous process that has consumed hours of our time so far and will continue to consume hours for the foreseeable future. It is important to me to minimize waste, so we came up with a project that could use a substantial amount of our trash, and bring it back to life.
Marta has also been learning to use a torch and melt glass, polishing our scraps and welding them back together into useful handles. This both teaches her the tools and process while reducing our waste in yet another way.
Cynthia @senditcynthia has joined our team in an administrative role that I desperately needed help with. Already, she has helped take over packing and shipping, a daily chore now. Sometimes we have to make multiple runs to the post office in a single day. Shoutout to my neighbor Jensen from Weston Backcountry for helping out over the last few months as this has become quite the task to keep up with. Cynthia has also created spreadsheets to inventory our raw materials including clear and colored glass. She will be helping me to SKU and inventory our drinkware, as well as helping me to keep new products coming to the website.
Reda has decided to pursue other artistic projects with her camera, so I have brought my friend Skinny @skinny18 aboard to do weekly photo shoots for products in the light box. He is still learning to edit the photos to what we need with the help of Bibi, our tech wiz. Overall having him over weekly has helped our ability to list new products and stay more organized. Things are selling so fast that sometimes they still don’t last until the photo shoots despite the high frequency but I can’t afford to have someone full time yet. Bibi also has a camera and helps with content between Skinny shoots.
Jensen has been making videos for our auctions of beer pours and shots. It has been a lot of fun collaborating with my team and friends to bring you the content you see. It takes a village, and I am grateful for everyone on my team and their contributions. I am working hard to make sure each person’s role fits their skills and desires, and everyone seems to be happy with their positions as we evolve into them.
So with all that happening you deserve a CUPDATE after two weeks.
Let’s start with EWGG @edwolfesgotglass who are trying their best to send me weekly boxes. I am getting 15-20 cups weekly and they’re selling and even pre-selling out. I asked for more, but now may have to wait two weeks for the next batch after this Monday. I have a few pairs of tallboys and some mugs available as of now.
Ned @nedglassman is sending me three cups and I have one waiting to list on the site. He is doing his best to get me cups, but his son is now at home full-time. I tried to order 100 cups from him and while he appreciates the sentiment he simply can’t make them fast enough.
I am working out the details for a Tim Drier @driertim drop. His “Barware Reinvented” is some of the most impressive drink ware on the market but he is not able to ship. My guy from Chicago plans to drive to Michigan to pick up a large order and then drive to Colorado to deliver to me. I have been trying to get an order from Tim for years now and have only managed a few pieces at the Michigan Glass Project. Hopefully that changes very soon.
There are lots of other new artists in or arriving soon. We are doing our best to update the website with this work as photos become available. Let me highlight the single piece that has consumed much of my time over the last few weeks because now the wheels are in motion and we will see a finished product soon.
With the help of a client, I have been able to commission the five artists from Everdream Studio @everdreamstudio to make a single pint glass as a team. Eusheen @eusheen will be assembling a cup with space prep from N8 @nathan_miers and a flip from @wjcglass. Elbo @elboglass will also be doing some kind of flip and Adam G @sweaterkingpin will make a faceted fumed marble to go inside. Eusheen will also incorporate some of his linework. If your mouth is not watering yet, you are probably going to want to familiarize yourself with these prolific artists work. If you know, you know.
So I have been back and forth to Evergreen a few times and need to go a few more times for the project. I am hoping to have a video to release when the cup is complete to share with all of you despite the fact that the cup is already sold.
If that wasn’t exciting enough, I am also talking with Banjo @banjoglass again about a cup release. We don’t have details worked out yet, but the release will likely be for charity of some kind, which we are coming up with together.
So overall, things couldn’t be better. Through working out and acupuncture and chiropractic work, my shoulder and arm are feeling much better. I still have work to do and my acupuncturist is leaving town soon so I have to find a new practitioner but I am grateful to be in much less pain.
Please understand your responsibility in the current state of affairs and do what you can to bring change. We need it, and we need all of us to get it. If you are looking for ways to help, don’t hesitate to reach out. I have gotten specific requests for black artists from people who want to support in that way, and I am actively working to source more black artists, women, and other people of color. I will continue “Cups for a Cause” auctions this week from a number of artists who have donated their work, and if you are an artist wanting to contribute please reach out.
As always, thanks for your support!
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