Sunday 8/20/23

Sunday 8/20/23

August 20, 2023

On Sundays I reflect.

I didn’t drink alcohol this week, but I definitely thought about it at the beer festival we performed at yesterday in the park. I could have had a beer, or six. It’s better that I didn’t.

I’ve been working on production this week a bit. Stan is getting the mugs down on the lathe allowing me to start prototyping more designs for new products. I’m fuming more which has been a can of worms to really figure out. Anyone can spray fume from metal at glass but dialing it in can take a lifetime. I’m super grateful to my friends who have been sharing knowledge with us.

I’ve been pretty stressed lately trying to figure out creative ways to cover the costs of a growing business. Things are a lot different than they were five years ago when it felt like just me in an empty warehouse trying to build something from nothing.

Today we have a full team of people to coordinate at the studio in addition to over 50 artists we represent. Marta and I talked a little about the difference from when she moved out to the studio 3 years ago to now. It seems like people are coming by the studio almost every day for meetings, not to mention friends working on projects and students coming for classes.

My dad has been helping me to brainstorm ways to keep up with the growth, which I’ll admit has been challenging and frustrating me. I’m grateful for his support, and the major takeaway right now for me is to focus on the successes I have had.

This has helped me remind me why I’m doing this. Many people know I don’t take a paycheck for my job as a broker nor for my art. Every dollar I make goes back into the business, aside from the costs of staying alive and a personal art collection that has been on hold for at least a few months from additions.

Every day that I walk in my studio is a blessing. That space is my paycheck. The team that supports me is the only way we have made it this far. I’m so proud of what we are creating together, and so grateful for their support. With their help I am able to better support artists and spread the word about our underground scene.

So I’m trying to focus on the successes instead of what feel like failures right now. When I can be reminded how proud I am of our work, I feel a fresh sense of motivation to keep pushing forward. When my team tells me things like the studio is helping them on their own path through sobriety, or giving them meaning in their lives I feel my greatest sense of accomplishment.

In order for us to maintain this special space in Minturn, I need to work harder at generating more revenue to keep things going. I have to be more creative in how we continue to grow.

So we got hired to blow glass at a beer festival in the park yesterday. We had a good time and we sold some things. We generated some interest for classes as well.

Now that Stan is working at the studio full time, we are offering introductory glass blowing classes for people who want to get their hands hot. This has been a way for us to connect with the community and share our creative space which is truly unlike any other place in the Vail Valley. It is also a way for us to generate revenue to help cover our overhead that keeps the studio running.

We are all learning and growing together at the studio which is part of what makes it so special. Sometimes it’s hard to acknowledge the time needed for this learning and growth, especially when we can’t really afford it. My team has been patient with me through the growth, and I try to reciprocate patience to them as they try new things.

So today as I prepare for Sunday Specials, I’m wanting to try a new game that supports my team. For every $100 spent on the website today I will block off one hour this week to work on a series of gifts for the people on the crew. I’ve tried to make the time for this kind of thing in the past, and the ultimate truth is that I have been too focused on profitable projects under the pressure of bills and keeping up.

So today the best way you can support me and my team is to find a $100 cup (or something more expensive) and buy me some time on the torch to focus on the people who have spent so much time and energy supporting me and this community we have created together.

As always I appreciate you tuning in, and hope you enjoy your Sunday.
Ben


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