Sorry, no juicy news here. After nearly forty years of this business and struggling to spell my name both verbally and with fat fingers the name NWchairs seemed perfect; our core product and easy to spell.
Additional hours November 4 and December 2 from 10-2 pm. I don't plan to stay open later because it seems Bellingham are off to their Saturday doings. But if people do show up at 2, its an opportunity to stay and talk.
Do I give shop tours? As long as I don't have to abandon people in the showroom, yes!
If we do a tour, tell me if I am too detailed about what we do. Its easy to get on a roll.
First Geek Chic. I knew they were skating on ice and bravado but didn't quite understand the depth of their story and antics.
Why is a tail even important? And how is it we keep going on and on while other open, reach for the stars then close when they are no longer able sustain the image? I am a woodworker first, furniture maker second, lover of my crew third and all that other stuff is somewhere trailing behind where it can guide from the back. Its not the tails job or place to wag the dog. The tail is pretty important (just stay with me through this please), but no dog, no tail. What we do and make is our core focus and we can never know enough about how to do our jobs better. Continuous improvement. I have always run my shop at a ratio of at least four woodworkers to each office person usually more. Debt and dicey business decisions are like making a piece of furniture: making an overly slender chair leg can bring the entire chair crashing down, with people getting hurt in the process.
So why is a tail important?
"For the most part, canines and felines use their tails to communicate — from the wide, sweeping wag of a happy dog to the quick tail swish of an annoyed cat. In canines, a tail may also serve as a type of rudder to help stabilize dogs in the water." Vetstreet
"Many land animals use their tails to brush away flies and other biting insects. Some species, including cats and kangaroos, use their tails for balance; and some, such as New World monkeys and opossums, have what are known as prehensile tails, which are adapted to allow them to grasp tree branches."
Like most ideas this one could be seen as an over simplification, but metaphors sure are fun to play with.
And yes, those are our Pacific Dining Chairs in the photo below. But we are not massively in debt, nor have we closed nor let go any of our talented people. We are alive and thriving though licking our wounds (yes we lost quite a bit of money in these closings and bankruptcys). And we are making some of those gaming table now with our own name on them! And by the way- nice photos, a luscious showroom and cute monikers have little to do with the quality of the furniture made or the strength of a business.
Patrick wanted a new and special bed and was patient while I conjured up a few uninspired ideas. He knew that he would know when he saw the right design and had good clear comments on various features (so crucial). It tickles me when we all know something is "right" when hit upon, and from the moment I started drawing the top arch I could feel the excitement in my veins.
The side tables are my Akura design. The entire set is finished with our 2k polyurethane (shellac as a sealer coat to bring out the grain and color). As usual it has a center support and leg.
It is definitely an addition to my stable of beds, but what to call it? I already have an Akura bed. Hopefully the present Akura bed wouldn't be offended if I stole its name and demoted it to something new. When I signed up to make furniture I didn't know I would have to name each design too...
Comments are more than appreciated.
First our largest wholesale customer was locked up by the court for in June. Then our second largest wholesale customer (of twenty years) closed their last showroom in August. I fought down the panicked feelings as they surged to the surface, or more accurately did a lot of deep breathing and refocusing in an attempt to dissolve them and get clear on what the options are and how to pursue them. Only at this advanced age and wisdom could I have had any equanimity this summer.
The floodgates opened, probably a good thing because it forced me out of my rut. Completing our Ecommerce site NWchairs.com (its never really completed) and striking up new conversations mostly with old customers became the focal point of all my actions. The orders ramped up to a steady stream as if by magic, but isn't magic a catch all word for what we simply don't understand. Upon closer examination almost everything was making sense. Its still nip and tuck making payroll every two weeks, but we're doing it: operating off mainly direct Retail customers and stimulating increased business from existing and smaller dealers. The good news is those smaller dealers are a lot nicer to deal with. They pay their bills and surprise! on time! in Our team in the shop has suffered no layoffs- just a little bit of natural attrition and not refilling the positions. Our current crew of six is absolutely the best ever and it would be like Sophies Choice to decide who to let go.
So currently its looking like my lifetime goal of a fully rounded and mature furniture business is suddenly presenting itself, almost close enough to touch. I have advised other people to engineer their beliefs such that the world is your oyster, the only thing you have to do is remain observant enough and energetic enough to see it and act on it. Now its time to put my money and wood where my mouth is...
Back in the old days of the 90s and early aughts I always said I wouldn't stoop to doing farmers markets Then it had to be at least two hundred miles away if not two thousand, shows such as The Philadelphia International Furniture Show, ACC San Francisco, the Western Design Conference in Jackson WY, Contemporary Crafts in Santa Monica and so on. Those days seem to be over. The crash of 2008 ended the big time and when the world regained its new normal I was too old for the twelve hour days and high wire tension of pulling it all together on a budget and a tight timeline. I find it strangely satisfying to eat crow and know I still am learning new tricks.
Walk down to the shop at 8am, load the truck, drive eight blocks to the Market Square, setup and be sitting in one of several rocking chairs in the 9:45 sun with freshly roasted morning coffee. Complete with Pep lying on the asphalt, begging from everyone with his eyes. Plus its an excuse to hang out on a sunny summer Saturday eating crowssants and visiting with old friends and new ones I haven't met before.
Stop in! 10-3 (this is my last Saturday for the year but the market runs until November and starts again in March).
Amy Virta, the daughter of an old customer has this pair of cushion seat Brendan Rockers they would like to sell. Their asking price is $1000 each, and while I have not seen anything but the pictures they do appear to have scratches and wear. They would probably make a special price for the pair. They need some sanding and probably new foam and upholstery which I can quote you on. .Contact me with questions, firstname.lastname@example.org or 360-389-2714.
The chairs are approximatety 15 years old.
We have a set in the showroom now.What would I do without customers ideas? Three nesting tables with three colored inlaid leather tops. Actually its recycled leather because I am able to get a wide variety of colors in small pieces, unlike genuine leather where I have to buy an entire cowhide of one color. The largest is 20" wide x 20" deep x 20" tall in Cherry wood.
The bad news is out: Geek Chic has locked their doors. The chairs and barstools they sold? They were designed made by us. We did not receive any of the deposits on them and are stuck with money owed also. My heart goes out to all those who lost their deposits with nothing to show but frustration, and have come up with a formula to enable customers to get their (ours) furniture possibly at the same total cost. If interested contact me at greg"at"nwchairs, or 360-389-2714. We will be building a few reproductions of their Vanguard tables also.
Please remember, we never ask for more than a 50% deposit.
Yes another website upgrade, and still getting fleshed out. It will not be as deep as our previous site. I believe you should know everything and make your own choices but my marketing guy told me the old one was TMI and not snazzy enough. Eventually this site will have a link to the content rich (overload) of the old website.
Unfortunately I am mired in DNS and Forwards on my own now as Quentin has gone to Seattle to do social marketing for a big company.