We’ve enjoyed another week of warm sunny days, but the cooler nights remind me that summer won’t last forever. Not this year, anyway. Living in San Francisco these past four years has mostly wiped away all muscle memory of real fall and winter weather. My sweaters are cardigans, my socks are cotton, and cold weather doesn’t mean freezing anymore. I’ll be heading to Seattle in a few weeks, where I’ll get a good reminder of what fall feels like.
For the past few weeks I’ve been working on an exciting side project that I’m almost ready to fully unveil. Its been an interesting process to work with a new method of production with a very different material. Over the past few weeks I’ve been slowly building a small product line for audiophiles, which has been an interesting challenge. In a few weeks I’ll have four styles of record dividers available for custom orders. I myself am not a record collector, but living with one has been invaluable in the process.
To be prepared for the holiday season I’ve got a list of to-dos that I’m working though between client deadlines. I’ve been sneaking in working sessions on the weekends, as well as in the mornings and evenings after meetings. Packaging is almost done, sample sets are almost ready for photography, and the online shop is coming along. I had a cold that slowed me down for a week, but now all I’m nursing is a cough, and I’m eager to get these products out in the world. My office smells like burnt wood from the increasing stacks of laser cut wood panels, but thats the new smell of progress right now!
After another round of custom orders and some updates to the original design, I’m getting closer to bringing these laser cut record dividers to market. It took some time to re-jigger the design for vertical dividers, and a few chats with other record collectors to figure out a plan that makes the more sense. These dividers will likely be handled a bit more than their horizontal cousins, so we went with engraved letters, rather than cut outs. I’m learning more about laser cutting, and wood, and weirdo audiophiles, so I’m getting the hang of this thing, one set at a time. The original set is now just a prototype, and I’m ready to update that design.
Custom boxes are on order, and I’m designing labels for different sets. I’ve got a production team in place and we’ve been working closely together to knock out inefficiencies, in production and design. I’m at the lumberyard nearly every week, and I’m pretty much a pro at loading and unloading wood without getting splinters.
We sometimes lovingly compare our colorful San Francisco home to living in a Skittles box. When we fiirst moved in more than four years ago, our landlord was very proud to point out that the apartment had been freshly painted, all colors of his choosing. Loud color, but color that also seemed at the time… not-so-loud when balanced with bright sunny rooms and 10 foot ceilings. Um, right? We’ve got brick red in the hallway, avocado green in the living room, and a sort of sick buttery yellow in the dining room. The rest of the house (fortunately) is shades of calm antique white & beige. When we moved in, we embraced the colorful walls, reassuring ourselves and each other that we’d always look back fondly on our San Francisco days, living in a colorful crayon box back when we were young and free (with four cats). Fast forward four years, and countless discussions (arguments) about color, we’ve fantasied about changing the color of every room. All grey. All white. All black. All grey. All totally different. Over the weekend we visited the most inspiring apartment we’ve seen in months, and finally got the courage to make a change. The apartment was the bottom floor of an old victorian, tastefully designed and decorated by an interior designer + event planner roommates… and it was beautiful. Careful vignettes, staggered seating areas, excellent lighting, and surprising pops of color.
Monday morning I called the landlord and had the most surprisingly easy conversation ever, and hung up moments later with his permission to repaint the dining room. Intern says I might have rushed things a bit, but soon enough we were in the paint aisle at Loewes, having a public debate on victory vs indigo, black vs jet black, tan vs taupe. We decided to start small, with the middle room of the house, with the fewest walls, but we decided to go very bold with color. After taping and priming for hours, we finally got around to putting on the first coat of paint.
We’re still painting, and we need a few more coats and touch ups, and we’re both kind of in shock. Color takes time to get comfortable with, right?