Setting Goals and Patience

This week I am heading to New York to show at NY Now with American Design Club (booth #4270 in Accent on Design). Showing at NY Now has been a goal of mine for seven years, and the time is finally right for me to be there and be ready for it. For those not in the product design business, I describe this show as the Superbowl for wholesale.

I've talked with countless friends and mentors about this step over the years, and I am amazed at how calm I feel mere days from leaving. I've had to be patient and disciplined, knowing that the right time will come for me. The patient part isn't easy, but it's one of the most important values I am cultivating with Canoe. For me, it's about slow and steady growth, not a quick race. Leather work has taught me so much about moving slowly through the process and enjoying each step, being present and aware. I've been training new apprentices this month and the sentiment I keep repeating to them is, "Leather work is a long process. Be patient with it and yourself."

 

We Are The Best!

I can't help but smile wide watching the trailer for "We Are The Best!, " a Swedish film by Lukas Moodysson. The film follows two 13-year-old best friends who are outcasts at their school for being punk rockers after punk is dead. But, guys, punk's not dead! The film was released in the US at the end of May, so find a theater near you and relive the volatile emotions of being 13.

Conversations about Design

Recently I sat down with Clementine Daily to chat about design, life, and my role as an assistant professor. In addition to Canoe, I also teach communication design at Texas State University.

Erin Anacker and I had a great conversation on her podcast "Behind the Fold" about teaching and typography. You can listen to that interview here. It's probably the most in-depth interview I've ever given and we had a lot of fun talking about winding career paths and doing what you love.

2014

We're a little late, but welcome to 2014. It has started with our head buried in work, and looks like we'll continue on that trend. This year, however, we're breaking old habits and forming new ones, like actually going outside more (!!) instead of staying in the studio. I joined the YMCA at the end of last year, and happy to report I've actually been since we joined (major accomplishment). Do me a favor and ask me in March when was my last visit, ok? According to Leo, if you say you are something outloud, it can help change your mindset to becoming that. I am someone that goes to the Y, and not just for the steam room.

At the start of the year, I always like to plan out trips to look forward to. Right now I am looking at where I will travel this summer to teach leather tooling workshops. Last summer had me on the West Coast, and I'm wondering where to go next. Where do you think I should go?

Building a business

I've been thinking a lot this summer about growth and how to build a solid foundation for Canoe. There have been countless conversations with successful business owners across the US, listening A LOT, asking questions, and feeling out my own conclusions. I have had a winding path to get where I am today, which I'm really grateful for; it means I have more experiences to draw on and support from a very diverse group of friends. This summer has felt like a turning point, one I've been working towards for a long time.

Vote for Canoe at American Made

As part of this growth, I've applied to the Martha Stewart American Made 2013 contest and hope you'll take a minute to check out my profile and Vote for Canoe! Please share with your friends and help us get the word out. I'm excited to see where we go next. Thanks for sticking around for the ride, friends!