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So it was about 2 months into the Pop Up shop and things were going well. (At least we thought so). We were having more events and gaining traction and Chris was working on a few more pieces for the shop to "fill it up" as we had some super awesome people come in and ask when we were actually planning on getting more merchandise... yay client feedback. 

It was late Saturday night after an event we had. Chris came at the end to help me clean up as he usually did; emptying the ice buckets, pulling the trash together, giving people nasty looks who were still lingering.

We went home, to sleep and then at 2am I heard a loud crash. Lucy our Pit mix and I jumped out of bed. I searched for Chris who normally gets up in the middle of the night for a scoop of peanut butter and what not. He wasn't in the bedroom or the kitchen or the bathroom. I opened the basement door to see him at the bottom of the stairs. It was the middle of summer and we don't have central air so the window ACs are on and the doors are closed. The basement door is right next to our bedroom door... and you can put the pieces together. 

Face bleeding, holding his left arm I rushed him to the ER at Mountainside. Thankfully it was a quick trip (no school bus traffic at 2am). We got him settled into a room and the doctors came to check him out and set up his Xray and MRI. Turns out he cracked a bone in his face, fractured his wrist and had some nasty cuts & bruises. All that I could handle. What I could NOT handle was all the staff jokingly ask me if I pushed him down the stairs. "Um WHAT?" 

Yes, I had at least 3 medical professionals think they were late night stand up comedians asking me if I pushed my husband down the stairs. Now I don't get worked up about a lot, because WHO CARES. Retail really does kill your spirit due to the insanity of most daily encounters. But this bothered me because:

  1. I was legitimately worried about my husband
  2. Nothing is funny in an ER at 3am.
  3. Would you EVER ask a man that? No, didn't think so. Because that would be considered domestic violence. Double Standards abound everywhere people. 

And again normally I brush the stupid things people say aside, but maybe it was just how bad the jokes were that got to me...

But we handled it the best we could. We tagged his cast with our logo for some extra marketing and padded a few more weeks to any custom orders. Chris adjusted his gym routine and I did more of the heavy lifting at the shop and at home. We also said a special thank you to the Powers that Be that it wasn't his right hand. There is always a silver lining. Things could always be worse... Insert another wise old saying here. 

And in 6 weeks the cast came off and Chris got back to work. Just in time for the end of summer. 

Moral of the story: sometimes bad things happen and mess up your plans, but you just push through. Don't freak out. Don't go all woe is me. Just tell everyone who comes into the shop the story and put a lock on your basement door. 

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One of our first random Custom Order Requests was for a large Magnet Board. A new client walked into our shop, took a look around and we started chatting. She asked if we would build her something custom. I said, "Sure!" because why not, right?

The client just remodeled her beautiful kitchen and like most stainless fridges, it wasn't magnetic. She had school aged kids with tons of papers, schedules, to-do lists, etc that needed a home. Instead of a bulletin board or chalkboard she thought of hanging a magnet board. Only she couldn't seem to find one. 

On her 2nd visit she brought the gorgeous tiles that she used for her kitchen remodel. She envisioned a metal board framed in chunky reclaimed wood with a matching stain to her countertops and a tile in each corner

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I drew a quick sketch of the details we discussed, showed Chris to confirm a price quote and made a few stain options for the client to take home to confirm. 

(I was thinking of editing the sketch photo to look more professional but literally thats how things actually get done....)


Once the details get hashed out we normally take a 50% deposit for materials and also for security so the client doesn't back out, which is pretty standard. 

Think about it. People always say they will go to something, and then day of they cancel and guess who is stuck paying for a 25 person party bus for her sister's bachelorette? It's ok. Its just in our nature to want to say yes right away instead of knowing ourselves and how we would rather be on our couch drinking wine and looking at the photos of the night on FB.  

Anyway... In this case the price was cheap enough and we hadn't put the deposit rule in place so I said check was fine once completed. We had her super fancy tiles so I figured she meant business. 

Ok so for the project we needed the following:

  • sheet metal to be cut slightly less than 30"x 50"
  • reclaimed wood - Chris used his stash of reclaimed pine boards 
  • figure out the tile inlay in the corners
  • strong enough wire hanging set up on the top back
  • confirm stain options

Metal Supermarket! My home away from home! I say "my" because Chris had never actually been there until I was 8 months pregnant and I said, "I am not planning on coming here and carrying out 20 ft of tubing with a 2 month old so you need to meet the guys so you can handle our future orders." The Metal Supermarket in Fairfield IS THE BEST. I love them. Like would invite them to Thanksgiving... or at least for a beer.  

So I stopped there to get a sheet cut for the project and pick up a few other things Chris needed. It is definitely not a "supermarket" like you are picturing with florescent lights but more of a metal supply shop with an office in the front, warehouse in the back stocked with all kinds of metal tubing and angle and what not in different sizes and and shapes. The guys help you select what you need, price it out, cut it down and then load it into your car out back. Its the easiest most comfortable way for some random girl to buy metal and not feel out of place. 

Chris started the project and ran into the whole, "Oh I didn't think this whole router situation through for the tile inlay." But like most things, the internet helped... And epoxy. Lots of epoxy. I am considering buying stock in West Systems Epoxy. 

Finished project.

There were definitely things that we learned along the way, which is what happens every time you try something new. (I usually have to remind Chris this over and over). 

The client was happy. We were psyched to make our first real custom project that was client designed. And we quickly realized that our Pop Up Shop was more of a "showroom" where clients could get an idea of what we do, then come to us with what they needed. 

God I miss that black and white checked plywood floor...