Go, Make Stuff.
Yesterday I had the pleasure of giving a tour of our letterpress shop to a typography class from Seattle Pacific University here in Seattle. They were simply lovely, asked lots of great questions, and were patient with my nervous rambling.
It was such a blessing to be able to share our little space with design students. In the not so distant past, we were right there. It really brought me back to have them to the shop - I could picture Brad & I (and Jesse P!) standing there. I remember what it was like to be a student so clearly. I had so many dreams and aspirations for my future - and yet, there was this huge, impassible cavern between where I was and where I planned to be. When we packed up and drove to Seattle just weeks after graduation (with a few bucks, a microwave, and our first little printing press), we had no idea what we were getting into. Everything we assumed was wrong, and for awhile, everything we tried failed - but we were here, and we were so happy.
And now... we're in a different place. We've established ourselves, worked really hard, and learned a LOT. We've weathered 8 seasons, made some mistakes, and gotten through some tough patches. And through it all, we're still so happy. We have been insanely blessed. I was so inspired and encouraged to be able to share our story, our work, and our space with students - to see where we're at through their eyes is surreal. I couldn't have imagined it a few years ago. We are still learning, still growing, but the hard work is worth it, and the dreams are worth dreaming!
With that in mind, here are a few things i've learned from starting our own business:
Accountants are invaluable allies.
Take all advice with a grain of salt - not all of it is right for you and your business.
Be real. If you don't mean it, people won't buy it.
Never stop learning, and be teachable. College isn't the end of the road, and the world owes you nothing.
Step out - make mistakes, look like a fool, but accomplish something. Doing nothing will get you nowhere.
Give yourself permission to take a day off. (And really take it!)
Make for the joy of making, and the rest will follow.
[Above image is a vintage magnesium image cut & lead type, printed on our 5x8 Kelsey Excelsior printing press by students from SPU.]