Looking Back On 2014

IMG_4077  As 2014 draws to a close, I am enjoying some time off. We close up the shop from December 20th until after the New Year, and use the time for relaxation, reflection and planning.

This year was the best yet for both family life and work life. We bought a new home with a large studio space, which has allowed us to separate work-life from home-life with the simple closing of a door. We created new product lines (and have a few more in the works!), continued our partnerships with other companies such as Nordstrom, Martha Stewart American Made and Preserve.

In November we traveled to New York City to attend the Martha Stewart American Made Summit. We have been a part of the American Made Market since February of this year, when they reached out to us personally to invite us to join the marketplace. We visited the Martha Stewart Headquarters for the first time this summer, and were excited to return for the Summit.

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At the opening night cocktail party

 

Heading to the Summit bright and early.

Heading to the Summit bright and early.

Our spoons were included in a pop-up marketplace at the Summit, so of course we had to take a few photos with our creations.

Posing with our spoons at the pop-up market.

Posing with our spoons at the pop-up market.

By the end of the event they had nearly sold out of our entire inventory!

By the end of the event they had nearly sold out of our entire inventory!

Of course, the highlight of the trip was hearing Martha herself talk about running a business. We decided to make The American Made Summit an annual trip because it was the perfect motivator heading into the busiest season of the year. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA    After the Summit ended, we stayed in New York another day to do some shopping and digest everything we learned. We even found some great antique shops, and somehow I couldn’t convince Ryan that we needed this guy for the studio.

He really wanted to come home with us, but wouldn't fit in the overhead bin.

He really wanted to come home with us, but wouldn’t fit in the overhead bin.

As soon as we were home from New York, the Holiday season began in full swing and we spent many long nights in the studio creating the gifts our customers selected. As December 20th neared, the last thing we wanted to do was close up the shop to immerse ourselves in the Holiday madness of crowds and traffic and malls. So we did the only sane thing and skipped it in favor of four long days in the mountains of North Carolina. There were less presents under the tree, but it was worth it to light a fire and hole up here: IMG_4051The opposite side of the cabin hung off the top of a mountain, which was the perfect place to have our coffee every morning. IMG_4042The best part was being able to convince my parents to join us. My mother is very into Christmas, so pulling her away from decorations and shopping for the four days leading up to Christmas Eve was no easy task. I think she gave in because of our plans to visit the Biltmore Estate to take in their 63 trees and lavish decorations (not to mention their winery!). We also spent a day antiquing (a pastime I learned from her), so she had a lot of fun in spite of the timing of the trip.

Our clan at Biltmore.

Our clan at Biltmore.

Now we are spending the remainder of the year relaxing around the house with the kids and making plans for 2015. We are in the early stages of another partnership and laying the groundwork for a few new product lines. The silverware boxes are fully re-stocked and ready for action come January. And after another week of unwinding with my family, I will be too.