What a summer its been at camp WHYRHYMER. This is my campfire story for you.
It all started one typical day in the shop when I get a call from the owners of Desousa Hughes, the showroom that was representing me at the time in S.F.. Geoff $ Erik had been great to me, but I knew their calling wasn't fortuitous. This is where pure instinct can never be questioned. I earlier in the day had a thought that I should call and jokingly ask whether the designers who frequent the showroom were vomiting when they looked at my new work..I had no inquiries since bringing up new pieces two months prior and I was getting worried they would break up with me. It's a business after all and they need to make money off of their space and I wasn't generating any for them.
Hmm, where could this story be going?
Back to the conversation with Geoff $ Erik. They were calling to break up after all!! They had decided to take on designer Christian Liaigre' and the company wanted lots of floor space, so me and a few more had to go. They were sweet about it and I reassured them I understood completely....even though I was dry heaving on the inside like a child in the depths of a tantrum. I explained that earlier in the day I literally had the same thought they expressed as the reason to let me go..that's where the instinct part I mentioned before comes in to play. The universe is always conspiring in your favor...right?
So, after that moment I sat for a few days and thought about what to do next. I made the standard phone calls to all the designers I had worked for and asked who I should seek out for representation and I was reassured that Enid Ford was the best place for me. I talked with the owner and she agreed. What to do next?
That night I watched a show on the Discovery Channel about how the brain works and how sometimes a fleeting could save thousands of lives, change your life or ruin everything. The point is that it only takes one small notion of a thought to trigger more thoughts that may lead to a tremendous outcome..good or bad.
I was reminded of the "thought" I have had for eons. "I WANT MY OWN SHOWROOM" is what was pounding the inside of my skull. My thought wasn't small..it had just become dormant over time. I wasn't ready when I thought I was and when I had no reason to think I was ready is precisely when I was. How's that for thinking you know what the hell is going on. I got on the computer the next day and long story short, found and negotiated the perfect space and price point on a store front 15 minuets from my house/shop and in the thick of everything desirable to design minded shoppers. Two weeks before... this was not even on my radar. "How the FUCK did this just happen", was a thought I remember having after standing in the showroom the day of the opening.
Now having been open for one month I have the perspective of what a great asset "letting go" is. All of the achievements in the past have come on the heels of me deciding not to be an accidental victim of the way it seems we should live our lives in order to "prosper". These deep layered thoughts are as a result of evolution no doubt and take a lot of work to suppress, but man is it important. The store is thriving in its infancy and Sundeep & I see so much ahead that its like being drunk before you've even arrived at the bar. I don't drink....but, I assume it feels that way when you do. The anticipation of the future is intoxicating...or destructive if one isn't careful.
I 've learned that my life will always be a series of stages and I have always tried to move into the next with the hindsight of the last...it's worked out well. What more could I ask for!
No, not that first time..but today was a first for me and the Atomik chair. I have made them from the outset with painted seats and I have a client in NYC who has requested one in all walnut. This has turned out so beautifully that I am foolish for not having made on before. But...this chair is such a tough build that making one is almost too much for my 35 year old body. Hard on the hands for sure.
I absolutely love to film footage of almost everything I make. Finding the right framing for an object is something that seems easily repeatable.... but it isn't. I always have such a clear thought in mind of how much time it will take me to finish a commission while filming..but it always takes twice as long. I should learn by now, but I haven't. I have been blessed with a client in NYC who has ordered several pieces from me due to being on the cover of CA +Home Design magazine last year and below is some early footage. I am filming the birth and ultimate completion of the Atomik Series No.1 chair that will serve as a new whyrHymer commercial for all to see. You'll even see it go in the box!
When I started to build furniture the one or many aspects I never counted on was all of the additional opportunities to be creative. Having just watched a documentary last night about how art makes us human & how being human allows us to make art, I felt very in tune with my ancestors for sure. Below you see the tear sheets that are used in the design business for designers to use in their planning of a space and they are generally very boring. I have a problem with being boring...it's like being an asshole to someone....you don't have to be.
So with my new-found business 7 years ago I embarked on becoming a graphic artist without realizing it..... It's funny how true "necessity is the mother of all invention" really is when you see it in your daily life.
So lots of time and a pirated copy of Photoshop CS something another later ,we get what you see when you go to whyrhymer.com. I have to give major credit to TOKY for being such a generous soul with sharing his knowledge on many of the "structural" details that one should know when doing this work on your own.
I have had such a great time creating my ad campaigns and the overall look of the website that I just can't fathom ever letting go of these duties.
I love hitting the end of a chisel as much as I love the click my mouse.
The Atomic Series No.1 chair is one of those deceptively complicated chairs that look simple to build.....but isn't. For one, that painted seat is a time bandit and each section of the seat requires a different template so they all line up correctly since no one is the same width. I love this chair so much. Since I have made this film ,I have placed the chair in DeSousa Hughes' showroom and the chair will be featured in a "Whats New" section of California Home Magazine in the upcoming issue. Having the opportunity to show this piece and several of my others in such a respected and dynamic showroom has opened a world design possibilities that didn't exist for me only one year ago. These clients also care about material choices and I love the fact that the entire chair is made from FSC Certified Walnut and Euro Beech. Cheers to never being content with a design until you feel it's truth in your soul.
Lighting is incredible. It's very frustrating at times.... it's magic all the time...... and most importantly, it influences how you feel when you are near it. Think about this the next time you are in the company of a beautiful light source. I knew lighting would be one of the most important business models I could develop for whyrHymer because most furniture designer/makers don't focus on lighting in a personal context as someone like myself can. Most of the larger companies lighting is generic and boring to say the least. But I have been fortunate to have found some great resources that have allowed my visions to manifest into what is my lighting collection today.
As much as I love the challenge of all the lights I make, I look forward to a cabinet or chairs after two or three lamps in a row. Lot's & lot's of small steps and details. Safety is also paramount, which is the focus of the accompanying short film. Take a look feel free to share it with everyone and enjoy!
My friend and fellow artist TOKY has ventured into the fashion business along with his photography. I mentioned to him recently that I used to have a t-shirt that said " I Rock" on it and now that I made a rocker, I should make one for myself. So he did it for me and here it is... Unfotunately I have to charge the same for the "I Rock" t-shirt as I do for the actual Kalifornia Rocker. Just kidding. But seriously, if someone wants one, let me know. They are $22.50 and you can get it in any color or size.
I am hard at work on editing images and wanted to share a few hot off the press...
One of the greatest aspects of having a nice home for us is using it as our private showroom. We are able to have clients over to see how all of our work lives and breathes in the environment it's intended for. We had a couple come down from Oregon today!! They called last week, but we never heard back, so we thought "oh well". They called today to say they were in town and came by and looked at everything with a lot of enthusiasm. I make all of these pieces and am so used to seeing them that I loose sight of the magic they posses. I am reminded of that in moments like today when I see their eyes widen when I turn on a lamp... or they sit in a chair. What a feeling.... Here are some pictures of the latest piece that was sold to clients who came to confirm what they saw on the website and walked out three weeks later with their new custom sized Wood Series No.6. Thank you to Michelle and Ming Wu. I also have to give a shout out to my shop assistant Don Bialik for putting a lot of great work on this piece.
There is often times that doing what you want in life feels as though it's tearing you apart. But the older I get and the more I grow spiritually the more I realize there is no sustitute for time and what that time will manifest for you. Respect it. Being a creative person has it's challenges to say the least, but are they really challenges, or new paths? I am so thankful for my abilities and the insights it brings to my soul. I go to sleep knowing that my understanding of this and my dedication to evolving as a whole, feeds our baby and keeps our bellies full. How could life be any more meainigful and simple at the same time. There really is no mystery to it at all..........