July 2012

As a Small Business Owner

As a small business owner, a woman, and one half of a partnership bold enough to commence a business two years ago in Michigan's, and the globe's, challenging economic climate, I'm pretty excited to have, a mere 17 months after officially throwing open our portals, hired two full time employees. We (John Daniel Walters and myself by way of METAL) have doubled our staff and I hope more than doubled our opportunities even as we exponentially intensified our responsibilities.

This occupational expansion is both a risk and a necessity if we are to develop and better METAL's concerns. We want the best opportunities for our business, our community, our staff, and, actually, for each world economy and their populace. We want to improve conditions for the many rather than the few and so we dare to remain in motion and strive to effect "sound business practices" (in the vernacular of the day) but also to have the temerity to leap into some less trodden courses for a business of our size. Our quest to be a culture and community over a mere point of commerce is based on the striving of John and myself to remain aware of our effect on the environment via conservative use of resources and acts of reclamation and the sharing of materials (we share utilities and conveniences and even collaborative projects with Pot & Box our northerly neighbor) as well as feeling that "community" is the way in.

Life, economies, business, etc., all run in cycles, it is true. Innovation, creativity, inventiveness, however we reference the energy that sparks the imagination, also have cycles, which function like the tides. To stay in balance requires us to navigate the ebb and the flow of economics, inspiration, human exchange and swift moving technologies. My business partner and I, and now our staff, have to work smart, and diligently, to survive and to thrive AND to meet our goals of creative, visionary, enterprising and expressive works in an age and in a culture where "art" is frequently deemed valueless to a large majority of the citizenry and where the well designed, strongly made and beautiful is challenged by the cut-rate.

This employer, this artist, this, to hone it down, problem solver is gratified by our clients satisfaction and pleasure in our designs and in our constructions. I am fascinated by how others utilize what goes out of our gallery when they make off with a salvaged piece. I am ever curious about the fine art that people gravitate to and solicit us to make. I am eager to see how e-commerce connects us internationally and if it does so as much as our design capabilities have. I am, simply, and perpetually, intrigued and interested to see what happens next and how it happens.

As a small business owner, a woman, and half of a partnership that is artful and enterprising, functional and bold, I am excited about the possibilities that I see but that are, by no means, a guarantee of a favorable evolution. I am measured and yet brazen and fully acknowledge our need of both patrons and personnel that invite our very best and, in their trust and surrender, allow us to do what we do with verve and optimism and attention to the slightest detail to design and to make goods of the highest quality.