Cost or Community?

As a maker, we rarely get to experience a piece we build beyond the journey of the build itself.

I love the process. The mission to find the right materials, the balance between desire and budget, the joining of a client’s vision with the maker’s passion. We take great care to build something that we feel proud of, that we feel justifies our time, and the client’s money. The processes lead to the final product, it gets finished, buffed up and sent on it’s way to a new home. That is where the story ends for most pieces.  I mean sure, we may get a photo sent of a table in its new home, or a desk all set up to support a kid’s learning for years to come. This is always an awesome experience because it feels like they truly love the piece and are proud to have it in their home.

Recently I got to experience a build in a different light.

I was approached to build a large banquet type table for Public Liquor. Their vision was to have tasting events where they could showcase local breweries, wineries, and restaurants in a unique social setting where people could learn about these local businesses.

We figured out a budget, but unlike most builds where the budget is directly linked to the cost of the build, this project was going to be seen by hundreds, potentially thousands of people. Not only would they see my table, they would sit at it, feel it, eat, laugh, and maybe even envision having something similar for themselves. The client was very open to me branding the table, where everyone could see it, and keeping some of my business cards on hand as well. Needless to say, as a new business owner I was very excited to have such an awesome opportunity to showcase some of my work. It was kind of scary to sell something for less than you normally would, because short term it feels like a loss. The more I thought about it however, the more excited I got about the opportunity, so off we went!

There were hurdles along the way. The sanding took much longer than expected, the amount of knots to epoxy fill was staggering, I had a serious issue with the finish, had to put delivery off, spend hours refinishing. I wondered if the time I was putting into the project was worth the compensation.

Install day came and went. The table looked good, the colour turned out great and went well with the floor. I was happy with the final product

The client invited me to their first event and of course I wanted to go. Walking into the room and seeing the table, full of beer glasses, lined with people, was worth it all! All those extra hours spent getting it done, meant nothing when I saw people picking my cards up off the table. Watching them look closely in admiration, or curiosity, at the big epoxy fills. It was such a cool experience, one that I hope to enjoy again in the future.

Don’t always focus on the short game, because it’s the long game that really pays off.

 

   

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