Today, unexpectedly, Mid-Atlantic Mountain Works went public. Look for our symbol on the NASDAQ under…..wait.
OK, maybe not that kind of public, but public nonetheless. MAMW, as it has been affectionately referred to, has been a work in progress. I have been slowly developing my designs, building the website, sourcing materials, sourcing more materials, sewing, paying licensing fees, sewing, getting business permits, sewing, redoing the website. Did I mention sewing? In any case, I thought perhaps an inaugural blog post was in order.
As we have been in the development stage MAMW has been kept under wraps. Family and some friends were aware and I am positive all quite tired of hearing me talk about it. Regardless, everyone who knew has been wonderfully supportive. My customers so far have been pursued by yours truly (creepy right?), people I have sought out who have been willing to take a chance on me and help make my product better. Overall it has progressed pretty slowly but comfortably so far, which is not really the norm for me. I am obsessive at times, I get an idea or hobby in my head and there is really no moderation. It is usually full speed ahead and at the expense of something else I was fully enjoying at the time. I have lost touch with some hobbies and activities I use to love and I am sure when I started this, both family and friends were probably shaking their heads…jeez, here we go again!
So why start MAMW? Well, I love the outdoors. It is always who I have been, even if I have to go to an office every day and sit at a desk. Even if I can’t get out and rock climb, ride my bike, hike, camp, backpack, and take pictures as much as I would like or use to, the connection to the outdoors has never faded. I think this was implanted in my brain as a kid. Family vacations were spent camping in the Adirondacks, not on a cruise, not at the beach or in fancy hotels. Simple accommodations to do a simple but pleasurable thing. Those vacations were some of the best memories I have as a kid.
I made a decision to get back in touch with that kid. I want to spend my life doing something I enjoy. My day job pays the bills, but I would so much rather take this direction. Get myself back outside. Make things with my hands that others can use and appreciate. Things that get them outside too. Of course for now, MAMW will remain part time (please see lead times!) until it hopefully becomes something bigger and better, but that is my goal. I will do my best to grow this thing through consistently improving what I make, offer new and innovative items and even items I don’t make. Above all, I will do my best to provide the best customer experience I can. I may not always get it right, but you can rest assured I will try. I think ecommerce and big business has deteriorated the personal side of transacting. Customers can hide behind a computer screen, while big business can hide behind the high school kid they pay $7.25 an hour to sell you a $100 sleeping bag made in Asia by some elementary kid for 10 bucks. I know, I know, the kid can’t possibly be in elementary school…he’s working for crying out loud!
In all seriousness, I know, that is a simple and unfair view. Some companies produce wonderful products in Asia and some pay employees quite well and have great customer support and warranty service. I am not trying to delve into the economics of globalization or the drivers of a consumer economy and I know, this is coming from a guy who is launching an online business, primarily transacted through email and a website. But I want to make the point that I plan to do everything I can to make our products and your experience with MAMW one you can feel good about, a business right here in the Mid-Atlantic, offering goods made by me, just as many of the wonderful cottage vendors in this industry have done before me and continue to do.
I will wrap up this first post by saying I am both terrified and uncontrollably excited all at the same time. I knew that there was a chance this would get out before I was ready to have an official announcement or whatever, so this took me a bit by surprise. Gloves are off now bro! Hold on, that reminds me, I need to run downstairs and remove the training wheels from my sewing machine and cutting table. Be right back.
Some may say it is early for thank you's but I wouldn't be sitting right here typing this if it weren't for some pretty important folks. A big thanks to my customers so far for taking a chance! Jeremy, thanks for the pushing MAMW over the cliff today man. Time I learn to fly.
I also want to thank my wonderful wife, for putting up with all the hours I have spent, not with her, but with the sewing machine. There are not many people out there who would be so understanding and supportive. Thanks to my family…holy cow, if we have to spend another weekend brainstorming designs and ideas and talking about MAMW they may disown me. M&D, I am sorry you have so many crappy practice quilts in your closet; we will get you some genuine MAMW sweetness soon, I promise.
Thanks to all my friends I have had limited contact with while I Frankenstein these things in the basement. To Dutch& Keith, Allied Feather and others who said yes to some random dude wanting to use their stuff to make quilts with order quantities only slightly larger than the normal DIYer.
This thing either gets better or worse from here on out, so I wanted to say my thanks when I thought the timing was right. Hope it is…
NOW LET'S SEE SOME ORDERS!
Mid-Atlantic Mountain Works