Wednesday, August 27, 2014

smallness

I am often immersed in a world of much larger than me, small businesses.  The US Gov’t defines a small business as less than 200 employees - that is a lot of employees!  That means you are dealing with a lot of volume, cash flow, materials, data, clients, customers, etc.  That kind of business is huge to me.  Moop is a business that employs three other people, besides myself.  The four of us together can accomplish a lot.  We make a lot of bags, every day of the week.  The work is repetitive and labor intensive but, it results in really well made bags - bags that you’ll want to carry every day.  I know this because I carry our bags every day and so does everyone who works at Moop and thousands of people worldwide.  When I asked for photos of you all carrying our bags, you sent me the most amazing images of you in the most fantastic places - some close to home and some very exotic.  I loved seeing those.  I would venture to guess that a big part of why each of you have chosen to carry a Moop bag is because we are small.  I am so committed to our smallness that I think it frustrates those around me.  But, running Moop is not just my business - it is my lifestyle.  It is so integrated into everything I do.  For many years I talked about it as an extension of my creative practice but, it is my creative practice.  Moop has taught me more about what it means to live a deliberate lifestyle than anything else.  It has required me to balance and juggle so many things and has forced me to grow and learn on a daily basis.  7 1/2 years ago I never ever could have imagined I would be in the place I am.  I have worked hard to get here and so has everyone who has ever worked for me.  I have an immense gratitude for everyone who has devoted their days to helping me do what I do.  Currently, Jess, Gena and Jesse help to make that happen and they are, quite literally, THE BEST!  I had a birthday a few weeks ago and for the first time in my life I had emotions around getting older, how I have changed, the things I have experienced, where life will take us next.  I am looking forward to what Moop will look like in 20 years, who will be working on it with me and where it will have taken us.  In just a few weeks we are making another studio move.  When we moved into our current space, I thought we would be here much longer.  But, things change and we move - best not to cry about it!  Every time we move, I am reminded of the kind of people Jeremy and I are - we are the kind that will make your space fantastic by putting in our own sweat and muscle to make it what we need it to be.  One day, I dream of doing that in a building we own.  But, for now, it’s okay to be doing it for someone else because the direct benefit to us is worth the weeks spent building and sanding and painting and cleaning (while also doing our other jobs).  The new space will be beautiful when we are finished with it. I’m looking forward to sharing it with you, having a party and getting to make our bags in a space we worked hard to made great.  Thanks for reading my long ramble! I love what I do and love more than anything the support you all have shown us by allowing Moop to continue to make great bags.  Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

xoxo

Wendy

Friday, August 15, 2014

Home


I feel very lucky to call this place home.  This is the view from my bed as I wake up each morning. This summer, Jeremy built the small barn, the chicken coop and 4 large raised bed gardens. Tomorrow, we'll be photographing the Moop collection in this space with a bunch of my most favorite people. I can't wait to share the images with you.  It's been a long time since I've felt so inspired by a place, the people around me, the things I get to do everyday and the life I've worked so hard to build.  Hard work pays off.  Keep on trucking, folks and enjoy your weekend!
xoxo,
Wendy

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Bayardstown


We will be at Bayardstown Social Club this Saturday for a last minute pop-up shop with Deadbury DeadTugboat PrintshopCellar Door Soap and Steel City Cotton Works.  Bring your friends, your picnic, your booze and your conversation because we'll be there with bags and ready to hang out.  Starts at 6pm.  See you there!
xoxo,
Wendy

Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Pittsburgh Glass Center

Jeremy Boyle / Travis Rohrbaugh :: 2014

Jeremy has work in the upcoming Pittsburgh Biennial.  It opens tomorrow at The Pittsburgh Glass Center.  He's been working with glass and water jets at TechShop and The Glass Center for the last 6 months in partnership with glass artist, Travis Rohrbaugh.  The resulting work was complex to produce, subtle in design and completely beautiful.  We will be at the opening tomorrow - I hope to see you there!  
Event details can be found here.
opening August 1, 6pm-9pm
Pittsburgh Glass Center, Hodge Gallery
5472 Penn Ave, PGH 15206

Monday, July 28, 2014

Monday re-run


Here's that fantastic video Moosehead did about Moop.  Many of you have already seen it but, I can't believe this was almost two years ago - you should watch it again!  Not a whole lot has changed though...it's still me and my fantastic team designing and manufacturing each and every Moop bag.  I love this video..hope you do, too!
Happy Monday!
xoxo,
Wendy

Thursday, July 17, 2014

An audio interview


In February I wrote about the fantastic entrepreneurial resource put together by Jen & Omar from These Are Things and Chris Guillebeau from The Unconventional Guides - I contributed an audio and a text interview to the companion and Chris just released the audio file of my interview.  If you want to hear me talk at length about how I started Moop, why I value process and how an art practice informs what I do then download this to your itunes library and listen to it on your drive somewhere.  It's about an hour and the audio begins a little jumpy but, comes together fine (it was recorded via a Skype interview).  And, if you love it, you should consider purchasing the guide.  I purchased my copy a few months ago and spent a week listening to every interview and reading the guidebook from start to finish.  If you have little to no experience and want to start a business, this is a super great resource.  If you think you have a lot of experience, you will likely still learn a lot from this publication.  I am always looking to learn from those around me, never believing I have all the answers.  We all come to conclusions via a collection of daily experiences - ones that involve our relationship to the world around us which in turn, forms who we are.  There is much to be learned every day so, keep yourself open to it. 
You can purchase Designed to Sell, here.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Some Begins


Dear Pittsburgh, 
Tonight I will be at 707 Gallery to celebrate the opening of my sis-in-law, Jamie Boyle's, new exhibition, Some Begins. She and Meg Shevenock, long time collaborators, are showing their newest body of work. It will be beautiful. You can read their statement here.
My favorite line: Say it with today on the bus i sat next to eternity and it was very kind and it saved me a window seat.
Hope to see you there! Also, stick around for The Night Market where you can pick up wares from the likes of Tugboat Printshop and Reiko Yamamoto Studio. It’s a beautiful day for wandering around the streets of downtown Pittsburgh.
See you there!
xoxo,
Wendy

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Summer


This has been the summer of my dreams.  For the first time in many years, we took our first real vacation.  One that did not involve work or presenting at a conference or meeting with suppliers or installing a show or having a pop up shop.  One that allowed us to hang out on the beach, drink daiquiri's by the sea, eat oysters prepared every imaginable way, paddleboard to a tidal island, wake up early to wander the beach looking for shells, read books in the sand and jump on hotel beds.  Only to return home to gorgeous weather perfect for canoe trips around our favorite lake.  Our garden is flourishing, our chickens are growing, we have several building projects underway and our new summer bag has accompanied me everywhere - The Shopper no.1- I'm currently carrying one in natural and one in gray.  Things are good.  

Friday, July 4, 2014

The Shopper no.1


HELLO!  We just released a new summer bag!
The Shopper no.1available in five colors, including one made with recycled plastic soda bottles.  We’ve been taking this with us everywhere.  It’s a large, no nonsense bag good for a variety of things…especially summer beach trips, poolside hangouts and weekend car travels.  
We’re taking this to summer parties and sunshine this weekend, hope you are, too!   Enjoy these great days!
xoxo
Wendy & co.

Friday, June 20, 2014