Wandering the hallowed halls of CES 2016 in Las Vegas is a heady experience at best. At worst it is overwhelming on a scale that rivals some of the busiest places on Earth.
That is to say, CES is BIG, bigger, in fact than ever before. 176,000 people (or roughly the population of Chattanooga, Tennessee) converged on this convention center over the weekend to see the latest breakthroughs in consumer technology from 3,800 exhibitors desperately clamoring to stand out from the crowd and get your attention, all jam packed in 2.47 million square feet of space.
We saw a lot of things that showed the trends and direction tech will take this year: 8K pixel TVs no thicker than a few credit cards, self-driving concept cars from the future, personal transportation devices of every shape and size, swarms of high-tech drones buzzing like an angry beehive, laser wielding 3d printers, smart watches on every wrist, and more VR headsets than you could shake a virtual stick at. Not to mention the thousands of smaller companies showing off their iPhone cases, Bluetooth headphones, laptop bags, and other accessories. Of course, these latter ones were of special interest to us.
What did we learn from all this?
More than anything else, our trip to CES cemented in our minds and hearts who we are as a company and who we want to be as people.
You see, to us authenticity matters as much as quality. As we strolled the halls and met with various people we couldn't shake the feeling that it all felt... impersonal, non-organic, and lacking in heart. These halls were filled with companies chasing the bottom line, making products designed to be mass produced, go straight to retail, and fill the shelves of your local Walmart, Best Buy, or Target. Pride in craftsmanship is replaced with speed of production. Quality of materials matters only as far as their price point, and the artisans themselves who make the products were all but forgotten behind a faceless corporation and fancy packaging. Not that there is anything wrong with all this, but it is essentially the opposite of what we are all about here at Pad & Quill.
For us, the product we make is just as important as the person who makes it. We not only use some of the best quality natural materials in the world, we also work with some of the best craftsmen and women in the world. That is why every Pad & Quill product we offer will soon be coming with a signature of the artisan who proudly put it together for you. We are artisans first, drawing on our roots of generations of hard working mothers & fathers, sons & daughters. We take true pride in our work and are willing to stand behind every product we make. That all starts with a simple signature.
2016 is going to be the year of the Artisan for us here at Pad & Quill. Look for exciting articles peeling back the curtain to show behind the scenes. We've got great articles and videos coming soon that will highlight the various men and women who work with us. We will also be showing the elaborate hand-craftsmanship that goes into every PQ product from a wooden iPhone case to a leather backpack. And hopefully, we will also be entertaining you all along the way.
We are a family run company. Every person we work with, and every customer we sell to becomes part of this family. Sure, we've got a few crazy uncles and aunts out there, but we are a family nonetheless. So if you are reading this now, welcome to the Pad & Quill family and we’ve got an exciting year in store for you!