PQ News & Announcements
This morning I was demonstrating a test prep app for a coworker when a fellow co worker took note of my new iPhone 5s. He did so with such exuberance that at once there was a cadre of iPhone 5s admirers gathered around my phone inquiring as to specs and software. I know at this point I am supposed to say something remotely coherent, even intelligent about Apple and IOS technology, but instead I find myself looking with envy at my co workers clamshell phone. Mr PQ just wilted slightly, dismayed I’m certain that his tactic of showing me the new slider that gives easy access to a flashlight has barely moved the needle with me regarding IOS euphoria. I learned some time ago that while my Apple products won’t help me cultivate my garden, they do allow me to consolidate my tasks so that I have more time to cultivate my garden and that is indeed fruitful.
When you enter the world of e-commerce and begin talking with various consultants the conversation eventually leads to dropping the name of “a guy” they have overseas who can mass produce your product with shoddy materials and psuedo craftsmanship, while guaranteeing great margins. There is a prolific market for cheap crap, as non discerning consumers push for more and more. While business can be built within this paradigm, it’s not building with impunity.
“Knowing yourself is the beginning of wisdom”
In spite of it being 95 degrees and humid here in the north, with cicadas buzzing in the trees and the sun lingering in the sky for a full 14 hours, it feels more like the holidays then the tail end of summer. In our household, by the time December 22nd rolls around, every present under the tree has been shaken, measured and categorized with prolific guessing as to what will be found Christmas morning. Every so often I’ll find a package with a corner that has been peeled back to reveal a small peak of what’s inside. Sometimes we will go to great lengths to wrap packages inside of packages to deter this espionage, but at other times its more fun to allow some insight so the suspense grows.
A post from Mr. PQ
Really Brian, Part Deux? Yes, really. After Mrs. PQ's last post we got a wee bit of feedback from our French loving friends. Surprisingly they were not that excited that she placed the French language and swearing in the same category. So I thought maybe pay tribute to French in the title of this post (aka damage control).
This is the second post about why Kari, myself and the team are really passionate about the word 'Crafted'. In my previous post I mentioned our hard fought battle to find Buckram cloth that was not butt ugly. We finally did and could not be more proud of the Cartella Linen Case for the Macbook Air that utilizes a gorgeously strong linen buckram cloth.
From Mrs. PQ
The other day I saw a book entitled "How to Learn French in a Hurry", and after checking my credit cards to make sure none of the quills were covertly planning to wing their way to France, chucking their education to follow their muse, I began to ponder how one might "learn french in a hurry". Teaching a teenager to drive your new car with manual transmission immediately came to mind. There was a whole lot of "french" *that evening, coupled with the smell of a grinding clutch. Opening a report card to discover the kid was serious when she decided to "just give up on school" spring semester. As I confiscated her iPhone some sort of language accompanied the fire blazing from my eardrums, that, while indiscernible, was mutually understood.
One other way to learn french in a hurry is to go to an e-commerce site, find a product you love, and then become foiled by technology, unable to make a purchase.
A 'PSA' from Mrs. PQ.
There is a certain craziness in the air when retailers begin stocking back to school supplies next to the aisle of clearance red, white and blue bunting, patriotic frosting and leftover fireworks. There isn’t a kid I know who wants to trade in the sun-tanned, mosquito-bitten, Kool-Aide-smile life of summer for the hard desk chair, homework every night, life of fall on July 5th. However, retail drives the rhythms of life at least for one mid summer afternoon at the Pad & Quill household because Mrs. PQ knows if you don’t jump on the school supplies in July you will be paying full retail in August.
With four kids to equip with pencils, notepads, and clothes, (god forbid we can’t forget the clothes), there are no greater phrases then “discount” and “sale” when it comes to shopping. Except perhaps, “Mom, I need a new backpack, can we go to REI?”
Some thoughts from Mrs PQ.
"Without craftsmanship, inspiration is a mere reed shaken by the wind."
So, here we've arrived at the end of the 3rd year of our little family company. Even now it's hard to discern if the inspiration drives the craftsmanship or the craftsmanship drives the inspiration. Brahms saw his inspiration flowing down as ideas from God that he would see take shape in his mind as harmonies and orchestration. He then put Quill to parchment and penned some of the most beautiful scores of all time.
At Pad & Quill we are surrounded by inspiration that comes from multiple angles. Whether it be the beauty of the Baltic Birch and leather we use in our iPad and iPhone cases or the dedicated and diligent work of our employees, or
That's a word I really love. Crafted. It lends to what Kari and I are all about. When your really thinking about what drives you, motivates you to get up and look through new designs and products I'm finding I can't get this awesome word out of my head!
Terms like 'handmade', 'designed', 'curated' are all great descriptions that we both have used in the past to describe our products. But c'mon! Crafted. I mean, that says it all about what drives us and where we want Pad & Quill to go. We love crafting the old with the new and we think when you do, something really amazing comes out on the other side.
Some examples you ask? Sure!
We love crafting old with new regarding materials. When we pick a material, we really think it through and drive our vendors crazy. I assure you I've had some serious eye rolling because I don't pick the standard material, it has to be just
Summer is officially underway, and sadly, I am already underwater. I’ve typically hit my summer groove a few days before the urchins take their last exam, but this year the final exams were more herculean then usual and we were sprinting and stumbling right up to the final day.
I plotted math education and reeducation with a friend over coffee and deduced that with a little effort my one child might actually graduate from high school and therefore from my basement after all.
Rowing season began with a two-hour practice and ended with the consumption of a large pizza, half a pound of grapes and a pint of chocolate milk. Hence, Feed My Starving Children takes on a whole new meaning.
In the Pad and Quill household, after we pay the employees and Uncle Sam, the vendors and the merchants, the mortgage broker and the guy who keeps the lights on, but before we buy clothes or dinner out, we give. I swallow
Pad & Quill is going through some growth changes and this has reminded me of my own awkward transitions. The passing through of eight middle school springs now, I’ve noticed a certain trend associated with the greening of the landscape and the return of song- birds from the south. The inevitable homework assignments beseeching a parent to walk down the tortured, awkward, memory lane of their pre pubescent youth.
“Who taught you health?”
The gorgeous 6th grade substitute that all the girls had a crush on, who later decided to teach “health” to my best friend’s mom and well, that was awkward.
“Mom, I can’t write that!”
“Who were your friends?”
I was so shy I was left choosing between the girl who spoke in a self-invented language somewhat akin to Farsi and the boy who ate paste. Since