Onward to 2020!

Hi guys, and thank you for sticking with us through our creative adventures! As we roll into 2020, I once again notice how rarely I update this blog and thus all the stuff you guys never get to hear about. So, here goes:

Building Update!

IMG_20190906_110628
Back room, our big project! Tearing out the old rotted flat roof.

The great adventure that we moved into two years ago and purchased last year is crawling towards being a better and better building.

The first good update? It’s not raining inside anymore! Yes, we got our roof repairs done and took away Nathaniel’s serenity waterfall. It will still need a more complete roof replacement in the future, but this is a huge positive step.

There is still lots to do. Apparently the constant moisture was the only thing holding together some of the floor boards back there, so now that they aren’t constantly getting wet the wood started to crumble. So, one more thing to replace before we can really open the storefront.

But it is all fixed enough that we can occasionally open to guests… and we’ve done a lot of fixing to the front as well. We hope to soon exhibit local artists in our big front display window rooms!

Major Projects

IMG_20191208_111310-02We have had some ambitious moments this year, some bursts of wild creativity. Some have been successful, some have not. Fixing the building has delayed getting our rental inventory really built, but we have found a greater interest which helps.

Of course, one of our coolest projects this year was the Amethyst God Hammer.  Because sometimes you just want to make something absolutely awesome,

And speaking of “cool,” we had one silly little thing to combat the intense Virginia Renaissance Faire heat take off more than expected this year –fan holsters! Seriously, I could not keep these in stock for a chunk of this summer.

The building took up a lot of our time and interfered with a chunk of our productivity this year, so hopefully 2020 will mean a lot of new awesome coming out of the studio!

Shows We Did

We did a lot of our old standbys this year – Madicon, Virginia Renaissance Faire, Dragon Con – but we always try to add in a handful of new. We’re experimenting with where our new “local” is, and as a result how far south we are willing to go. We started off our 2019 season in Atlanta and ended it in Orlando! Ah, nice weather in December is delightful…

We’ve been sticking to more renaissance fairs and less comic conventions in the last year, a trend that will probably continue. We generally do well with our unique blend at small renaissance festivals. The comic convention market has been interesting over the last year or two, so we’ll be keeping an eye to see what happens.

We are expanding into more horror and haunter events. We were not able to do the haunted house again this year, but we’d still love to try again in the future. But we’re going to start off our 2020 at Hauntcon, to promote our custom services to the haunter and Halloween community! That should definitely be fun!

So, here’s to 2020 everyone – may this year be better than the last, and may we make all of the awesome things!

 

Looking Back on 2018 – The Good, The Bad, and the WTF???

20180208_154144Hi guys! Thanks so much for sticking with us through a crazy year. As promised on our recent Facebook/Instagram post, here’s a quick run down on our past year! And I’ll go more in depth with pictures and other awesomeness soon.

Let’s start with The Good, shall we?

  • We’re still working on our awesome old building – which we are now the proud owners of!
  • We have two “sibling” businesses that we opened in support of our main business: Cynthia is running the Crooked Treehouse, a gift shop featuring our pagan/new age work, the work of other local artists, as well as crystals, candles, and other pretties. Nathaniel is launching The Olde Post Office Theater & Game Parlor, a black box theater, game space, space for classes, and general space to come and hang out.
  • We’re getting involved with our business neighborhood, The Boulevard, and we can tell the efforts are starting to be noticed.
  • We ran our first ever haunted house this past Halloween! Each night got progressively better, it brought in new friends and contacts, and helped more people know we’ve got things going on around here.
  • We made some absolutely amazing things! Our first ever major mascot cosplay commission, leather armor collaborations… We made stuff we are defintely proud of this year.
  • Lots of new contacts, new friends, new opportunities – some of which we can’t talk about yet, but I will definitely be better about sharing them when we can.

Now, The Bad

  • This was not a good year for our show circuit. Starting off the year with what happened with JME/Steampunk World’s Faire putting one show at low attendance followed by a show not happening and being out that money… then being out other shows, parts of shows, or attendance due to weather, luck was not with us.
  • Oh god, the weather! Our rainiest Virginia Renaissance Faire ever (actually led to one day closing completely – check out our video of the river!), two hurricanes through North Carolina…
  • … And speaking of that, we still have not gotten our roof fixed. We’ve gotten quotes for it, but still working on that whole fundraising thing. The rain and wind were not kind to it, so we’re currently working out of about half of the building.
  • …And because of that, we have not yet been able to open the building to the public yet. Sorry guys!

20180831_165003The WTF???

Okay, the WTF is not nearly as specific, but it’s been an interesting year of good and bad working together in really strange ways.

  • For example, fighting with our roof and trying to figure out ways to get it fixed was part of how we ended up buying the building, which opens up all new opportunities for the next year.
  • Going to a tiny show that we did mostly as a filler to try and make up for ones we lost due to weather didn’t net a lot of sales… but it did open us up to a whole new potential part of our business that is now in development.
  • Not being able to open the gallery yet is part of what drove us to open the other related storefronts… which are starting to feed each other in a nice communal way.

So long story short, thank you everyone for their patience this year! We are hoping we’re about to be past a bad year hump, and we have some great plans coming for the next year!