Blood, Sweat & Tears
I am often confronted with the question: “How do you make your products?” And, while I am happy to share the majority of my processes, I am not seemingly comfortable giving away my “secrets”. After experiencing a large volume of such requests, I was inspired to write this blog post as an open answer.
Question: Would you have asked Thomas Edison how he invented the light bulb? Personally, I would not have. As someone who has created something through experimentation along with trials and tribulations, I understand the immense value of intellectual property and the protective nature that someone can have. I have created my products and processes through years of sweat equity, bloody fingertips and more than my fair share of tears. It’s not that I don’t want to help others (which I would hope would be obvious by now) – I just cannot bring myself to give away something that I have worked so hard for – something that I consider to be an actual extension of myself.
Frankly, I think that it is absolutely okay for me to feel this way. I have several friends who make art or own businesses with a unique proprietary method. In fact, I managed a coffee shop for several years with a “top-secret” after-roasting process that, not only did I never know, but I never felt the need to know. If you have worked hard to create something you are under no obligation to give away your secret recipes.
However, if you do want to be creative or start a successful business you will need your own special sauce and that is something that comes with time, trial and error. Part of what makes a product or company stand out is authenticity and I believe that you really can’t succeed without it. Upcycling isn’t just what I do, it’s what I AM. And I appreciate that is why you read this blog, follow me and support my business. It’s why you reach out to ask me questions – most of which I am happy to answer… until it comes to my techniques, my “special sauce”. For now, those are secrets that will be kept tucked away in my many spiral notebooks. Secrets which continue to take shape as I am constantly trying new techniques.
I encourage you all to create your own secrets.Find what it is that inspires you and just start experimenting!It likely won’t be easy and will surely require some blood, sweat and tears; but, without those key ingredient