steve duross - craftsman. artisan. entrepreneur. musings on running and growing a small business

Engines of Change

This time of year always has it’s pros and cons in retail. If you are like most retailers, you meet with reps, look through catalogues and online, and you order what it is you wish to sell for the season. Duross & Langel however is not like other retailers. We make our products rather than sell someone else’s brand, so it’s a ballet of man power, materials and packaging that begins mid year. The trucks arrive every week with new loads of materials, and after a bit, it spills over and takes up space everywhere. When we had the third floor, we had the space to store it. Now that I am back to my old beloved workshop, I am fairly squeezed. If you come by the shop you will find the staircase stacked with materials. We do not mind though. This time of year celebrates everything we do, everything we make, and offers us exuberant levels of creativity that will build the world we will inhabit for the year ahead.

This season began earlier than most. While we try to avoid making “Christmas” too early, we also are beholden to the requests of our customers. A balance is struck in that while we won’t really decorate until Thanksgiving, we begin offering everything we are making by the 1st of November. Personally, I have begun a mad love affair with glitter. And mica. My soaps fairly sparkle this year and it’s incredibly fun. Same goes with the bath bombs. Our fizzy maker is using vast amounts of confetti and sparkle in certain bath bombs to make your holiday pop! Seeing the delight when customers are shopping lets us know we are on track.
 
The generous outpouring of love and support I have received these past couple weeks has been overwhelming, and most appreciated. I know we all love our animal companions and find the idea of loss incomprehensible. Yet it is a simple fact of life. Having nowhere to go with my grief, I’ve created a line of candles specifically for grieving pet lovers. Growing up in a devoutly Roman Catholic culture, I was taught to light a candle, remember the love of the departed soul, and to celebrate the passing as a part of life’s journey. While I’ve left many of the religious aspects of my upbringing along the roadside, this tradition is still deeply resonant for me. The act of lighting candles for the dogs offers me a few minutes every day to sit and remember. To think of the happy memories. To thank them again and again for the love and companionship they gave me. Sarah and I have decided to sell these candle for you and your friends who are grieving the loss of a pet. We will be donating the profits from each candle to Segar Dog Park.