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I am an eyewear maker… but not just any eyewear maker.  I genuinely make the only eyewear of its kind on the face of this planet.  I started making eyewear out of a desire to craft and build things, but I didn’t have a shop so I had to make something small.  I wasn’t a 60 year old retired guy so I didn’t want to turn pens or make bowls.  I wanted to learn to carve.  As my operation grew my space stayed the same size.  For 5 years I pretty much built all my eyewear in a space no bigger than 10’x10’ (and thats being generous).  At some point I had outgrown my space.  It was time for me to either get a bigger space and turn the hobby into a business, or become root bound and never let it grow any bigger.  What is root bound?  Let me give you an example.
Isabelle is a tree… but not just any tree.  She is a tree that I saw on the side of the road in a dumpster.  She lived her life in a 50 gallon planter and served the standard purpose of landscaping the cement confines of someone’s condo.  To my best guess she is about 6 years old and weighs almost as much as I do and was dumpster’d because the idea of repotting her into something larger didn’t seem feasible to this lazy loser who throws away trees (i’m kidding it happens all the time but seeing as this tree is now family I’m understandably a bit defensive).  Due to her age and size she had literally grown her roots into every square inch of space her pot had allowed her.  She was definitely root bound and needed a bigger space.  So after being hauled into our truck, weathering hurricane force winds on the freeway, then being taken up 12 stories to the rooftop of our building, Isabelle has made her home in a part of our shop that not many people see: the balcony.  The balcony is where we built our spray booth and also where our crew goes to get some sun and relax.  The balcony was becoming a bit of an eyesore to me seeing as when something was not 100% trash then to the balcony it went – a manufacturing puragtory if you will.  Then, in walks Isabelle like she owns the place.  She immediately requested a skyline view next to the spray booth which just so happen to sit directly below the water drain from the AC on our top floor.
She immediately gave the balcony a new vibe.  She brought our cement balcony overlooking downtown LA back to nature.  I couldn’t see the balcony as just a work space any more.  Every time I went out there I felt like I wanted to see more nature.  I wanted a garden.  Isabelle inspired us to turn the balcony into what has become my favorite place in the shop.  So just like me, where I spent my first 6 years making my eyewear in the corners of rooms and then acquired a 2500 sq ft manufacturing facility, she too has a new home (from a 5.5 cu ft pot to a custom built 40 cu ft mansion).  She will now live the rest of her life with us and as we continue to grow as a company she will also have friends, and not just people friends. accommodation  You see, Isabelle has ever so cunningly inspired a new company concept.  Check out our next post to see what the tree has demanded ; )