Charles Dickens “The Tale of Two Cities”
I wanted to start this month’s blog with this quote because it feels so fitting for life in 2020.
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”
Doesn’t this quote just perfectly capture life today?
This past year started out with such promise and hope. This was the year that Carol and I had hoped to finally pay off all the debt left from the fire, which we have been carrying since the fire shuttered our business in 2017. Our business was recovering nicely and we had good sales. We were in the early development stages of some very exciting large-scale projects. Then Covid hit and brought everything to a screeching halt. We went from a robust business and cash flow to a trickle. As we wrapped up the few remaining projects that were in the final stages of creation just as the pandemic started to sink in, we went into survival mode thinking.
We are far from being alone in this sad state of everything here in the US and around the globe. As I look for ways to raise my own spirits and those of people around us, I try to focus on the true spirit of the holiday season for inspiration. As we have just finished Thanksgiving and head to New Years, I have given a lot of thought to giving thanks.
I am thankful for the hundreds of thousands of healthcare workers who are on the front line every day. The first responders, the police, fire departments and critical workers who put their lives on the line for us, every day.
Friends, patrons, suppliers and consultants who showed up to help Carol, Jon and myself through the daily sadness and worry for all those not as lucky; those who are out of work and worried about paying their bills and getting food. I try to remind myself of the good times we all shared, regardless of our political convictions, when we could peacefully and respectfully disagree with each other and not look upon the world as us and them. Mostly I give thanks to those souls who are trying every day to make the world a better place.
My courageous partner and beautiful wife Carol whose strength and wisdom guide us through every challenge we face. For members of the Collectors Club, Carol knows every one of you by name. She is a master at taking care of people, whether that be family, friends or patrons. She brightens every room she enters. Our members have become like family. On pick up days it sometimes feels like a warm family get together in the gallery. We truly appreciate each of you and value your support.
The Cavalry arrived
As to the nuts and bolts of our business efforts, even though we are considered a small business, help came in a slow trickle. Thanks to a passing suggestion from my older daughter Adrienne, Carol and I conceived and developed the Collectors Club. As we rolled it out and sent information to our friends, families and patrons the cavalry started to arrive in the form of signing up for our new venture of a subscription service. The Collectors Club has proved to be far more than we anticipated. Knowing we have glasses to design and make for you gives us purpose.
Ringing in the New Year
We are happily working away at creating the December glass of the month, Champagne New Year, representing the celebration of ringing in the New Year. Can’t wait to hear what you think of this one, it is a departure from my typical explosions of color. As you enjoy your favorite beverage in this glass you may be reminded of fireworks, confetti and bubbles.
In closing, thank you, again, for your support in helping Stone and Glass weather the storm. We wish each of you and your loved ones a happy healthy and loving holiday. Stay safe and please wear your masks.