We awakened to sunshine after a three day blizzard in our new mountain home. I had just finished Urban Maille's first website the day before, opened it for business, and told my jewelry making friends at the Creative Wire Jewelry forum that it was up and running. Gary was in the driveway shoveling out three feet of snow because we didn't yet have our snowplow, when our very first order came in. It was a big one, too! I ran outside in my heavy bathrobe and snow boots to tell Gary about it and we hugged and danced in that clear patch of driveway because that was the moment we knew our business idea was going to work. It was the best day, and we celebrate it every year.
We learned a lot in those early years -- you can read about many of our business lessons in ARTLAB, if you're interested -- and worked past midnight and past exhaustion more times than I can count. That's what it takes to start a business and that's what we expected, so we were up for it and it was very exciting and fun, but it was all encompassing in those early years. We made rings all day, slept in a heap of Malamutes all night, and that was our life and we loved it.
A lot has changed since those days. Most of those changes are good but my Lord, we miss those dogs.
Twenty years later, on our seventh website, running Urban Maille is fun in a different way. Gary and I are able to do so much more by ourselves now -- thanks to practice, refined processes and advancing technology -- and that level of efficiency means we've finally moved past just keeping up with orders and now we can advance our plans once again. First, we're restoring everything to the website that was ever there and adding all the tools and components we wanted but didn't have time to manage before. This is very satisfying so far, I'm really enjoying it.
After that, we have new kits in the works and I can't wait. It's been so long. After that, we have some product design ideas, but that's a topic for another time. Suffice to say, we have plans, probably enough for another 20 years, but maybe we can move faster now than we could before.
From the bottom of our hearts, we thank each and every one of you so much for all these beautiful years. It's been a wonderful adventure so far and I never want it to stop.
-- Aislyn and Gary