Tuesday, April 26, 2016

You might want to sit down for this...

So... I have a secret to tell you.  3 weeks ago, Ang I made the decision to move to Austin, TX.  Well, if  I am being honest, I finally made the decision.  Most of Ang's family is down there so she has wanted to move down there for years.  But for me...it was never the right time.

Ummm...explain yourself please...
We made the decision long before we had kids that we didn't want someone else raising our kids and that 1 of us was going to stay home.  We knew that that wasn't going to happen working for someone else so we started coming up with a business plan.  2 weeks after we found out we were pregnant with our first, we opened Silentium Finishing... a wood finishing shop were we specialize in pre-finishing cabinetry, windows, doors, trim, and furniture.  Shortly after we had our second mini-me we opened {3:17}.  It was literally the first time that we had ever been to Afton when we happened to drive by what was then know simply as "The Little Red House".  We had never talked about opening a storefront, and we knew nothing about Afton but we called the number on the sign that night and signed the lease on our new store the next day.  The point is...I've never been afraid to take chances.  I've always been the type to just jump in head first and figure it out once I'm in.  The problem with being the sole provider for our family though is that, as much as I knew Ang wanted to move, I was never willing to take the risk.  That is until 3 weeks ago.

What we knew...
All of a sudden, all the pieces of the puzzle started to come together.  We had a job opportunity down there which meant steady income right away.  We bought a foreclosure home when the market was bad, pumped a little money into it, and are now sitting on a good chunk of equity in a sellers market so... that means we would have some cushion when we moved. 

Now the variables...
There were a couple things that need to happen for sure to make a quick move even possible.
1.  We needed to sell both businesses...quick.  And 2....  We needed to sell our house...even quicker.
The house was actually surprisingly easy.  The house officially listed at 11:15 last Friday and sold Sunday night for full asking price.  The businesses were the tricky part.  

{3:17}...
Here's the deal... We've worked hard the last few years to grow our little shop in Afton.  We've grown a pretty amazing and loyal customer base, we have put together an amazing group of vendors, and developed a ton of amazing friendships and relationships in the industry.  We've always had a clear vision of what we wanted our shop to be and we've always stuck to our guns.  When choosing who we wanted to take over our shop it was important to us that we kept it in the family so to speak.  Ideally...we wanted one of our vendors to take over.  Also, we wanted to choose someone that we were confident would continue on with our vision.  Sure we could of just sold it to another shop...that was always on the table if push came to shove but, ultimately, it is not what we wanted.  In doing that, everything we have worked for would simply go away as they would just come in as "their" shop.  Also...it didn't guarantee that any of our vendors would stay.  These are people that we have fought for, built relationships with, grown with as individuals and businesses...we are a family. 

Do you think she'll do it?
The decision process was pretty simple.  This is how it went down...
Ang:  Heather?
Me:  Yep!
We didn't need to talk about it, we didn't need some spreadsheet listing all the pro's and con's of multiple people...we just knew...it had to be Heather.  Many of you know Heather.  Heather is Elk Heart Design...she's the one with the sweet vintage camper that you always see at all our events!


She is also responsible for some of the coolest looks we've seen in the shop lately...




She is also the one who has always supported all of our crazy decisions in the shop (and there have been a lot of them) no questions asked.  She shares our vision of what we want our shop to be and truth be told...I truly think that she will be able to do it better than we did!  Though she tried hard to talk us out of moving to TX she did ultimately accept the offer!  We are grateful and honored to have her take over our shop and we know you will love her! 

So what now?
We have put a lot of thought into when/ how we wanted to announce this as well as how we want to make the transition.  Ultimately...we don't want to disrupt things too much.  We have decided to slowly transition out over the next month.  We will still officially be running "The Market" in May but you will see a new name.  Yes...we are keeping our name (we will be opening up shop in TX).  We want it to essentially just look like a re-branding.  Allow me to introduce...


See...same logo, different name.  Just a subtle change.  We will also be officially changing the FB page over to dwell. for  "The Market".   Again...we wanted there to be as little change as possible as far as you, the customer, is concerned.  We want to be able to introduce Heather and the new name while we are still here.  We don't want it to seem like we are closing...we aren't.  It's just a changing of the guard.

So come say goodbye, and say hello to Heather.  Please join us for our last weekend...  "The Market" in May.



-Mike & Ang


Sunday, April 24, 2016

"Is that peanut butter on your wall?" A look inside our home...

We hear it all the time... "Man...I'd love to see you house someday!"  Let's just pretend that that doesn't sound at all stalkerish (is that even a word?) for a second... there is another little problem.  You see...we have 3 boys under the age of 5.  3 of them.  Boys.  3 boys.  See where I'm going with this?  Most days the bottom 3 feet of our walls and woodwork look like some dickhead of a toddler decided to make a mural out of what vaguely resembles a mix of peanut butter, juice box, and dirt... could be shit (it's a very real possibility) but...lets just pretend it's dirt.  To top it off we we're very na├»ve first time parents and homeowners.  We thought at the time "let's have white woodwork...it'll be fine", or "let's use flat paint on our walls", or "let's have dark espresso floors", or my favorite...let's buy a light fabric living room set (cause that shit will stay clean).  Side note:  That was fun when we tried to get rid of the living room set.  I couldn't decide if I should burn it, take it to the dump (that would have cost money), or post it up on Craigslist with some brutally honest post and hope that some poor soul would decide they wanted it.  You can see the post here... "Free Couch".   That was the first time we failed at parenting, adulting, and well...pretty much life in general.  Side note:  don't be us...you're better than that.  You see the problem?  In order to take pics of our house that are post worthy...we literally have to re-paint the entire house, re-do all the woodwork, clean the carpets replace the carpets, clean throw a bunch of shit in the closets, stage, clean the weird sticky stuff off the camera lens on my phone, drink...a lot, and then...ta da.  Ahhh screw it... we would literally have to burn it to the ground, sell the kids, and buy a new house... then we could take pics.  Ummmm...no thanks.

Well.. as fate would have it... we are now selling our house and "apparently" potential buyers don't like to throw up in their mouth when they walk into a property so that means I had to...you guessed it... re-paint the entire house, re-do all the woodwork, clean the carpets, clean throw a bunch of shit in the closets/ boxes, and a 20 yard dumpster, stage, clean the weird sticky stuff off the camera lens on my phone, drink...a lot, and then..."ta da" we have ourselves some pictures ladies and gentlemen. 

So here it is... "Our Home"




















-Mike

"We met through mutual friends"... and other lies we'll tell our kids.

Ang and I met 10 years ago "through mutual friends".  Well...that's the story she will tell you anyways and it is certainly the version our kids will hear but... that's not quite how it went down.  Truth be told... it was really quite romantic and glamorous.  It was the fairytale encounter that every girl dreams of...the type of stuff you only see in movies.  We met at a bar.

*I'll just let that sink in for a minute...

Me...
Ok well...both "versions" are actually true.  Mari, one of my best friends since elementary school, had just started dating a guy (Eric) from Houston, TX (pay attention...there's a test later).  Things were starting to get serious and he was coming up to visit for the weekend.  She wanted me to meet him when he was in town so I could scope him out and tell her what I thought of him.  I was supposed to go to UND that weekend to visit my little sister but... Mari was one of my best friends and I wasn't about to let her date a douche bag so it was set...we were heading out downtown because...you know...what better way to really judge someone than to get them drunk, in a city they've never been to, and then interrogate them.  Brilliant!  Anyway...I approved.  Now they're married...coincidence??


(Mari & Eric)


Ang...
So... Mari worked with Ang's aunt (Miriam) and they had never hung out outside of work before but somehow found out that each of them were heading downtown and they decided to meet up.  Miriam just so happened to be going out with Ang that night. 



(Ang & Miriam)

The moment we met...
Then it happened.  We (Mari, Eric & yours truly) meet up with them (Miriam &Ang).  Honestly... I can't remember which restaurant bar we met at because the moment I saw her, she was all I could think about.  I new right then that I was either going to marry her or stalk her...either way it was a win.  We proceeded to walk over to this really quiet, romantic place called Spin Nightclub.  I mean...this place just wreaks of class booze and desperation.  But...we proceed and throw caution to the wind.  Once we entered said classy place Ang disappeared.  I literally didn't see her the rest of the night...until...last call.  I randomly run in to her again at the bar, buy her a drink, and decide to ask her out.  You know...because when a girl you just met ignores you all night, the only logical thing to do is to ask her out.  But...no shit...it worked.  I got her number.  Side Note:  On second thought... maybe her version does sound better?

The dreaded phone call...
I waited 3 days 1 day and called her.  Here's what I know for certain about that moment...
1.  She answered the phone so...she actually gave me her real number. 
2.  She had absolutely no idea who I was (there may or may not have been some cocktails involved).  She did however enter my number in her phone as "Mike- Mari's Friend".  She knew that Miraim worked with Mari, Miriam liked Mari, and I was friends with Mari so I couldn't have been that bad.
3.  She actually agreed to go on a date with me which was essentially a blind date for her since she didn't remember who I was.

Things are looking good right!?

The first blind date...
Ang had always dated the same type of guy... the hockey player, Abercrombie & Fitch type guy.  Then there's me.  Keep in mind that this is a blind date for her...she answers the door to some guy with ripped jeans, tattoo's, piercings, and a mowhawk.  Yep...that happened.  I'm pretty sure at this point she thought she was going to die but, bless her heart, she went on the date anyway.  She didn't expect things to go well but we ended up hitting it off right away.  It was the "easiest" first date either one of us had ever been on!  It was like we had been friends forever and were just picking up where we left off.  The evening just flowed and we had set up our 2nd and 3rd dates before we even finished dinner.




Happily ever after...
I wish I could say that everything continued to just flow after that first date but this is Ang were talking about here.  Lets just say things didn't always go as planned.  Ang and I dated for 4 years and during that time she actually broke up with me 3 times.  The first time she called me and gave me some line about how she didn't think we had a connection and maybe we should just be friends.  Ummmm...como se what?  Yea...even Miriam thought she was crazy when she told her that.  That break up (break up #1) lasted about a week.  The next one (break up #2) was even better.  She called me while I was at work ("apparently" she has a thing for breaking up with me over the phone) and told me to "pack my shit and get out by the time she got home".  First of all...this is sweet little ole Ang were talking about.  Second of all...WTF?  That lasted until I got home that day to officially "pack my shit and get out" where she swiftly apologized and proceeded to tell me she just "had a bad day"  Side note:  What the hell am I getting myself into?  And the 3rd time...well...I honestly don't even remember the specifics of that one but it was short lived like the rest of them.

Livin' the dream...
Fast forward a little...we got engaged and got married.  I'm still not even quite sure how I got her to say yes.  I think maybe she was either in a coma at the time or confused about the question...either way...I'm pretty sure there was a nod or a slightly audible yes in there somewhere.  Shortly after we started our family.  10 years after that drunken stupor night, we have been blessed with 3 little boys who keep life...well... interesting.  I document some of the craziness over at my dad blog Tonka Trucks & Tattletales.  I am blessed to be married to a fiesty Christian women who's idea of a swear word is "goodness gracious".  We rarely fight because, come on, you can't really take someone seriously in a fight when they come at you with "goodness gracious".  Am I right?  Anyone...anyone?  We have had an amazing journey together so far and I can't wait to see where our next chapter takes us! 






-Mike