Down Memory Lane

October 15, 2019 3 min read 2 Comments

Down Memory Lane

So... next year is our (drum roll, please)...25th year in business! How can that be? It is amazing, astonishing, and utterly inconceivable that we have managed to stay in business for that long...AND stay married, for heaven’s sake! Somebody is looking out for us, clearly...I bet it has been a frustrating task, too.  

I imagine that most of you are aware that we had a whirlwind romance, married in record time, fled on an extended (and penniless) honeymoon in San Miguel and stumbled into our business. Neither of us with a lick of business education, experience, or sense. Yet somehow, some way, we have been able to keep our befuddled heads above water, create an authentic design/artisan made home accessories line with a little cult following, ride out the economic storms and strategic missteps, adapt and reimagine our sales channels to suit the digital age, house and clothe and feed our children and a bevy of stray dogs (and stray cats, and chickens and fish and even mice), and lo and behold, we are still standing, almost 25 years later. Who’da thunk? 

Most assuredly we are no business geniuses nor are we rolling around naked in money, but we have managed to survive, on occasion thrive, and pay for 3 children’s ridiculously fancy education. (Gawd! Why didn’t anyone warn us?!) It has been a wild ride and I can’t say it’s all been easy but I can say that I am proud of what we have accomplished. We seem to have built a teeny little niche brand, in spite of ourselves. Again, this is not rocket science, but I like what we do.There is something very gratifying about having an idea, drawing it out, collaborating with skilled craftspeople, then seeing it come to life. And it is especially pleasing if the design (darling little brainchild) is particularly popular..and sells like hotcakes! 


Which brings me to the point...to commemorate this miraculous 25th anniversary we are planning on reissuing and perhaps, reworking, some of our best sellers from the past. Sort of a limited edition golden oldies release. And as now is probably the time to get that ball rolling, I started digging through old press and catalogs in the office today to get ideas on which retired beauties are worthy of resurrection. I have included some of the treats I unearthed while rummaging through dusty boxes. 

 

 

Forst Catalog

{First ever catalog. Black and white, assembled with our own little hands, a paper cutter and metal fasteners.}

Bauble Lamp

{Bauble lamp. Very first design.

Gothic Lamp

{Gothic lamp. Pretty sure the first item picked up by a major catalog.}
Ballard Designs, thank you, Helen!
Forst show 1995

{Our first ever booth at Americas Mart in Atlanta, September show 1995

NYC Booth Drawing 

NYnow booth

{Our hand drawn booth layout to get us into High Design NYC show.

 

NY Booth

{Who remembers this booth set up in NYC utilizing our packing crates? Great looking but the worst for actually selling..way way too disjointed for order writing: 8 crates with 8 open vignettes styled by the talented Lisa Gruwell of Fortunata Design}


 

Box Set in House Beautiful

{House Beautiful April 2002 featuring the much beloved round box set.}
The press started to be really good to us in the early 2000s and I think a lot of that can be attributed to Elizabeth Mayhew who was at house beautiful in this era.

 

 

Jane in O at Home

{Jane featured in O at Home, Fall of 2005}

We will keep you posted on our 25th “old dog tricks” collection. Soon we will start posting some pictures of possibilities on social media so we can get your feedback on what you think might should or should not be included.

And, while we are on the subject of anniversaries...it follows that we will also be celebrating 25 years of wedded bliss shortly. We are headed to Italy at the end of the month! Shockingly, we have done nothing whatsoever in the way of planning an itinerary. We are flying into Rome and out of Milan. We will be there for about 11 days. We know we would like to stay in Rome for a few days and at least a couple of days in Florence. Any brilliant tips?...food, museums, gardens, hotels, air b & b's, side trips, whatever…we are open to any and all suggestions. Thank you!

And thank you to all of you who have followed, supported, promoted, encouraged and generally helped us along on our happy, if somewhat haphazard, dog trot. You a dog’s best friend and we love you fiercely!


2 Responses

Patty Flood
Patty Flood

October 17, 2019

I had my first encounter with Stray Dogs many years ago in an Atlanta show and was immediately head over heels in love!!! I was just starting my own adventure opening a small repurposed shop in a small town in northern Minnesota. However short lived that was, my obsession with Stray Dog Designs is far from over!
Congratulations on 25 years…. and thank you!!!

Guada
Guada

October 17, 2019

I remember you. What you were wearing and the lamp!! 25 years of friendship that is lovely!! Our life changed because of you. Let’s celebrate!!!

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.