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2021 State of the Company Address

Sounds official eh?

January is suitably cold so far. Sometimes it feels like normal.

It hasn’t been normal for a long time. I’m still here, and still sewing. My pace is slower, and my hours are greatly reduced by the compounded needs of friends and family.  Going forward, I’ll be conservative with my output, sticking to 4-6 of anything at a time. I’ll post product sizes and quantities in the Mailchimp messages (bottom of the home page) and accepts pre-orders for 1/2 that output. The rest will go on the website when they are finished. 

The one serious change is this:

There will be no more True North Boots.
I’ve built close to 1200 pairs in the last 22 years. Their time has passed. I can apply that energy to family and business.
I hesitated about pulling the page from the website, but the recent uptick in requests showed the need to make it official. No patterns. No kits. No instructions. No back stock. No passing the torch. These weren’t a product to take lightly, or build 3 at time. The minimum buy for liners alone is now beyond my budget. They’ve been a labor of love for decades. I’ve done well enough.
I wish you all a safe and peaceful start to the new year.

Natural True North Boot

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Itty Bitty Bites

Itty bitty bites.

Fall creeps in slowly to my shop. Both doors are open for the breeze, but the mosquitoes are gone. Chickadees land on the table, flit into the fabric rack, and snoop around the shelves. More than once, I’ve opened up in the AM to angry squeaks from an overnight guest.

As the early leaves turn orange, my inbox floods with requests. Harvest time puts us all in a pleasant panic. This year is slightly easier on our family because there is less school angst. We’re staying virtual. Pajama time.

Ours is a weird situation in a good year. I’m a guy in a garage, building expensive clothing for places that normal people don’t go. In truth, I’m uniquely set for working through this shitty year. I love what I do. I have no debt. I set my own hours, and I’m not a bad teacher.

This year taught me to say no. 2020 also proved that being unencumbered is a blessing.  I’ve crossed the country several times to help family. I’ll do it again pretty soon.

To that end, I’ve adjusted my own expectations for the next season:

  •  I’ll cut 2 to 3 of anything at a time, in regular sizes until further notice.
  •  I’ll limit #doomedblanket conversions to a set number per month.
  •  Facebook and Instagram are the place to go for current info.
  • There is no schedule. I’m planning about 48 hours ahead.

I hope you and yours are safe and relatively happy in this tough time. Keep your heads on straight. Be kind to each other.


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Still Breathing….

Wow. I thought 2019 was a stinker.

 December 31st, we coddled glasses of booze, feeling relieved. Our house still stood, we weren’t awash in debt, and our parents were home again or recently transplanted. Even the dog was in a cone. It was over.

Har. June 2020 landed with a thud. I’m tired of sewing masks and wiping down the groceries.

My* business reality is about the same as any ‘hand to mouth shop’. Materials are scarce or slow in coming. I don’t use much, but the disruptions will continue. I’ll keep stocking the standard sizes when possible. Medium, Large, and XL sizes go poof within a day or two, so  I’ve stopped sending weekly or even monthly Mailchimp updates. Keep and eye on our Facebook and Instagram feeds for up to the minute news.

Still, small shops can be flexible. I’ve noticed a dearth of nice blankets emerge from attics and spare bedrooms. Want one of yours turned into clothing? Now is the time to check in.  Search out #Doomedblankets on IG for lots of eye candy. Visit Boreal and Blanket Shirt pages of our website to see pricing, options, and a limited amount of stock built from blankets that lingered too long.

Looking forward:

  • White canvas is finally here! What little we have now will become anoraks and pullovers.

  • ATACS AU is the hot offering in the coming weeks…cause I have some…

  • Green wool still shows up when you pay for it. Grey will lag.

  • Matching shock cord is the thing of the past. You will notice weird colors with your purchase. I’m happy to swap those out when regular supplies return.

  • The USPS and UPS are slower than normal. This is good. Any residual pathogens from us will die slowly in transit. Still, we suggest letting your box sit for a few days before you rip it open.

  • You can stop by our driveway, but our protocols for trying on clothing are slow. Stay safe. Send cookies.

  • I’ve largely ignored the shop phone. It rings incessantly with robocalls. Please leave a message if you have questions.

  • I answer Emails daily when I’m working.

Thank you all for your patronage and your patience. I have a weird job in the best of times.

Be kind to each other.

*For the near future, my sewing help is idle. They’re safe and sane, but I cannot keep them busy.