Made in Vermont (Year in Review 2014)

As another year comes to an end we would like to stand back and admire the accomplishments of this past year.  As creative types we constantly feel the need to push.  Late nights, early mornings, burning metal, wood shavings and glue dried on our hands, ink on paper, fingers punching keys, we utilize all the possible tools at our disposal for one goal- creation. 

Matt and I have spent the past 4 years pushing to chase a dream, the dream of making and learning, developing our skills, lives, and business. We have crossed some major hurdles this year.

Erik left Walt Siegl Motorcycles earlier in the year to pursue working on the business full time. 

Matt has gotten settled in Burlington, where we have joined the Generator maker space and have met some truly wonderful people. http://generatorvermont.com/ Here we share in the same need to be something of our own making, in a womb of technology and creativity that is a maker space. Here we have constructed our own 3 axis CNC milling machine for making our Ironwood Stool tops and soon anything we can program into it. In this place we have also found many new inroads and connections and completed some of our most ambitious work as designers and fabricators. Generator is the first of it's kind in Vermont and really a wonderful way to help boost the economy by allowing businesses like ours to thrive, teach people new and emerging technologies, and bring like minded people together. 

Our little wood eater.

Our little wood eater.

Sometimes you wake up in the middle of the night and get restless, sometimes you can't focus on a movie or song or girlfriend because you are so intertwined with your work.  This happens a lot in our lives. One project that really consumed me (Erik) this year was the employee of the year award for Novetta. We had a very tight timeline, tight budget and a plethora of problems to solve. Utilizing everything from 3d printing to sandblasting we were able to create a epic award for a great client. This one had it's fair share of late nights, shouting at machinery, banging on keyboards, driving around for hours, and blood but you know what? It was all worth it! It always is. 

 

Growing up in Upstate NY I always pictured Vermont as my cooler older cousin who showed me dirty magazines and taught me to ride dirt bikes. With it's beautiful Green Mountains, Lake Champlain, great mountain biking, and forward thinking we have decided to make this place home for M//E Designs. After spending 10 years in NYC it was time for a major change. NYC is not going anywhere, but we are.  Making this great state our home has meant embodying the fiercely independent attitude of the mountain type while also embracing the community aspect of things like town meeting day and  farm stands, getting the feeling like you can actually make a difference. This is something that truly makes Vermont a special place. Great people, breathtaking vistas, space, peace and quiet, support of the arts, outdoor life, farming, buying local, eating local, and giving a crap about your neighbors are all things we find prevalent here. 

In a place with such a small population that struggles economically we take great pride in making our products here and trying to change that course. Just like the maple syrup or the cheese, many great things come from the hands of people here. We are trying to incorporate new technologies with old materials, new ideas in old places, combining the new direction of manufacturing with the same old principals that make this country/ state great. We are currently building the Ironwood Stool bases at M//E South in Brookline while making the tops at the Generator. Our eventual goal is to have a shop of our own, high tech tools, perhaps employ some people and give back to a place that has given us so much inspiration.

This next year will be a very important year for us. We look forward to what it will bring and have some really great stuff happening as we speak. We would like to thank everyone for their love and support. Building up a business is not easy and it puts pressure on many people other than just ourselves. 

To a Healthy and Prosperous New Year! 

Erik and Matt