Well its been, mental!
But we've made it through our first year here at the workshop. We've made over 100 orders, and taught so many classes to a variety of fantastic people, and we want to say thankyou to each and every one of you! Its been one hell of a journey so far.
So onto the updates!
How is Covid going?
Well, here in Manchester its... going! We've been in and out of lockdown, but we've been working really hard and we are now in a position to open up courses again! If you're on our mailing list, you'll have received an email earlier last month about this.
Welcome to our new helpers!
Here is a hello to my new studio hand, Tom! During lockdown, there's been a lot of tricky work to do from home, and as my partner has lots of free time during furlough, he's taken to helping out with emails, online things and bringing me plenty of tea and snacks! He also is fully trained to be greatly enthusiastic about things like lemon, which if you follow our instagram @wolfworkshopcraft, you'll know why!
Our second new helper is George, in all honesty he doesn't really help much and mainly just lounges in the sun, but he's great company.
So this has been our most difficult issue in the last couple of months. Two days after our last update in June, the Leigh Spinners Mill, where our studio was located, was sadly indefinitely closed after being served a prohibition notice from the Greater Manchester fire department. This was a huge blow to the studio, and has caused us to take a considerable amount more time to get back on our feet. This news was also out of the blue with no prior warning, causing us to be in a state of limbo and unknown until only the last couple of weeks.
With the UK Covid lockdown only lasting a short time before the intentional return to the studio, the space at home was... limited! With only immediately necessary tools and equipment, no organisation and a small workspace. The situation for orders has not been ideal. I want to say an enormous thankyou to everyone's support and patience on the cherry blossom bag, and with other orders throughout this time.
At the beginning of August, we were finally able to arrange the collection of our belongings, tools and equipment from the studio. And a space in our home has been completely repurposed and retrofitted to become a second workshop! Turns out the item I missed most was my cutting table, the floor isn't great!
This new space works fantastically for workshops and classes. With a much larger area, perfect for social distancing; we have also been able to accommodate a single private entry point and non-shared washroom facilities. This ensures much lower interaction rates than in the mill space keeping you as safe as we can.
The Blossom Bags!
And finally, what we know you're all here for... the blossom bag update. If you've skipped down to here, I recommend giving the Studio Move a read, as it'll explain a lot! On launch, I will be releasing a full range, this includes the pattern digitised by Helen Alice as well as painted and unpainted kits for you to gift or make yourself at home. This will mean more people have access to the bag should they be feeling a little crafty. I will also be including hour skype sessions for anyone with questions or help required. There are only THREE bags left to make. yes. Three. Each bag takes about a 1-2 weeks to produce, they're already punched, cut and some are dyed. I also have a couple more orders to complete, so right now I'm aiming an October launch. However orders will only be opened once all my outstanding orders are cleared. Which is moving along a lot faster with the new/reopened studio space!
In the coming weeks, there will be a poll posted online, and emails sent to the mailing list with more certainty. I want to communicate with as many of you as possible to ensure everyone has a chance. Each month there will be 4 slots opened. If these bags are completed quicker than schedual or I have less orders that month for other products, more slots will be released. Each bag is completely made to order, so doing small batches will mean I can give more definite time scales and adhere to customer deadlines.
The online poll will focus on the distribution of these orders. There are a whopping 2000 of you on that list and counting, so we're currently coming up with a few options to try and be as fair as possible. On launch, there will also be a raffle, where you can purchase a ticket and be entered into a draw to win.
What about the Maple Leaf and other pochettes?
Our workshop makes bags, any bags. I will make you a glorious candy cane backpack or a deep sea satchel with a portal hole if you wanted! You just have to message us!
If you'd like a different pochette, you can commission us. Just send an email to us here at the studio and I would love absolutely nothing more than to make you a beautiful bag!
Also, if you've read this far I want to say a huge thankyou. The "f" key on my laptop is no longer working so every instance has been pasted into this blog post. Press f to pay respects.