Looking back at 2013, it’s hard to believe that a year has passed since we successfully cut our first piece of steel over Thanksgiving weekend 2012. After several failed attempts to create the first pieces on the CNC machine, we bought a book and CD of Dover Clip Art. We picked out a caribou to try first. Couldn’t tell you at this point why we picked a caribou. Nice clean lines and looked easy. We used the copper patina with black accents and were ecstatic with the finished product. We were easy to please!
Looking Back at 2013
Our first success led to Christmas 2012 presents for Mike’s family members. He also created his first motorcycle (the softtail classic) from a jpeg image for his son’s in-laws. The lessons we learned in those first few weeks challenged us and strengthened our resolve to start our new business. We researched available business names and settled on Sunriver Metal Works. This gave us a unique identify as well as a location. In no time at all, we had our DBA and TIN and were on our way. We worked with Alpine Internet in Bend to help create a website that we can maintain.
New Products and Shows
In the months that have followed, we have created some unique metal work and met many new friends:
- Metal Motorcycle Wall Art
- The Diamond Trout (aka Square Trout) and resulting commission work described in our blog post “Gone Fishing“
- The Mt. Bachelor Address Sign and a multitude of other signs as seen in our Sign Gallery
- A Home Decor line
We participated in three shows this year. The Fly Fishing Festival in Sunriver in late September, the Sunriver Traditions Holiday Marketplace in late November, and the Three Sisters Lions Club Holiday Faire in December. We had an AMAZING Christmas season in large part due to people we met at these shows, good old-fashioned word of mouth, and happy customers. And, we started to expand our social network through Facebook (more on that in a future blog post).
Working Two Jobs
Mike continues working a full-time job at the Bend LaPine Public Schools as a night custodian, while we try to grow the business into his real job! Pat works on the website, social media platforms, managing photos and office work. Both of us work on designing new products, cutting the steel, and applying patinas. Mike is the master of the CNC, grinding steel and applying clear coat. He has also become very proficient at the computer side of things.
Looking Forward to 2014
Our success has been slow and steady. When looking back at the year, both of us can see the amazing progress made and improvement in product quality. We are encouraged by the support and feedback received from all our customers. We are excited to see what 2014 brings!