The saying “Never Say Never” is truer today than ever before.
Never Say Never
When we started Sunriver Metal Works five years ago, we could not imagine where life and the business would take us. We started out small, developing products for a local fishing shop. Our website evolved over the years to become our main source of orders. We also learned that thinking we would never do something frequently turned out to mean that we would.
When we started out, we thought we would never be in an art gallery. We started out by doing mostly shows and enjoyed the interaction with customers. We quickly learned that the public is a bit fickle. Something that sells at one show becomes a white elephant at the next. We switched our focus to our website and quickly improved our visibility on the internet. The result – more contacts and more custom metal art. A local art gallery owner liked what she saw and asked us to apply to the juried gallery. We were accepted! What did it give us? Local visibility and new clientele. It has also given us a new platform to experiment with our metal art. Something we never thought we’d be able to do.
We both lived in the more populated Willamette Valley early on. The valley had everything we needed, or did it. The economy forced Mike to change his profession. Did we still need to live in the valley to start a new life together? The answer – no. We made the leap and moved to Central Oregon. And when we did that, we found the maker of our CNC plasma table in our area. Scott started Arclight Dynamics in Bend because he wasn’t satisfied with other tables on the market. He was instrumental in getting us into a table that worked for us. A smaller market worked for starting our business. But, being in a small community is no longer a limitation.
This sort of falls under the self-imposed limitations but is slightly different. Mike built homes for over 25 years. He understands how to make it work and juggle homeowner wants and needs with the contractors limitations. If you asked him during that time could he see himself doing custom metal art, he would emphatically say NO. And, you might ask why? Because he didn’t see himself as an artist. But, he solved building problems with an artistic eye. He just never looked at it that way. So, changing the way you view yourself will remove those limitations you imposed on yourself.
The moral of this story is to set no boundaries in life. Yes, boundaries are important in some things. Like raising your kids to understand limitations. But, when you are looking at life in general and your work specifically do not have boundaries to what you do. Stay open to the possibilities that might exist. You never know where they may take you!