The more things change the more they stay the same. At least most of the time. But the times they are a changing at Sunriver Metal Works.
The Times They Are A Changing
It’s been a minute since we’ve written a blog post. Seems like just yesterday when we featured unique Christmas gifts that Mike has created over the years. It was in October, and we had recently returned from our annual trek to Wisconsin to visit family and friends. The Christmas “rush” was starting, or so we thought. It turned out to be quite a dud for orders. In the past, Mike had pushed himself to get everything out the door for Christmas. Not so much this year. So, yes, the times they are a changing.
In a way, it wasn’t a bad thing that Mike wasn’t slammed. We were planning to go to Arizona over the holidays to see family and the grandkids. And, it gave us some time to reflect on what was different this year from previous seasons.
We definitely noticed that during the pandemic, orders came in surges. We wouldn’t have anything, then we’d have a bunch of orders. Our prices for steel, patinas, and clear coat were increasing, so we had to increase our prices. People appeared to be shopping around more and perhaps using less expensive media for their art and sign creations. And, the number of plasma tables have probably tripled in the last few years. Which results in a lot more competition.
The trend has definitely changed for our work. It seems that we started getting orders for much larger art pieces. People are searching for artists who will work with them to create custom pieces that fit their unique needs. We hear that there aren’t many people who will do that. And, that happens to be our specialty.
What Else Has Changed?
As hard as it is to believe, we have been doing this business for nearly ten years. And, we’re getting older. It’s physical work to manhandle the sheets of steel that become one of a kind pieces of art. Even with a gantry that Mike has set up, it can still be challenging to handle these large pieces.
The biggest factor is that we have finally acknowledged that we are ready to retire. Or getting pretty dang close. We’re ready to enjoy ourselves more and not work quite so hard.
So, yes, the times they are a changing.
We will continue to do the business for a while. We’ll know when it’s time. And, we may be a little selective in the projects we take on. So if you’ve been thinking about having some custom metal art created by Sunriver Metal Works, you might want to do it sooner than later!