Signing a lease, surveys and more.

Hey guys,
Just a note for all you folks who ordered notepads, I’ve sent out a survey to get all your contact information so I can send those out to you, just send us your addresses and notepads will be sent to you ASAP. ** If you ordered a combo of some kind you will receive your notepad along with your bag when those are shipped.
OK so lots is happening here and we finalized the notepad inserts with beautiful crème lined paper and a Nisnas logo watermark at the bottom, they look fantastic and I can’t wait to send out those pieces to you guys, I’m pretty sure you’ll love them. So, in the past few weeks Max and I have been driving around with a huge amount of Maplewood and Cedar wood piles in Max’s run down beater to get the laser cutting done perfectly at  our local model shop (it’s an cool place where you can laser cut your own model plane out of some amazing materials, fun place…). Once done we carried material for about 100 notepads, ipad covers, fenders and key chains to start the shaping process, lacquer, and finishing. It’s a fun process that Max is a master at and I mostly follow the lead J. Perhaps the most challenging part of this process, apart from the meticulous attention to detail is the piecing together of the different friends and partners who play a part in this final product. After all the leather products need to communicate perfectly with the wood bit, the glues and cutting tools need to all work in concert and this means good teamwork and fun meetings with some of the most talented people around.  We particularly enjoy work-time with our friend Misha, perhaps our favorite leather artisan. I sometimes wish we could tape these meetings and broadcast them to the world but I think maybe he wouldn’t like that. Misha is a quintessential hardass, the meetings begin with a grumpy hello, followed by some friendly, yet harsh criticisms of just about everything we do. Nisha is a Russian immigrant who used to be an engineer at the famed Russian car company Lada (known for indestructible- yet extremely uncomfortable cars…), he’s a picture of outrageous immigrant humor that we have really learned to love. Perhaps most importantly he is supremely talented and has a team of folks he works with who produce stunning work, just stunning.
OK, so on Monday we’re signing the lease on our new space, it’s part of an artist compound, we’ll be surrounded by a woodworkers, metal smiths and stone masons on all sides. It’s a good feeling to be there and it’s real creative community which is just amazing. We decided to split our community work in the Wadi from production for the next few months so we can do all the tooling, preparation for up scaling production and general setup without posing a danger to our youth participants. We have been approached by the Wadi Nisnas community center and offered a space there to work with local youth on our projects and we will be using this center separately from the production space till we merge sometime in the middle of this year. It’s going to be an exciting project, empowering local youth to become local ambassadors and lead their own guided tours in their neighborhood, both on bike and on foot. Should be fun, we’ll update here as it grows.
In the meantime please fill out the survey I sent out if you’re a notepad backer. Also, we’re in the middle of working on special projects using the same techniques we use for our bags on tables and other surfaces, I thought you might enjoy this table Max just finished, it’s inspired by local tiles found in older 1920’s buildings in our area. Cool stuff we might just be doing more of either with our youth or just on our own.
Next week we’re starting production on all the bags, lots more on that next!