The Shop Dog... Kale

I am a dog person.  Cats... not so much.  I have always had dogs.  2 years ago our family adopted a sad faced black border collie / labrador (Borador for short) from a local rescue.  He came to us with the name "Boots".  Being as I am not much of a cat person I especially am not fond of dogs being given cat names... like "Boots".  

My first dog that I was "gifted" (don't ask) during college I aptly named "Guinness" after the beer.  This was a manly name.  So obviously the name "Boots" had to go.  I am outnumbered in our house 2 girls to me (and the new male dog who unfortunately is a non-voting member).  

So the ever important task of naming my soon to be shop dog was upon us.  I was excited for the possibilities.  Maybe Edison?  Tesla?  Volt?  All cool names if you ask me and very fitting for the shop dog of a lighting guy.  Yet, after very little deliberation and input from yours truly the name for our new dog was Kale.  Yes.. Kale, like the leafy green.  Black dog named after a leafy green you ask?  Don't get me started.  You see our family was on a bit of a vegan eating kick and I will leave it at that.  My wife and daughter loved the name Kale.  I did not.  So we compromised and his name is Kale.  

Kale is the CFL of Lucent Lampworks.  Its a pretty sweet gig for him.  Free room and board and meals, full dental, full healthcare, plus unlimited vacation days.  Being the Chief Face Licker (CFL) of my company does require some work.  He is the client greeter, tennis ball dropper and morale booster.  I say its win win for all.  

Kale the Borador

Kale the Borador

What does US Made really look like?

I love the old buildings from the industrial age of this country.  From the weathered age and color of the brick to the rusted color muted metal detailing of these tattered buildings.  And the vintage industrial lighting was just so cool in that era.  The simple utilitarian nature of these structures is just perfect to me.  I would hope to have my company housed in one of these unique old buildings someday.  Someday.

We live in a global economy.  No sense in denying that fact.  If you want anything made you have choices all over the world.  I want to start this by saying that I am not anti-global consumerism.  As I walk around my house it is hard to deny the presence of items made all over the world.  It would be hypocritical for me to say I am against that.  But in my personal life as well as in my business I make strides everyday to buy more local, buy more from small businesses with grounded roots here in the US. 

The first time I met David (the owner of a 3rd generation metal stamping company) I knew it would be a long relationship.  He welcomed my fledgling business into his factory in a way that made me feel like a Fortune 500 company.  A sign at the door "Welcome Brad from Lucent Lampworks", a delicious cup of coffee placed in my hand and a warm pastry to enjoy.  Did I really just walk into an industrial metal stamping facility?  In the background I hear (and feel) the loud floor pounding boom of 30-Ton stamping machines turning sheet metal into all types of unique parts.  

David is the kind of person who treats you like family.  He answers my strange requests always "yes" and rarely "no".  It seemed HIS goal was to help me and my business.  He was not there waiting for me to help him.  I was a little shocked at how flexible and down to earth he was.  We walked through the factory for over an hour.  He introduced me to his crew, we talked lighting parts, laughed about life and learned about each other.  

I drove the 2 hours home high on ideas and possibilities.  My eyes wide open to how business should be done.  THIS is why I will search out more and more US manufacturing facilities to make the parts for my lighting fixtures.  Thank you David!  

David & Yours Truly in 2014

David & Yours Truly in 2014

Metal Stamping.... its pretty damn cool!

Metal Stamping.... its pretty damn cool!

Yup!  Both make perfect sense to me.  

Yup!  Both make perfect sense to me.