January 10, 2020
A few days ago, my 17 year old step-daughter was on her phone (as per usual) and suddenly said, "I need to get my credit card!" Please note that this is her debit card to her own bank account that is money that she has earned at her hostess job. Being the cynical step pop that I am, I said, "what are you buying?" and she replied, "I'm not buying anything, I'm donating to help the animals in Australia".
So my teenage step was donating, I'm guessing, 10% of all the money she had to help those folks and I've done zero, nothing, nada, zip, zilch...
The next morning I made a personal donation to the Red Cross and promised her that I would donate 20% of my sales this weekend. I don't generally do this sort of thing because I hate to come off as having an agenda. i.e. share some profit with charity in order to boost sales. I assure you that this isn't that. If I was just trying to boost sales I could throw out a 20% off discount code, make the same amount of profit and likely get more sales than I will with this push.
Rather than saying something like 50% of profits will be donated, I'm going to donate 20% of sales. Meaning, if you spend $100, I'm sending $20. I make most of my products so it's challenging to say how much of it is "profit". This will keep me honest, be roughly the same amount and you guys will know exactly how much of your money is going to help the kangaroo in the photo below (I mean, have you seen a sadder photo of a kangaroo?)
You can also just donate directly if you haven't already. I did a little research and will be splitting my donation between...
Red Cross &
The only negative on my end is that I'm already doing what I said I wasn't going to do and that's sell product before it's made, but this is a time sensitive issue and just wanted to get it out there. For this reason, some of your orders will take about a week to ship. I released a new Mystery Box for this purpose but anything on the Available page will apply and goes through the weekend.
Mystery Box or any Available Goods.
I'm not sure that my little donation will have the slightest effect on what's happening over there but it's better than doing nothing. It's easy to say that it's not my problem and I have my own problems and if I helped everyone in need I'd be in debt, but this little world of ours is getting smaller and if we don't start looking at it like one place that we all have to protect and support, things are only going to get exponentially worse. I'm not into conspiracy theories or doomsday prophecies but something is happening that is very difficult to deny. We need to do whatever we can to support one another rather that trying to hang onto what little we have. I feel a tangent coming on so going to stop it here and save it for another day.
As always, thank you all for your support.
November 21, 2019
I received an interesting product review the other day. You won't find it under the $57 EDC Top because it wasn't written by a customer. That's correct...he wrote a 1 star review about a product that he doesn't own. That said, I'd be remiss if I didn't share his scathing review with you. Here you go...
Summary: $57 for a top? Whoever buys this is down right stupid.
I do get your point sir but the problem is simple...where you see "a top", myself and a handful of others, see a functional, spinning sculpture that I made with my hands and a machine. I put time and love into these pieces and create them for those who love them. It's clearly not for you just like many things in this world are not for you. I can play that game all day long. The game where you judge the cost of something that you don't see the value in. $2000 for a Louis Vitton wallet!!?! I can actually be pretty good at it. This game is silly sir and will drive you crazy. This online world of ours is seemingly infinite. I suggest you spend more time browsing the items that you appreciate and less time on the items that you don't. You'll likely find more peace in your day.
Thanks for checking out the site!
October 09, 2019
A year ago today, the co-founder of this little business and my father, died of cancer. I never understood when others would talk about death anniversaries (for lack of a better term) but I get it now. A year has gone but I still find myself wanting to give him a call and ask a question or share the latest. That thing in your brain that denies the loss of someone passed months ago but now...well...it just sucks. I also came to the realization that it will just always suck. I ignorantly believed that the suckiness would go away but, as it turns out, I can never talk to him again so how could that ever stop sucking? Why didn't anyone share this part? I guess because they are trying to console so telling you that it will always suck probably wouldn't lift your spirits.
My dad loved Halloween. Wait...he didn't actually love any holiday but he seemed to enjoy Halloween more than most. I base this on the fact that he would always place some random Halloween decoration in the shop hoping that it would startle me a bit. Never did, I'm pretty manly, but I always appreciated it. After my dad died, my instinct was to just throw everything out. My sister kept asking me if I wanted any of his clothes and I just couldn't wrap my head around this. I took a couple of items so I wouldn't look like a cold hearted S.O.B. but I didn't really want them. I've heard that you shouldn't make these kind of decisions right away because you're not thinking clearly. Correct. I'd do anything to get my hands on his shop t-shirts now. The good news is that I couldn't go in his shop for at least six months so my thinking was much clearer when cleaning it out. I'm a minimalist at heart but having a handful of items takes away the blow of those extra sucky days...or makes it worse...who knows. I obviously took shop equipment but I'd be a fool not to bring his screaming Halloween rat home with me. You don't keep these things because you need more screaming Halloween rats but because it reminds you of the day you got to the shop and kept hearing a funny squeaking sound and finally found the source hiding behind some of your tooling while pops chuckled away at his desk.
One year down.
August 30, 2019
Yesterday, I had the pleasure of driving to my grandmothers house to find that it had been ransacked by no integrity morons. For those of you that don't know, my grandparents moved out to Joshua Tree in the 70's. The garage for this little house became my grandfathers new shop which also turned into my dad's shop when he moved out there in the 80's. This is the little shop that my grandfather and dad worked in until they died and is the shop that this little business started in. It's been a process dealing with the house and the shop since my dad and grandmother died in recent months so walking into the disaster I found yesterday was fairly devastating. I knew something was wrong immediately when I heard the cooler was running in both the house and the shop (swamp coolers are a common thing out there..miserable when it's humid). I went inside hammer a blazin' hoping to find someone still lingering. What I found instead were decades of memories scattered and destroyed throughout the house and shop. Scumbags. I really want to know what kind of people can post up in another families home, turn on the air because they got hot, dump photos and personal belongings of generations and roll on out with little to nothing to show for it. I obviously know what kind of people these are but it's just so unreal to me. I suppose the myriad of life events that led these people to this crime are endless and not worth dwelling over but it's difficult not to. There is no justice to be served here...the violation has been made and can't be taken back. It's out there never to be changed or fixed but I'd still love to invite them over to have a chat about it.
July 23, 2019
I recently had a customer write me to let me know that spinning tops are dead and that I should figure out a new product idea. Admittedly, I was a touch offended when I first read it but, after some thought, came to the conclusion that this email was well intended. We've had email correspondence before and it was always positive so why would this be any different?
That's when some reflection kicked in. The reality is that my dad didn't start making spinning tops in order to sell them or follow some fad. He'd been making them here and there for years. He enjoyed them and, more importantly, enjoyed giving them to my niece for Christmas. Years later, when we started this business, I thought they would sell like hotcakes if we made them out of brass (instead of Aluminum). At this time, machined spinning tops couldn't be found in this vast treasure trove of online goodies (at least Google couldn't find any) so I figured that it would grab the attention of some folks. It did indeed. I sold every top my dad could make within minutes of adding them to the website. This is when I realized we really had something and I was going to have to start machining if we were going to keep up. I'll never forget my dad saying "you know, it's only a matter of time before other machinists start making these." and my response was "why would a machinist ever waste his time making spinning tops?". Within a couple of years, they were everywhere I looked (slight exaggeration) and the spinning top business was booming. So much so, that the majority of our other products got pushed to the side so we could keep up. This is the fad part that my customer was speaking of and I do agree that the fad has cooled a bit, but here's the deal...
I love making spinning tops. Not only that, spinning tops are a timeless toy that has been around for thousands of years! Not hundreds, thousands! That's about as timeless as it gets in my book. Yes, this recent boom of machined spinning tops might be categorized differently and it could be considered a fad but I never looked at spinning tops as a quick buck and on to the next product. It isn't a fad to me but something I love to do, that my dad taught me to do and hope that you folks collect them as timeless pieces to enjoy and pass along.
There's this guy that makes these folding brass star thingy's. I can't for the life of me remember what they are called or what his name is but he's been making these things since the 60's I believe. I stumbled across this guy in the first year that I started making tops and thought, that's what I want this to be. I want to be 70 years old and still out in that shop turning tops (and other goods of course). Hopefully you'll take that ride with me.
p.s. I'm finally getting good at these things. Can't quit now!