1/Describe your business in a few sentences…
designs premium, ethically sourced, art inspired, alpaca blankets & throws. Our goal is to create #MeaningfulPossessions that last a lifetime and are created from natural and sustainable fibre and processes.
2/Tell us about your love story. How did you meet?
We met through work originally. We both had a love for action sports and found ourselves working for brands and retailers that supported the surf, skate and snowboard community.
The origin of our relationship was quite innocent but as time progressed, we started to realize that there was an undeniable energy between us. We were compatible on every level and shared almost identical goals and values in life.
To have a best friend that you can feel confident traveling with, writing music with, surfing with, and even someone that you would create a business with … to me, there is nothing more special in life.
3/Describe your wedding in a few words.
At the moment, mind-bending fun. A true celebration of all things wonderful.
4/How do you celebrate love on a daily basis?
We always make time for each other every morning. Waking up slow. Enjoying our time together without any mental distractions. We also love to drink strong coffee and dream about future goals, trips, and big picture life. Every morning is a great reminder that we are both very much wanting the same things in life and very much in love. It really sets the tone for a great day, every day.
Every evening we disconnect from our work lives and enjoy bike rides, road trips, surfing and creating. We don’t need fancy dinners or flashy items to show our love. We just enjoy doing things we love to do, together.
5/When and why did you decide to start working together?
I think we always knew we would make a great team in business but we made the true decision to partner on a 14-hour bus ride through the Andes Mountain range. By the end of the journey, we were so fired up on what Blacksaw could be, we couldn’t not do it together. I think the cowboy coffee had something to do with it as well.
Honestly, although we are so similar and enjoy and appreciate practically identical things in life, we work very differently. Steph is so creative and truly has an insane attention to detail. I seem to enjoy doing everything she doesn’t want to do, like setting up the business structure, operations, logistics, product costing, marketing plans etc.
This really allows us both to be the best at what we are the best at, and in turn, carry each other through our weaknesses.
I like to think of it like a 1970’s Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham senecio. Alone they were both really good at what they did, but together is where the magic happened
6/Who does what within the business? How do you share the load? Do you have defined roles?
Steph is absolutely the designer & creative director. She is all vision & feeling and she knows how to wrap it all up into something meaningful. It is truly a gift and Blacksaw would be nothing without her. That being said, she also plays a massive role in social media, sourcing, development, web design and marketing.
Aside from all the operations, logistics, accounting, and marketing, I love relationship building and working with people who inspire me so I have found myself in a sales and strategic partnership role as well. Aside from making the best product on the planet, a massive part of our business model is working with amazing people from all over the planet that get us excited to be better people and run a more successful business. In fact, Blacksaw lives by this model and we don’t compromise on good vibes.
Other than that, we do a pretty great job of tackling all the other little things in-between together.
7/Best thing / and worst parts about working together?
The best things for me are the little things that have become big things. Little conversations and dreams that we have had on the other side of the planet that is now a reality. We get to feed each other's fire and we can feel confident that we will always have someone in our corner to help bring our vision to life. That is the best.
Running a business can be stressful, so managing business stress and not allowing that to become personal stress is important. When in doubt, we put a few cold brews in the bike basket and go for a ride along the lake. My advice to couples that work together would be, make sure you do something awesome at the end of the day to stop the work clock and start personal time. Jump in a lake, do something active, go to a yoga class or crush a beer.
8/Who is the BLACKSAW customer? and what makes these possessions the perfect gift to symbolize love?
The Blacksaw customer is someone who values well made, purposeful products that will last a lifetime. As a consumer, they believe that less is more and they are moving toward more meaningful, unique, life pieces that tell a story and resonate with their core values.
Gift giving is so personal, especially for a wedding gift. I think there is something really special about gifting something stylish and long-lasting. In a sea of cards and crispy dollar bills that end up being used for groceries and parking meters, a premium blanket or special, "life piece" really stands out and say's "I get you" or "we get you".
9/BLACKSAW admirably uses ethically sourced, natural or recycled fibres in addition to playing close attention to fair trade, and pro-social practices. Why was this important to you? What is the most challenging part of being a socially conscious designer?
In our opinion, it is the only way to operate, and when I say operate, I mean to operate in life, not just in manufacturing a product.
The one thing we value more than well made, sustainable products is this earth. We are avid surfers and travelers and we have seen the damage of fast fashion and poor manufacturing choices first hand. Unfortunately, we cannot un-see these things and they will forever leave a mark on our souls.
The hardest part of manufacturing responsibly is having confidence that the customer understands the price behind creating something natural and ethically sourced.
When consumers support Blacksaw, they can feel confident that they are supporting everyone down the whole supply chain. The animals in the highlands, the yarn spinners, the weavers, the quality control team right down to the planet. We use natural fibres that will not end up in a landfill and the majority of our products are un-dyed, natural colours. It sure as hell ain’t easy to do, but damn it feels good.