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14 Apr 2010

Convergence? not this year

Posted by fireside

We were in Tampa Bay in June 2008…and very excited to be exhibiting at our FIRST Convergence.  Sure, Fireside Looms were there for many prior years but our adventure with Fireside Looms began in 2007 when the original owners retired, so it was our first experience at an HGA Convergence.  We were overwhelmed with the  warm welcome we received from fellow vendors and most of all from the Fireside Loom owners who stopped by our booth to introduce themselves.  Here we are thrilled to have a beautiful 10-harness, 60″ maple loom in our booth colorfully warped to make blankets.  The loom was bound for Wisconsin when we returned home. 

Lesniak Family @ Convergence 2008

Lesniak Family @ Convergence 2008

Looking at the picture all four of us have changed, especially with the growth spurts and maturity gained by our sons during the past 2 years.  But the picture tells the heart of our Fireside story…it’s a family business that needs all 4 of us.  Even as very young teens, our sons were active decision-makers when we decided to pursue our “own” business – it would affect them immensely and we needed their help, cooperation and support.  So our approach to the loom business needed to reflect who we are.

After attending a couple of shows in 2008, it was time to schedule for 2009.  Reviewing our calendar revealed that our open weekends did not match any show dates.  Why?  Our sons’ involvement in school and community activities kept us busy…already juggling multiple events each weekend, shows just didn’t fit.  In our business plan, we expected this…but now it was truly a reality.  We admired Gary and Rachel (original owners of Fireside) for their cross-country trips lasting months at a time to visit conferences, sheep and wools, and guilds across the US, but for now we could not do the same.

We needed to rely on our website, the good word of mouth by Fireside Loom Owners (aloomni) and brief guild presentations to remain present in the Weaving Community.  And when the time is right, travel to spend weekends among the awesome weavers and fiber artists around the world. 

We had hoped that Convergence 2010 in Albuquerque New Mexico would be our next stop…NOT this year.  Both our sons, Ben and Kevin, have the honor of attending the National Boy Scout Jamboree in AP Hill Virginia from July 25 to August 4, celebrating 100 years of Scouting in the US.  Notice the dates…yes they overlap with Convergence and without a way to be in both the Southwest and Northeast US on Sunday, July 25 – we were forced to choose.  Family comes first! 

We will miss seeing many of you at Convergence, but please remember that we remain committed to building custom looms and weaving accessories.  Our strength is our ability to work across phone lines, internet connections and with the cooperation of Fireside Loom owners all over the US to continue supporting existing Fireside Looms, giving you the opportunity to see a Fireside Loom in person and keeping the tradition of handmade custom looms alive in our workshop.

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