Thursday, March 19, 2009

glorious failures...


The dream has always been to make a living being creative. Period. Not to be on TV, famous or labeled as anything in particular. My career has happened the way that was right for me. It still is.

Working with my hands and finding different ways to play with all the ideas in my head has always made me feel pretty content. We all have "the thing" or "things" that relax us and make us feel like we're actually connecting to a part of ourselves that feels authentic.

As far back as I can remember, I have always been making things. Not always with much success. As a matter of fact, I am a brilliant failure! I have failed so stupendously and with such flair in the past (and I'm sure again in the future) that for quite sometime I thought there couldn't be a new way to fail. I would be proven wrong.

Having grown somewhat fond of my failures, since they have informed and guided my successes, I am eager to take chances that feel right for me. Launching a furniture line during one of the greatest recessions in our history is definitely one of those "taking chances" moments.

The past year has been filled with planning, designing, re-designing and then re-designing some more. I love working with my hands and have done everything from making my own filo dough to tiling a roof. Not a master at any of that, but more along the lines of..."I know a little about a lot of stuff." Knowing that I couldn't actually make each piece myself, using my hands, was something I had to give up. I trusted my new partners and their expertise in an area that I am barely scratching the surface on.

Figuring out how to make a product that looks good, easy to ship and follows my mantra of being affordable, is a bit of a challenge. There are fabrics & nail heads you'd love to use but drive up manufacturing costs. The slope of the back of a chair has to be adjusted to make the product easier to ship, the list goes on and on. Working on producing an actual line and launching approximately 20-30 upholstered pieces in the first roll out has been a learning experience in patience, endurance and working as part of a team. The whole process seemed endless, exciting, frustrating and quite honestly a bit scary.

Well, today I saw the first pictures from the factory of each piece in prototype form. The team that has worked tirelessly to make this all happen have out done themselves in helping me get oh so much closer to the mission statement: well designed, affordable furniture that is about your lifestyle.

I will be seeing each piece in person within the next two weeks. That is the last time I will have to make final tweaks before the line is introduced this summer.

I can't thank the whole team enough for all their hard work.
I can't share photos with you yet. I'm sorry--NOT trying to be a elusive. The retailers that are carrying the line along with the PR team will be making that announcement with photos first. I will bore you with details and all the photos you can handle later.

Here's to all of our glorious failures for they are the secrets of our successes.

-angelo surmelis


40 comments:

sts said...

I have watched your rise since first meeting you in your foray in this TV/design genre/thing. I have not met anyone more deserving or more talented.

Will be lining up to get a "piece of Angelo."

Congrats

Sandra said...

SO COOL!

So cool. I am incredibly excited for you and I love your blog. Congratulations on everything Angelo.

Taylor said...

I can't tell you how exciting this is?!

Can't wait to see this stuff.

Tom Erdman said...

I've been working with Angelo since late summer on this project. He will be successful because he's doing this for the right reasons. He has conveyed to me at every juncture of this program the need to make good furniture, with good design, at prices accessible to the average person. By the way, I have seen the furniture, and it's exceptional. Good luck Angelo and congratulations.

angelo said...

Thank you Tom!

Let me say this about Tom, because he won't tell you and he'll just make a joke and deflect. The man is tenacious, visionary and incredibly great at what he does. He problem solves like nobody's business and his genuine and authentic nature is on display every day. There is no pretense or bravado. He lets his actions and work speak for him. I am a fan. Good work sir.

-angelo surmelis

pcb said...

I am really looking forward to seeing the new line. The sneak peak a while back has me so intrigued.

Susie said...

I can't handle it. I am dying for photographic evidence and details. I'm assuming all that will be coming soon? Places to see and by as well? You're killing me here.

I loved this post. Great story.

Dumbwit Tellher ♥ said...

Thanks for sharing your up's & "down's" with us. I think we tend to forget that most successful people have (like most of us) a less than perfect road to the top. For those of us that don't think of ourselves as successful, it's easy to think "we" are the only ones.
I am really looking forward to seeing your new line. There is no doubt it will be exciting!
All the best.

Theresa said...

Thank you for this. The story is not only honest and heartfelt, but inspiring. It's always good to be reminded that giving up is not the best option. Congratulations and I am so looking forward to your new line.

Lisa said...

Angelo -

Thank you for your honesty! It's comforting to know that even the most talented and creative people get it wrong once in a while. It makes me feel better when I mess things up.

I'm so looking forward to your furniture line. I'm in the market for a new sofa sometime this year and would love to replace my old one with one of yours.

Lisa

Stephanie said...

Your story is like your makeovers-INSPIRING! It gives me faith and reminds me to keep on. I am looking so forward to this line. I need some new chairs for my living room. Know where I can get some? CAN'T WAIT! I am very excited for you.

Felicia said...

Your story is not inspiring but also candid and honest. I appreciate it. Thank you. Wishing you more success than you can have ever imagined. I Love watching your shows.

Momovthree said...

Congrats Angelo! I'm so excited for you! I wish for you amazing success.
~Michelle

Helen said...

Wonderful news! This was a fantastic blog entry. It's encouraging to hear stories like these.

Faith MG said...

This is wonderful news. I would be so excited, nervous and overall thrilled that I probably would be awake 24/7 till it all went to market. Then there's the waiting to see how it will perform! Aaaah! That's why I'll stick to my yard sales. I couldn't do it. I would be a nervous wreck. Good Luck!

Leanne said...

Congratulations, Angelo! I am so excited to see what you've come up with!

Sarah Lewis said...

Great blog entry. It's a wonderful reminder that life's successes are rarely easy. I am very excited for you. Have a wonderful weekend.

Raggedy Girl said...

Follow your bliss, Angelo, and you will never go wrong. What a wonderful post. Congratulations on your new line of furniture.

Have A Fantastic Friday
from A Raggedy Roberta Anne

mbkatc230 said...

Congratulations and can't wait to see the line. I love the title "glorious failures" - so true that what seems like a step back can actually move you forward. Love your blog! Kathy

DesignTies said...

I like that you embrace your setbacks/failures as learning expereinces and opportunities to grow - so true and, better still, an excellent reminder to all of us that OUR setbacks/failures are simply chances to learn about ourselves. Of course it's vital that we don't let these events in our lives hold us back... and you certainly haven't, have you Angelo?! Good for you!!

I'm very much looking forward to seeing and perhaps purchasing something from your line of furniture!! Best of luck with this venture!!

Victoria: EdinDesign Interiors @ DesignTies

Kiley said...

Very well said. Love your blog and shows.

Danni said...

I am a huge fan of your shows. After reading this, I am now a life long fan. Thank you for your candid entry and for being so much fun to watch. Love your design aesthetic.

DesignTies said...

If I may, I'd like to give Tom a little plug here.... I've been reading his blog from the start, and it always makes me smile and usually laugh out loud :-) He has a wonderful sense of humour and his posts are always smart and insightful.

With the two of you teaming together, your furniture line is sure to be a success :-)

And, you're so right -- we all make mistakes. Rather than beat ourselves up over them, we should learn from them. And try not to make them again!! ;-)

Have a great weekend, Angelo :-)

Kelly @ DesignTies

Mary said...

Love your shows! Recently discovered your blog and it's excellent. I love you attitude and the way you write. I saw a pic of one of the chairs in an earlier entry. If that is a look if things to come, I'm very excited! I can use a couple of new chairs. Thank you for your inspiration. Congratulations.

Renee said...

"Glorious Failures."

I love that! Thank you for this wonderful and honest entry.
Can't wait to see the line! Congratulations!!!!

dds said...

I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!

anusha said...

Thanks for sharing your experiences in life. It definitely strengthens one's motivation of achieving the dreams and success in life.
congrats!

Trevor said...

I'm very excited about this. This blog was beautiful and touching.

Kyle said...

I think you're a genius! Love your work, your style and the way you write. Thank you for your amazingly honest insight. All the best with your new line!

Michael said...

Even with this economy, I think it'll be a huge success. People are looking for stylish and value these days...you have a leg up on your competition!

Barbara said...

Great blog entry. I really admire your tenacity and honest approach! Love your design aesthetic.

Barbara said...

Great blog entry. I really admire your tenacity and honest approach! Love your design aesthetic.

mrsben said...

Such wisdom to follow your instincts and recognize failure as an instrument of empowerment.

Wishing you success in your entrepreneur journey.

Sincerely .... no not really as much too reserved to express my excitement and good wishes for you so here is a..... BIGGGGGG H-U-G!

-Brenda- :)

Tonia said...

I have been a fan for years. My awe and admiration if what you do and who you are continue to grow. Thank you for sharing and have the best time with all of this and future success!

Lucy said...

Your show is the only one I watch on a regular basis on HG. You are not only an inspiration, buy your enthusiasm and realness shines through. You have the best smile. It seems to come from a real place. Great blog! Congratulations on the new line. It will be wildly successful.

Lucy said...

Your show is the only one I watch on a regular basis on HG. You are not only an inspiration, buy your enthusiasm and realness shines through. You have the best smile. It seems to come from a real place. Great blog! Congratulations on the new line. It will be wildly successful.

Marshall said...

I am very excited about your new line. I think of you as wildly successful, even with your glorious failures.

Your show is wonderful!

Marianne said...

Congratulations! I cannot wait to see pictures.

LMG said...

I just adore you.

Penny said...

THE most exciting news and I CANNOT WAIT for the line!!!

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