I haven’t used this at all like I should. It sort of just sits out there and I randomly post when I’m bored or remember it exists. The reason is… well, it goes a little something like this:
Started a business, got married, honeymooned in Spain, went to Nicaragua, moved 350 miles, sister in law got married, started a garden, raising chickens… it’s been an insane year.
In June of 2009 I started my design company, Klaas Co. Over the next 8 months or so, I saved, saved, saved and finally in February, I quit my day job and began working for myself full-time. It’s been hard, to say the least. It seems like you reach a point where you can’t keep doing everything yourself and you have to hire help, yet you don’t really have the money to hire anyone, so you keep doing things yourself and you wonder how you’re ever going to hire your first employee. It feels like things are finally getting to a point where I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Business is picking up, projects are moving and overall, life is good. Despite the fact that I’m not making anywhere near what I was before leaving my job, and always wondering when the next job is going to come… it’s great and I couldn’t be happier. I know things won’t always be like this, so I’m going to do my best to live in the moment and enjoy it before it’s gone.
People have asked why we decided to move to Rockledge and I’m never quite sure how to answer that question. There wasn’t any one reason. It was the beach. It was the friends. It was the family. It was the opportunity to do something different. It was the community. It was the weather.
In talking about whether or not to leave Tallahassee, Allie (my wife) and I started talking to Denny (Lindsay’s husband) and Lindsay (Allie’s sister) about wanting to live life differently and were considering living in an intentional community. Over the next few months, that developed to where it is now and Denny, Lindsay, our friend Kaitlyn, Allie and myself are all living together in the house Allie and Lindsay grew up in. They quickly co-opted my company’s name and are now calling it the Klaas Haüs Commune.
We’ve got five chicks that will hopefully one day provide us with all the eggs we need.
We’ve also been clearing out a 40’ x 10’ tract of land to start a garden in this fall.
Creatively, I feel like I couldn’t have picked a more dead place to be. Portland, New York, Chicago… everywhere seems better than here. The only art I see is paintings of flip flops and starfish made by retirees and lonely housewives. The nice thing is, there are others here who feel the same way, wish they were in a more creative environment and yet they’re not. They’re here. So hopefully we can somehow work together to change some of that.
One of the ways we’re hoping to do it is through a shared work space / art gallery in Cocoa Village. Hopefully this is just the first of many steps to bring life to a creatively dead area. We’ve already talked with some friends in Orlando who want to trade gallery shows with us to help give artists here a place to show their work in Orlando and vice versa. A lot of it’s up in the air, but it’s all pretty exciting. Even if we can get just a few good designers / photographers / etc. to call this area home, things could change pretty rapidly.
As far as this blog is concerned, I’m going to be working on it quite a bit more in the coming months. You’ll probably be seeing less design stuff and more about what’s going on in my life… things like how the garden’s going, what raising chickens is like, and our little experiment in living intentionally in community. If you want to see more design stuff, I’ll be moving that over to the Klaas Co. tumblr. I hope to get that going shortly after this one is reworked. In the meantime, you can check out what we’re up to on Twitter and our website.
In reflecting back on the last year and everything that’s happened, I can’t help but feel incredibly thankful for the opportunity to take such a leap of faith. I never wanted to look back and wonder what might have been. I didn’t want to be 40 and saying how I had plans to start my own company when I was in my 20s, but just never did it. I didn’t want to have to say I had the opportunity to do a bunch of really crazy things and I just decided to keep my same job doing the same thing in the same place and never take any risks.
How this all ends up, I have no clue. But that’s what makes life worth living.