My sister Sofia and I run our family business called The Dolphin Studio. Founded in 1970 by our parents – it was a sort of catch-all for all of their creative endeavors encompassing my mom’s custom hand-knit sweaters and hats, my dad’s ceramic art and their screen printed calendars, cards, and posters. When we were kids one of our family chores was to assist in the printing process of The Dolphin Studio Calendars, which turned out to be the bread and butter of the whole business.
When my hubby, two younger kids and I embarked on our current adventure in Ireland nearly a month ago, we brought the calendars that we normally send in the mail with us. As the last few orders are packed and readied for shipping I realize how much I thoroughly enjoy building custom cardboard boxes for shipping. I was able to re-purpose all the boxes we have gathered since our arrival into custom sized calendar boxes.
Since our arrival and my realization that recycled clothing is just not nearly as available here as it is in the states, I have been trying to figure out what to do for work. Not only am I really not good at sitting still but I love to make things and am totally inspired by people buying the things I love to make. The other thing that inspires me is creating something valuable from something discarded - my passion. In other words I love to create, and initiate, Alchemy. Straw into gold – you know – magic.
Garbage is a real issue here. It seems that every square inch of land is used. Household trash recycling is well developed, packaging minimal and mostly biodegradable. The ‘bins’ used for our twice monthly curbside pickup are similar to the ones we use in The Berkshires but here the blue recyclable container is the bigger of the two.
So what do people throw away here that I could spin into something of value? Cardboard.
I love cardboard! My tradeshow booths back in the day were often completely constructed from 4’x8’ sheets of cardboard with windows, doors, porches with ‘gingerbread’ shingles, clapboards and the works. More recently I’ve built booths with shelving, signage, backdrops, and ornamental detailing all from recycled cardboard.
Once the last of the calendars had been packaged there was a Bulmer’s Cider box left. I turned it inside out and made Lucy an iPad case to protect her tablet while carrying it with her. It was fun and useful and will certainly lead to more developed products in the near future. Felt good cause, you know, a maker’s gotta make.
Oh and by the way, today, for the first time in history, Dolphin Studio calendars are on SALE! There are only a handful left so don’t wait. Enter SPREADLOVE at checkout and get 20% off your order of three or more calendars.