Perhaps we should start by renaming our annual Pavo Retreat to something that sounds more appropriate, given all the work we do. While we do use our time to reflect on our goals and the path we would like Pavo to follow, the ultimate aim is to accomplish as much work as possible in the little time we have together. Sure we knock back a couple of beers and lounge in front of the fire, but it is always with our notebooks in hand, scribbling furiously through our thoughts and ideas.
At this time last year, we were preparing for our first mill walk through at Oriole. We had several items on our list and we were quite lucky to work through most of those items. This trip had a greater sense of urgency and a fuller agenda:
Pavo Guild Branding, Pavo Form Branding, Customer Service, Co-Branding with Oriole, Oriole Mill meeting, Four mill walk throughs and meetings, Exclusivity contracts, Design Development, Fiber, Finances, Quarterly Sales Tax, Year End Taxes, Payroll, Charitable Causes, Infrastructure, Marketing, Strategy, Publicity, Recap of revisions (13b) to ASTM F2907
Our trip began with a bit of serendipity. Our goal was to end up in Asheville, North Carolina within the same general time frame. We both aimed to arrive sometime in the evening on October 5th. After a rather turbulent landing in Atlanta, I meandered over to the gate for my connecting flight. Imagine my surprise when I saw Erin leaning against the wall by our gate, smile on her face and phone in hand. You see, she had realized we would be on the same outbound flight together, something which, in my haste to prepare for our trip, I had not even processed. So of course, I bought her a drink.
After we landed in Asheville we grabbed our luggage and picked up our rental car (the cutest car ever! ) We headed out for dinner and settled into work. The amazing thing about working with Erin is that we hit our stride fairly quickly and although the conversation wandered, as it often does when one is with a dear and beloved friend, it always found its way back to Pavo. After a rather unfortunate experience with a rogue centipede in Erin’s room, we both retired for the evening.
I woke up to a cool, fall morning and it was absolutely glorious. The temperatures in Southern California had been averaging in the mid 90s and the cool, crisp morning were exactly what I needed. I put the kettle on and made myself at home on the deck of our temporary abode taking in the fiery color of the leaves on the trees surrounding me. Erin soon followed suit and after sharing pot of tea, we picked up right where we left off. We took a break several hours later for lunch and then headed back for more work. We worked through evening snacking on cheese, crackers and beer. At 2 am, we called it a night and headed to bed. This time, the rogue centipede showed up in my room.
Monday through Wednesday were intense and focused. We had a number of business meetings to attend and we needed to work though our design calendar with our mills. The days were long and as usual, our meetings with Oriole found us finishing business over late business dinners, with us driving home bleary eyed , most often after midnight where we would light the fire and recap the day's business. We wouldn’t have had it any other way.
While we knew that there was no way we could have possibly covered all our items on our agenda, we came away with a significant amount of work accomplished. We were able to establish a fabulous design calendar for Spring, Fall, and Winter 2014 for both Pavo Guild and Pavo Form: we were able to see our wraps being both woven and finished and we were able to make our way through the more mundane stuff, like finances, taxes and what not. All in all, our trip was extraordinarily productive. Even more important, I was able to spend time with Erin. Two and a half years ago we sort of casually started talking about forming a wrap company and well, here we are today. The past two years have been hard. Very hard. We have both put our blood, sweat and tears into Pavo. I honestly couldn’t ask for a better business partner or friend.