01. Dispatches

Posted by Daniel Mitchell on

Hey there,

I hope that you enjoyed your Labour Day weekend.

Like many of us, I used this weekend as an excuse to get out of the city and head back out to my family’s farm. It was exactly what I needed – a bit of downtime ahead of what’s shaping up to be a busy fall season filled with holiday production, markets, and pop-up dates. It’s always good to just sneak away and turn your brain off for a few minutes.

I love where I grew-up in Manitoba's Parkland region (north of Roblin if you're curious). It’s some of the prettiest countryside that I know of, so I’ve always got my camera at the ready and will look for any reason to pullover and capture something new. It’s only fair that I pepper my first dispatch to you with some of my favourite photos from the weekend.

Rural backroad on the prairies.

As you’re reading this (and as I’m writing this), we’re both probably asking ourselves “what is Dispatches?”

I’m not totally sure – which I’m okay with. I think I’m still figuring it out. Maybe we’ll figure this out together. This might be my best idea ever, or it might be like the time I bought a tanjine and convinced myself that I was going to make Moroccan chicken weekly. Five years later it’s still in its box on the top shelf of my pantry.

I think I want to use Dispatches to share and connect. Probably even babble a bit. How this looks, we’ll figure out as we go.

This autumn marks six years of building Farmer’s Son Co. and a lot’s has changed in that time – including how we connect and catch-up with each other. In those early days I signed up for every market and pop-up I could. I just wanted to meet folks and share my art. We talked, shared and got to know each other. Anytime an order would arrive on the website I’d get a sore wrist from writing those notes to you.

But it’s through meeting face to face, those notes to and from each other (I’ve saved your cards and emails), plus all we’ve experienced together on Instagram that we’ve gotten to know each other, which is something that I wouldn’t change for the world. We’ve shared stories and life experiences. The good, the not so good and everything in-between.

Prairie hills, with fence line. Road and pasture visible in the distance.

While I might not be able to write half page notes with each order like I used to, I enjoy what we’ve created. It’s a unique little community that I love. I feel a kinship to you.

So that’s what I want Dispatches to be. A continuation of what we’ve created. A way to connect and share that doesn’t rely on Algorithms or necessarily even on the candles that I’ve build my little brand on. We like a good story. We appreciate experiences. We like nice things. We want to talk about places we know and love so well. We want to share those common experiences and memories. Recommendations and things we love.

So that’s what we’re going to do.

Along the way, I want to use Dispatches as a place to explore new ideas with you while reconnecting with some of my favourite things and hobbies. To share parts of myself and my team that I haven’t. A lot of my loves in life took a bit of a backseat when I dove headfirst into the world of entrepreneurship all those years ago. Sometimes you just run out of hours in a day, week or even year.

Suddenly you find yourself saying “remember when you used to bake? Remember when you used to just take photos for fun? Remember when you used to just write for the fun of it? Remember the things that used to just make you, you?”

Obviously, I’m going to share about candles and the lab and the new goods I’m creating, but this is about having some fun. In many ways, this is a way for me to reconnect with all the things I love and want to talk about.

So, while I’m not a great baker I might show you my half-assed (or failed) attempts. I love to garden and it's always fun to talk about what's happening during any given season. Give you a glimpse of the goods I’m designing and my thought process. How I think about product and what inspires me. I love travel – be it near or far and it’s always fun to share those favourite spots and finds. I want to talk about the places I’ve been and how they’ve inspired me.

photo of Dan standing in barn loft.

I’m excited to have you along on this journey. Sometimes I don’t feel like I know where I’m necessarily going. I mean who’d of thought six years ago that I’d be creating neat things in an old warehouse space that's been transformed into a unique spot complete with buffalo check wallpaper and a team of trained fragrance designers?! All this while I sourcing artisan blown glassware, boxing up and shipping candles to folks across Canada and beyond (while also trying to track down the shipping status for 900 strands of pom-poms...(more on those later). It’s all kind of been goofy and doesn’t necessarily make sense sometimes – but that’s kind of the fun part.

I’m not one of those people who can follow a schedule. I struggle with them. I blame the relentlessness of my past corporate life where every 15 minutes of my working day was scheduled. There’s not going to be a formal process to Dispatches. I’m just going to share as I’m feeling inspired. As I can. When I’ve got a soapbox to stand on. When I have things to tell you about. Dispatches are just going to arrive when the time is right.

So with that, I can't wait for what's ahead and am looking forward to sharing everything with you.

I'm going to leave you with a glimpse of what's just arrived in the online shop and for sale at Candle Canteen counter in the front end-end of our lab + creative space.

mouth-blown glassware on a shelf

My beautiful new barware designs have arrived from our friend Jaime in Mexico! His team of artisans creative beautiful mouth-blown glassware exclusively from recycled materials (think old beer and juice bottles collected from resorts and garbage dumps). Jaime and his team know their stuff - their creations are enjoyed in some of Mexico City's leading restaurants and independent boutiques. As well, their work has caught the attention of leading design focused brand Soho House who Jaime has consulted with to create pieces for their exclusive clubs.

I wanted to create a collection of pieces that are classic in design (a Collins glass, a stemless wine glass and a lowball tumbler) in a moody hue suitable for the months ahead. I really look at these pieces and think of them as modern classics that you'll enjoy for years to come.

Dan holding a lowball tumbler

Each piece is skillfully blown by a talented glassblower, so no two are alike. 

After three years of offering candles poured in our blown Mexican glassware with folks slowly collecting pieces a glass at a time, I wanted to create a glass family that was available immediately as barware / drinkware first, with a collection to follow.

Barware being unpacked in the Farmer's Son Co. creative space.

We're still conceptualizing the fragrance collection - but we're going dark and moody. A little bit sexier and dirtier if you will. A new direction, but one that I'm excited to tell you about when the time's right.

But until then, I hope the days ahead are good to you!


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