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 A Pipe For Your Thoughts???

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d4klutz

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Age : 40
Location : Gilmer, TX
Registration date : 2014-01-23

PostSubject: Re: A Pipe For Your Thoughts???   Wed Mar 12, 2014 12:52 pm

Just to throw in a thought here. I purposely chose something that was NOT wood shop related as if you spend all your time in the shop building things other than pipes, then when it comes time to do pipes, you will not want to. I don't want to see you lose your passion for pipes. From what I have seen, (I have held a few of your pipes) you have an amazing skill and talent. If you do too much of that, then it becomes a chore to do it to make money. Passion quickly dies. I did that with computers, and after 14 years, I hate them. LOL. I don't even have a working one at home at the moment. LOL. I use my tablet for forums, email, and reading. That's it.

When I looked at your location, I saw that you are right there on the bay. I am not sure what the local industry is like down there, but things like charter boats, fishing trips, etc will let you get out of the shop, smoke your pipe when you want to, and still leave you time for building pipes as a hobby, or as side work. Pipe related jobs are good, but whatever you do, guard your passion.
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PozzSka

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Age : 34
Location : Valley City, OH
Registration date : 2013-07-02

PostSubject: Re: A Pipe For Your Thoughts???   Wed Mar 12, 2014 3:07 pm

I'm like you, I have the somewhat successful "hobby job" (as my family calls it) roasting coffee, but to leave my full-time job (which I'm pleased with, and don't intend on leaving), I would have to reach a very distant "tipping point" in which I could replace most if not all of my current income. So I feel where you are coming from.

What about leather work? Leather pipe cases, pouches, wallets, holsters, knife sheaths, belts?

Can you paint? Graphic design? Programming skills?

As far as wood working goes, pipe racks/stands, pens, knife and tool handles, making pipe making tools to sell to other pipe makers? haha

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Growley

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Age : 42
Location : Fairhope, Al
Registration date : 2012-04-10

PostSubject: Re: A Pipe For Your Thoughts???   Wed Mar 12, 2014 3:37 pm

PozzSka wrote:
I'm like you, I have the somewhat successful "hobby job" (as my family calls it) roasting coffee, but to leave my full-time job (which I'm pleased with, and don't intend on leaving), I would have to reach a very distant "tipping point" in which I could replace most if not all of my current income.  So I feel where you are coming from.

What about leather work? Leather pipe cases, pouches, wallets, holsters, knife sheaths, belts?  

Can you paint? Graphic design? Programming skills?

As far as wood working goes, pipe racks/stands, pens, knife and tool handles, making pipe making tools to sell to other pipe makers? haha


Leatherwork is something that has always interested me. I've messed around with it some, but never tried to really do anything important with it.
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TheLogo-Mat

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Age : 38
Location : St. Louis
Registration date : 2014-01-28

PostSubject: Re: A Pipe For Your Thoughts???   Wed Mar 12, 2014 3:50 pm

Sweet!
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PozzSka

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Age : 34
Location : Valley City, OH
Registration date : 2013-07-02

PostSubject: Re: A Pipe For Your Thoughts???   Wed Mar 12, 2014 3:59 pm

Growley wrote:

Leatherwork is something that has always interested me. I've messed around with it some, but never tried to really do anything important with it.

Now is as good a time as any, right?
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Stick

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Age : 47
Location : 'Blighty'
Registration date : 2014-02-19

PostSubject: Re: A Pipe For Your Thoughts???   Wed Mar 12, 2014 4:49 pm

I’m going to approach this from a slightly different angle that may well serve as a catalyst for new thoughts. It’s a little ‘out of the box’ but has worked for me when trying to help others free up their thinking, so bear with me. I’m guessing you feel like you’re stood at a crossroads and just need to get started on a new direction. Here’s a few 'out there' questions for you to soul search with Mr Growley, and I mean really soul search…

Are you generally someone who follows your heart, or do you think more strategically? Which brings you the most success? In this situation, which of these would it be most prudent to follow?

If there’s one person in your life who you’ve really valued the opinion or outlook of, who would that person be? This person may be a family member, a trusted friend, a BoB (!!!), someone who is no longer with us or even a TV celeb. If you were to pose your dilemma to them, what would they be suggesting to you?

Imagine if in 10 years time you could time travel back to the here and now and, using all your knowledge and experience gained in these 10 years, what advice would you give your younger self?

Maybe the answers to these questions will give you a new direction. My hunch is that being the switched on, savvy individual that you clearly are, you’ll fill in the detail…
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Growley

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Age : 42
Location : Fairhope, Al
Registration date : 2012-04-10

PostSubject: Re: A Pipe For Your Thoughts???   Wed Mar 12, 2014 10:15 pm

Lots of good stuff so far. It's got my brain working nicely. Thanks for the posts so far. Picking a winner is going to be difficult.
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huffelpuff

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Age : 47
Location : Laramie, WY
Registration date : 2011-12-10

PostSubject: Re: A Pipe For Your Thoughts???   Wed Mar 12, 2014 11:03 pm

Not sure what the market there would be like but making custom rods can be quite profitable! Seriously check out the prices for fly fishing equipment $$$$$. It wouldn't take up huge amounts of shop space, is different enough from pipe making that you shouldn't burn out on it, and the best part is while your waiting for the finish to dry on one you can work on the other. Not sure if this is any help or not but hey it's another option right?

Jim
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i.keenum

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Age : 27
Location : coast of mississippi
Registration date : 2011-06-12

PostSubject: Re: A Pipe For Your Thoughts???   Thu Mar 13, 2014 12:05 am

Your not far from that huge flee market near mobile ever been there? If not go and see what the cost is for a booth, could try your own business there for little risk. Could see what others are selling and doing, maybe get some ideas of what you want to do your self.

Know youlive on the bay like me and it's pretty easy to drive around and pick up drift wood and old pieces of processed wood that washes up. Recently spent a few hours looking and got enough boards to make a dining room table from the old wood. I have no real previous wood working experience and it came out well. That old wood hides a lot of sin, it's bent and weathered to begin with so it's meant to be a little miss . Down here on the coast people eat that stuff up. Plus crank out some drift wood tampers and pipe racks. Try your hand at some other rustic furniture, leather, refurbs , maybe mark up some corncobs a few bucks, just bring everything you think you might want to do and see how well it fares at one of those booths. Then you could expand on what works.

Just my 2 cents. Very Happy 
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mejoshee

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Age : 32
Location : Campbell, CA
Registration date : 2013-05-31

PostSubject: Re: A Pipe For Your Thoughts???   Thu Mar 13, 2014 1:11 pm

I'll throw my hat in, though I'm more of an engineer/logical type, so I tend to stay in the safe realm. Mind you, I'm basically answering your question with a question at a birdseye view without specific ideas, but that's mostly for your benefit since I don't need to know your personal answers, especially since you are keeping your skillset "hidden". I think we all just collectively want to see you happy and successful, however that looks!

As Stick said, do you follow your heart? Or, as I would put it, are you spontaneous or structured? I think it all is a matter of soul-searching to find out your personality and what really works for you--the way you think, the way you tackle a problem, the way you take risks (or don't). If you've ever had the chance to take a Myers-Briggs personality type test, you'd see where you tend to be in a natural state, but don't let that constrain you. If you are introverted, you may gain a lot from actually putting yourself out there as a salesperson or customer service rep! Or, you may not, like me.

Similarly, as some have said, sticking with pipe-related stuff or stuff you can do on the lathe & woodworking tools you already have is what I'd call "safe". Do you want safe? Do you want comfortable? These are not bad things, and certainly practical (I like them! Razz), but some years down the road, when you look back at this juncture where you "could've been anything", will you regret not taking a path less trodden, as Frost put it?

Do you want to make pens? Do you have a passion for pipe tampers? Cabinets? How bout pre-drilled and/or shaped pipe kits? Certainly a logistical challenge, but will it be fulfilling? Or will you just be going through the motions? Or would you be able to stick with just pipes and do something completely different?

It's of course more than just the practical. You can stick with what you know and are comfortable with, but will that make you miserable? Will you be a zombie? Do you want to push yourself with your new plan? Will that cause you to regret what direction you took?

I think very often in modern society we choose what is convenient, safe, known, or well-trodden and confine our lives to make ends meet. Now, I'm not advocating irresponsibility--that would be an egregious error to believe that is what I'm saying. But the American dream and indeed the dream of much of the Western world is to strive to be a pioneer, adventurer, trailblazer, and conqueror. Is that something you want? Or do you want stability, tradition, predictability, clarity? These are qualities too and highly esteemed, especially in Asia and many parts of Old World countries, where you see artisans learning the master's craft and continuing on through the family through generations.

Each has its challenges and each has its rewards. You'd need to weigh the risks (temporary or permanent, potential loss of income, instability, stress on you and your family relationships) and your lifestage (skills acquired, age, physical & mental acuity, etc.). What are you willing to risk? Will your wife and kids be able to support you through this? (I'm not speaking only monetarily.) Be fair and unselfish (I doubt you have that problem since you're asking us) so that they don't have to worry about themselves, but don't become a shell of yourself by sacrificing your dreams so that they do worry about who you are.

Another thing to consider is time. If you want to do something different with your life, will you do it right away or will you wait a "few years" to be in a place where you can enact full-time pipe making or plan B as necessary? Are you jumping into this because you're restless and impulsive or do you want to genuinely do this, but at a pace that is not detrimental to your family and those who depend on you? Will you need continuing education to enact your plan? Do you want to help other people through service or the like?

I did the Dave Ramsey course with my wife as well. Remember his end goal: You don't do this to become rich for the sake of being rich. You do this so when you have money, you can give and help. If you are in a healthy place financially, then you can be more flexible. Money is a tool, not an end in and of itself. If you have less, you can still give as long as you are giving from a healthy place for your family.

I hope that helps with your soul searching. I have no personal preference for you one way or the other, though I am extremely confident this community and I will be there to support you whatever your decision! I'm sending you a brief email too.
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Hiram-2011

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Age : 39
Location : Illinois
Registration date : 2012-03-23

PostSubject: Re: A Pipe For Your Thoughts???   Thu Mar 13, 2014 4:36 pm

After speaking with you some, you seem to be a good man with a good soul. I'd say follow your heart and dreams. The good Lord has a way of taking care of good people.
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Cartaphilus

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Age : 63
Location : East Texas
Registration date : 2011-12-15

PostSubject: Re: A Pipe For Your Thoughts???   Thu Mar 13, 2014 4:45 pm

Hiram-2011 wrote:
After speaking with you some, you seem to be a good man with a good soul.  I'd say follow your heart and dreams.  The good Lord has a way of taking care of good people.

^^^^^^^^^^^^
THIS SAYS IT ALL!  Wink 
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Hawker

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Age : 52
Location : Alberta
Registration date : 2012-05-15

PostSubject: Re: A Pipe For Your Thoughts???   Fri Mar 14, 2014 4:35 am

Don't know if your mechanically inclined but I know of a guy in my home town with a 8-5 regular job and on the side in his spare time he buys vehicles from auctions or privately were ever he can get a good deal and even if they are in running order he parts them out on the net. After all expenses he averages 40-50 thousand clear a year from his "part time" job.

I don't have one of your pipes yet (one day a Ramses will be in the rack) but with there reputation and your attention to detail I can't believe you can't make a living on them alone. I can see that your a perfectionist just by looking at your pipes and you probably have a alot more time invested in them to make them look the way they do than most makers. But I wouldn't cheapen your product to try and make a few more dollars an hour as it's what your doing that makes a Growley a Growley. Maybe marketing in different venues where someone else looks after the time eating aspect of sales. Maybe a college business student looking to make some part time cash would be able to look after that end of it while leaving you more time to be in the shop were the "magic" happens. With your god given talent it would be a shame to waste your time doing something else if your hearts not in it.
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Growley

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Age : 42
Location : Fairhope, Al
Registration date : 2012-04-10

PostSubject: Re: A Pipe For Your Thoughts???   Fri Mar 14, 2014 10:00 pm

Hawker wrote:
Don't know if your mechanically inclined but I know of a guy in my home town with a 8-5 regular job and on the side in his spare time he buys vehicles from auctions or privately were ever he can get a good deal and even if they are in running order he parts them out on the net. After all expenses he averages 40-50 thousand clear a year from his "part time" job.

I don't have one of your pipes yet (one day a Ramses will be in the rack) but with there reputation and your attention to detail I can't believe you can't make a living on them alone. I can see that your a perfectionist just by looking at your pipes and  you probably have a alot more time invested in them to make them look the way they do than most makers. But I wouldn't cheapen your product to try and make a few more dollars an hour as it's what your doing that makes a Growley a Growley. Maybe marketing in different venues where someone else looks after the time eating aspect of sales. Maybe a college business student looking to make some part time cash would be able to look after that end of it while leaving you more time to be in the shop were the "magic" happens. With your god given talent it would be a shame to waste your time doing something else if your hearts not in it.  

I'm somewhat inclined, but I think my inclination would go the other way. I love taking old things and making them look new. I've always wanted to restore cars, but I think that's usually a money spending endeavour, rather than a money making one.


Man, I think this is going to be harder than I thought, picking the one winner out of all these great comments...
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joshoowah

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Age : 31
Location : Nairobi, Kenya
Registration date : 2011-09-24

PostSubject: Re: A Pipe For Your Thoughts???   Sat Mar 15, 2014 3:01 am

[quote="Growley"]
Hawker wrote:


Man, I think this is going to be harder than I thought, picking the one winner out of all these great comments...

You could always just make us all one.  Twisted Evil lol! 
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i.keenum

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Age : 27
Location : coast of mississippi
Registration date : 2011-06-12

PostSubject: Re: A Pipe For Your Thoughts???   Sat Mar 15, 2014 11:35 am

cheers ^
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Stick

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Age : 47
Location : 'Blighty'
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PostSubject: Re: A Pipe For Your Thoughts???   Sat Mar 15, 2014 1:06 pm

cheers  ^ ^
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Growley

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Age : 42
Location : Fairhope, Al
Registration date : 2012-04-10

PostSubject: Re: A Pipe For Your Thoughts???   Sun Mar 16, 2014 1:19 pm

joshoowah wrote:
Growley wrote:
Hawker wrote:


Man, I think this is going to be harder than I thought, picking the one winner out of all these great comments...

You could always just make us all one.  Twisted Evil lol! 

Insert chirping cricket sound here:

 Evil or Very Mad
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Growley

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Age : 42
Location : Fairhope, Al
Registration date : 2012-04-10

PostSubject: Re: A Pipe For Your Thoughts???   Sun Mar 16, 2014 1:21 pm

Ok, I'm going to be making my selection sometime Monday!

Feel free to comment until then as desired, and again, thanks for your thoughts. I've enjoyed through them all and getting some good brainwaves going.
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Stick

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Age : 47
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PostSubject: Re: A Pipe For Your Thoughts???   Sun Mar 16, 2014 2:48 pm

Tally ho! Red Leader standing by...
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Cartaphilus

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PostSubject: Re: A Pipe For Your Thoughts???   Sun Mar 16, 2014 2:53 pm

And the anticipation mounts (insert drum roll here).   
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J Soshae

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Age : 44
Location : Birmingham, AL
Registration date : 2011-08-19

PostSubject: Re: A Pipe For Your Thoughts???   Mon Mar 17, 2014 3:10 pm

Late to the party but how about batons for music directors?

http://www.oldworldbaton.com/grandelite.htm

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Growley

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Location : Fairhope, Al
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PostSubject: Re: A Pipe For Your Thoughts???   Mon Mar 17, 2014 3:13 pm

cheers cheers cheers THIS IS THE PART WHERE I ANNOUNCE THE WINNER!!!!  cheers cheers cheers 

But before I do, I want to say that I really enjoyed reading through all of your thoughts and ideas. There were so many things that got my brain working, that I wanted to think of way that I could show you that I appreciate your responses.

So here's the consolation offer: just for being good sports and throwing your idea in the hat, I'll take $50 bucks off of a pipe, should you decide you'd like to buy a Growley pipe from me in 2014. So, if you responded to this thread in any manner whatsoever,...this is you. This includes anything currently made, or custom orders.

Since there were so many good ideas, I also wanted to do a runner-up offer. I'd like to offer you the same, but I'll make it $100 off. The Runner-up is: d4klutz...Dude, you had me at "worms". I don't know what it was about this multi-tiered response that stuck with me, but it did, so you're it, you get $100 off, should you desire to order a pipe from me in 2014.

And now for the winner of the pipe. I took a good bit of time considering all of your responses. I read and re-read them multiple times, and the statement that stuck with me the most, the one I think I need to take to the bank is this:

Stick wrote:
...Imagine if in 10 years time you could time travel back to the here and now and, using all your knowledge and experience gained in these 10 years, what advice would you give your younger self?...

Where I am in life, this is sage advice. PM me your address Stick and I'll get your "Vintage", professionally broken in, Growley original in the mail to you as soon as possible!

Thanks again Brothers. It was fun and enlightening.
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PozzSka

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Age : 34
Location : Valley City, OH
Registration date : 2013-07-02

PostSubject: Re: A Pipe For Your Thoughts???   Mon Mar 17, 2014 3:23 pm

Congrats Stick (and klutz)

And good on you, Growley for giving away such a nice piece.
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i.keenum

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Age : 27
Location : coast of mississippi
Registration date : 2011-06-12

PostSubject: Re: A Pipe For Your Thoughts???   Mon Mar 17, 2014 3:41 pm

Sweet! Gratz stick. Very generous of you growley for giving out such a piece for a little of sagely advice.
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