Tonight, I sit in the bar my husband painstakingly and perfectly created, to tell you the story of our shield. I tend to write better when things are deeply personal. And when I have a drink in hand and good music playing, the cage that holds back emotion finds the key.
(see the bar here)
I think it best to start at the beginning, so hang in there. I will get to it.
Fourteen years ago this April, Todd and I walked blindly into the world of the small business ownership. It helps to be young and stupid when stepping feet first into an abyss that is completely foreign and really has no end. I mean, thank goodness for all the brave fools who decide to own businesses. Small business accounts for some 60 million jobs which is roughly half of all employment. Seriously, half! For most of us, business ownership starts with a dream, not so much a plan. The plan eventually comes, but it’s rough and gory and pretty much like throwing darts while blindfolded. Where the small business warriors lack sometimes in planning, we make up for in agility. When things need to change, we change them. If that doesn’t work, we change again. Constantly testing and reinventing, we persevere until things are going well. Then we grow and change again. There are internal and external bumps, obstacles, crisis and wars. There is dirt and grime and pain. There are also small wins and big wins and glory. That darn glory. That’s what we live for. What we fight for. But even when there is this magnificent, on-top-of-the-world feeling, the battle-worn you, knows there is crisis hiding just around that corner. The train is coming. Will you get out of the way or will it mow you down?
And how in the world can you put all that drama and grit into a mark or symbol?
The Karr Bick shield is a symbol that grew from a simple family crest created for us to use on our wedding invitations. That happened to be one year prior to the purchase of Karr Bick (uh, yeah, we bought a business on our one-year anniversary…. I warned you about young and stupid). The medieval shield felt like us. It was history with a future. Like it was all part of the plan, a year later it became our logo. The logo changed over time, because that is what we do. We are small business, and we reinvent to stay alive. While the crest changed shape and texture, the symbol stayed. I couldn’t let it go. I needed it. It had somehow become this badge of strength and protection. It continues to remind me of all the things we have fought thru and survived.
Our shield is now the symbol of #NothingOrdinary. It is what we are and what we do. We protect, fight, and strive for the best for you and for ourselves. I think of it when I do anything hard or fight for someone else (not just at the office). Our people put it on their cars and wear it on their chests. Not because they have to, because they want to. Our customers repeat it back and ask for the crest and the #NothingOrdinary experience. It is somewhat intangible, hard to precisely define. It is not unlike our designs. They make you feel something. You don’t know why or what that feeling is. You just know you like it. A lot.
Who doesn’t want to be a very powerful #NothingOrdinary? The alternative is boring and uninspiring. Don’t settle for less in yourself or others. Take the shield. Use it. Be #NothingOrdinary.