As someone who was raised in the American South, it grates on me that we can’t open our storefront for visitors. We’re a hospitable people (even if Megan and I are natural hermits).
During the first few years we had the storefront, we welcomed visitors, and things got out of hand. Some visitors came to spend an entire day (or two days…). Others were dropped off by loved ones for the day, and we were expected to babysit them. Still others tried to schedule their days here for a visit – one even asked if he could park his RV outside and use our utilities and facilities.
All this while Megan, Brendan and I were trying to make a living making furniture, tools and books.
So you can see the problem. We would like to welcome people here, but we can’t be a visitor’s bureau, daycare center or ersatz training facility.
For 2022, we’d like to try an experiment. If you are passing through Northern Kentucky and would like to stop by, please do. If we are here, we’d be happy to let you in, give you the dime tour of the storefront and sign any books. And if we have a book or tool in stock that you are interested in we’d be happy to sell it to you.
But here are the “buts….”
We can’t make appointments for a visit – no exceptions. We hustle here every day. And sometimes we need to get to the lumberyard or hardware store at the drop of a hat. So if you swing through and we’re here, great. If we’re not, sorry.
We are 100 percent closed on Sunday.
The best time to catch us is between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday-Saturday. We sometimes step out for lunch for a bit.
You must be vaccinated against COVID. This is my home and my business, and that’s the rule.
We ask that you keep your visit fairly brief. We like to talk to customers, but we are a busy (sometimes frantically busy) small business.
If the virus gets wildly out of control, we reserve the right to suspend visits.
So that’s it. Please, please, please don’t bug Megan or Meghan about bending or breaking the above rules. They are firm.
Wow. I know this sounds a bit inhospitable. I wish we had employees who could handle constant visitors and tours and the like. But we don’t. So let’s give this a try.
— Christopher Schwarz
Our storefront is located at 837 Willard St., Covington, KY 41011.
52 thoughts on “Passing Through in ‘22?”
Sure beats going to Disney.
Wait, you mean Chris and Megan stand and sing It’s a Small World?
As ones whose workshop is also our store I can relate to all the many frustrations of wanting to be hospitable and yet needing to get work done. But I’m also smiling as 3 times in the last 2 years I’ve driven through and wished ducking in and out had been an option. All the best in 2022
Inhospitable? I think it’s an incredibly generous offer. .
People who pop in on me unannounced know they aren’t going to find me wearing pants.
I lived in an open window fish bowl with someone like that for a time, I love natural light and green spaces but sometimes I feel the only properly closed window is a solid wall
Hardly inhospitable. Clear, concise, and very generous.
I get the need for uninterrupted work time. I had a consulting business before I retired and constant phone calls when I was working on a project was the bane of my existence. A suggestion, establish retail hours, maybe a couple of hours in the afternoon and staff it with an intern from one of the regional colleges. While you are a small business, you have a world wide following and when we happen to be in the area we are going to want to stop and will buy something. The customer may not be right but they are always the customer.
I was going to suggest something similar. Drop-ins for retail purchases in a given one to two hour time frame each day. Refer those requesting tours to your videos you made of the shop.
You are a business and time really is money.
Personally I think you are being overly generous with your time and resources. Sure, it would be fun to hangout with you guys for awhile, but honestly I think your time is better spent producing more ground breaking books or tools than entertaining an old codger like myself who has time on his hands. It’s a matter of the greater good. Thanks for putting yourselves out there and sharing the knowledge you’ve gleaned. We are all better off for it.
So, somewhat unrelatedly … I always thought that my basement woodshop, once complete, would have a small altar with a photo of Norm Abrams, some candles, incense, etc.
But now, 20 years after moving in, and having learned and grown in my woodwork thinking, I find that I’d rather have a Chris Schwarz shrine. I was thinking of making a sacrifice, of my biscuit joiner …
Knowing this, if I came by one day, would I be welcomed, or would everybody hide and pretend not to be home?
Seriously now, I think your announced policy is great, Chris, very generous, and I hope our community will respect it.
Hello – A very generous offer! As someone with natural immunity and not vaccinated ( Having had the plague once and likely twice) would I be welcomed?
Well if they’re vaccinated and your not, what are they worried about?
They’re worried about you giving them a “breakthrough” infection. Be serious.
But they’re vaccinated
Beware the sea lion.
I think they made it pretty clear in the post “ You must be vaccinated against COVID”. Don’t be a jerk and ruin it for others.
No, you shouldn’t be welcome. If you find someone who knows anything about immunology they will tell you the same thing. Did you ever get the flu twice? Of course it’s possible. If you got the covid twice are you immune. No, silly.
Get vaccinated and join the 21st century. Who cares about you? Don’t you care about others?:
Luckily for you my friend, the books can be ordered online and they have lots of pictures!
Sounds completely reasonable. Would it be too much to ask whether or not you could do my laundry during a pop in visit?
You can always ask…
…you may not like the reply…! 😆
I wish all business were as generous with their time. Given that Google says I live 9,585kms from your shopfront, it’s unlikely I’ll be popping in but it’s good to think I would be welcome. Here’s to a Happy, Healthy and Short-to-the-Point-of-Pleasurable-Visited 2022.
To me, it sounds quite sensible.
Not inhospitable at all. Pragmatic and a remi ser to good guests who are not rude in general.
Especially for the source of well written a quality bound books . They look great on my shelves and taken down at random for perusing with fresh coffee. Kudos.
I may have to steal this. With attribution, of course, and royalties. Hope to be in your neighborhood someday. Best wishes for a new year. Or whatever.
I sorta like the solution Corning Glass came up with for their Steuben blown-glass workshop: bleacher seats for the visitors, separated from the workshop floor both for visitor safety and for worker safety. Folks are welcome to sit and watch, admiring the work and learning something about the skills, but they can’t distract the workers and the workers will rarely interact with them more than to try to arrange work so visitors can see what’s happening. If you’re on a formal tour, the tour guide may point out things to look for; if self-guided there are some silent-but-subtitled videos explaining common operations so newcomers understand what they’re looking at. I can sit there quite happily for an hour or longer watching the craftsmen work. Woodworking is on a different time and size scale so might not be as dramatic, but I suspect I’d learn a lot just quietly sitting out of the way at LAP while you got on with business, quite probably more than I would from an actual tour…
years ago I worked in a machine shop where we built racing engines. because it was a cool business and there were a lot of shiny fast things, people would want to hang out all day. the owner, let’s call him Dennis because that was his name, could never get anything done during the day. so he took to showing up at noon. he would spend the afternoon visiting and holding court and do his actual work between 5 and midnight. he’s still in business after 40 years, but I’m not sure if that’s how he still organizes his day.
Your rules are very reasonable and if I ever get the chance to stop by I most certainly will.
Sounds totally reasonable. Hope it works out. I don’t anticipate being in the area, but if I ever am, I’ll certainly stop by, and happily abide by these guidelines.
Boundaries. A lesser used but valuable skill.
If we bring bourbon can we get the $0.25 tour with complimentary tastings?
Should we bring a bottle or two as a gift?
Good for you as the owner of small auto shop i understand do not give in just don’t good luck
Gah! That picture continues to drive me nuts. Why does the paint run out 1/3 of the way up the third floor?
And while I’m so far off topic, let me add another thing. LAP books are in a separate bookcase here for easy access. I’m going to add them specifically to my will so that they go to my local library as a block to avoid the dumpster/thrift shop. Maybe others could do the same? Schools don’t teach this stuff anymore and the only woodworking books in the library are New Yankee Workshop and similar. No birdhouse books though ( I looked ).
The paint stops because that’s how tall the ladder was.
Sh*t. Now I’ll never not see that.
Gah! Missed it by 5 weeks. I stayed in Lebanon during the annual gobler apocalypse. Thought real hard about just driving by, looking through the window, and leaving a bottle of Cut Spike single malt whiskey. (Cut Spike is the first distiller for consumption in Nebraska since prohibition).
One day perhaps!
What’s for dinner tomorrow night? (asking for a friend…😁)
This is not the unlicensed daycare you are looking for. Jedi wave
Completely reasonable and sensible. Thanks for protecting those around you. ‘nough said.
No mention of wearing a mask. The sign at our gym states to wear a mask properly; no chin diapers allowed.
Almost everything about this policy is sensible, except the bit where you specify folks must be injected with experimental mrna concoctions. Not surprised since we are closing out year two of this march towards a one-regime global world order, and the accompanying medical apartheid which is spreading over Europe and into the USA as we speak. Perhaps you can cater to the scientism crowd and rig up a vaccine passport system?
folks are forced to “choose” which side they are on and while I don’t respect this experimental pharmaceutical policy you are implementing, I extend you grace and wish you well.
It’s dad actually. Not an individuals right to run their house as they please, but the effect that big, Big money has on the population of the entire world. We’re stuck in such a rut.
Not inhospitable at all, sane, reasonable, sensible, yes, inhospitable? NO.
Good for you. You are entitled. I posted a sign on my shop door years ago asking people to not start a conversation with me cause I love to talk. It was well received.
Thanks. I’ll continue to order on line.
Welp, there goes my plan for dropping the husband off for the weekend…
If I had a nickel for every boater in the yard who stops to chat me up while I’m caulking seams, I could pay someone else to do it. Their curiosity brings them near to my heart but 70 year old vessels don’t have the luxury of time.
The other rule of southern hospitality is that when you drop by for a visit, you should be bearing a small gift (typically some sort of house plant, though a bottle of bourbon wouldn’t be inappropriate).
Use your time wisely, the show is of unknown duration and subject to end suddenly…
This sounds like an exceedingly reasonable policy
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