WIN FUND June 24 2013
On the 13th of this month we had a big setback.
While speaking to the Willamette Innovators Network (WIN) as part of a panel of 3 crowd-funding 'practitioners' the 3 month old CO2 laser that was bought with the money raised by our Indiegogo campaign caught fire and was destroyed.
That first picture is the machine first being picked up in March. The next two are what turned out to be before and after photos for what fire does to a laser machine.
The shop itself survived the fire thanks to the Corvallis Fire Dept. They were more than gracious and encouraging when I met with them the night of the fire.
The cleaning up process from the fire has been significant and has definitely put everything on hold. The smoke and water and soot reached the extent of the shop. And, unfortunately, the machine itself was not insured. It had seemed before that the business could not afford the luxury of insurance. Big lesson.
In any event, the encouragement the firefighters gave the night of this disaster helped cut off any grieving process and the clean up and search for how to replace the laser began that same night. There has been a lot of help in cleaning up the shop (Thanks Travis, Betsey) and, while not exciting to do, I committed myself to pulling money from my 401K to get things back on track. I felt thankful that the business has given me the kind of inspiration and satisfaction that made such a commitment seem like the clear option.
One week to the day after the fire WIN contacted me about their wish to help me recover from this setback. They asked me to set up an account that could receive funds to offset the cost of the recovery. While I had felt proud of my business and its power to keep me feeling optimistic I did not anticipate the kind of boost that call gave me. I realized how much others in my own community believed in the business and what its about. How much being in Corvallis this past couple years has mattered.
I created this blog to record not so much the fire and what it did but more the story of what being a part of Corvallis, the WIN and the business community here generally can mean. I look forward to posting my progress and updates on the fund in the coming weeks.
Please, if you get this far in the blog, know that you are welcome to come visit the shop anytime. I would love to show you around and meet you.
245 Cummings, Corvallis