Saturday, August 23, 2014

Pendleton trip with my Chromies

I work with some amazing people and when you put in the hours like we do, when you struggle together at trade shows, when you spend 20 hours solid on a build out, get 5 hours of sleep, and then go right back and work the event you just stayed up for a bond forms. When you suffer alongside a group of like minded individuals it inevitably brings you closer together. Good thing there was none of that here on this work trip. No sir and/or ma'am, it was all fart noises, laughs, and hi5s; in that order. The Chrome Portland gals and myself went to Pendleton Woolen Mills not only to buy fabric for our hub sewer's custom stations, but to take a tour of the factory and see how they make their goods. 
Read the picture above like you would a book and you've got Lilly, Jessica, and Lara.  Each one of these ladies hold a special place in my heart... the aorta. Lilly and I both joined the Daughters of Norway together and is acting manager of Chrome Portland. Jessica is her pal from way back when and because she is hilarious, I'm pleased to call my friend. Lara... well, that gal and I go way back. We know each other from our Chicago days. I'll never forget, I installed a headset on her bike, but was 1mm off on the spacers and no matter how much I tightened it, it still rattled. That was back when I was wicked green and I learned a lesson from that and that lesson was: try to install headsets correctly. She's also my work wife because at Interbike a couple of years ago some dude mistook me for a guy and thought she and I were there to get married. Her husband, my pal, Chris is a good sport about sharing his wife with me... not in the swingers way, mind you. In the tight bond way. He's a good dude like that.

Here is where we had to turn the cameras off. They didn't want us sharing their 1950's technology with the rest of the world. The company started in 1863, but many of the machines used to process the wool is of the 50's era and I think they were worried about the flash photography compromising the structural integrity of the steel. If you believe that then you should probably stop reading here because I'm full of shit and if your goal is not to have the wool pulled over you eyes, than maybe this is a good stopping point. See what I did? Wool over your eyes? Woolen mill? Awwww... forget it.
Here's Lilly showing us an old timey way of doing old timey stuff. Sure they have a newer way inside the plant on the tour where we couldn't take pictures, but that new way is via 1950 so Lil here is bringing us waaay back into the day.
Maybe not that far back, but you get the point.

Inside the factory we saw rows and rows of machines that looked like they were in a WWII movie. Better yet, like a Looney Tune assembly line. You know the song.
If you don't recognize it right away, fast forward to the 1:30 mark and be prepared for your childhood to roundhouse kick you to the face. 

I can't show you what it looked like inside, but it looked like that sounds... and after all the music you got something that looked like this:

This is one of the OG jacquard prints they are known for. We are supposed to say it was "inspired" by the Native Americans, but it was the 1800's and anyone who took a history class and isn't an asshole knows that the white man wasn't inspired by them intsead they took from them. Despite my prick ancestors, I was so excited to see all of this beautiful material.

Speaking of pricks, the gals I spoke so highly of at the beginning of this post? You know the ones? Well, they left Chrome, put on wicked rad pant suits, started their own company, and made millions in pretend dollars; The Bitch Store. I was going to take the time to tell you how that name came about, but just look at them.. so bitchy... so awesome... so amazing. 
If I ever stop being a bitch, shoot me dead in my tracks...or my face, whichever comes first. These gals know how it's done. Granted, their Empire may crumble with in the first 3 months, but they stole my heart a long time ago so who is the real winner here? Me. That's who. 

Our trip to Pendleton was the stuff dreams were made of, a dream you can't wake up from, and I was happy to spend it in the company of these great ladies while I learned a thing or two. 

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