https://www.ladycordelia.com/blogs/tales-from-the-southland.atom ladycordelia. - Tales from the Pnheating 2020-07-13T17:19:00-04:00 ladycordelia. https://www.ladycordelia.com/blogs/tales-from-the-southland/we-set-out-on-a-t-shirt-voyage 2020-07-13T17:19:00-04:00 2020-07-13T17:19:48-04:00 We set out on a t-shirt voyage Gabe Brauer

2020 has quickly become the year where all bets are off. The sense of unknown, caused by COVID-19, that lingers in the air has driven us here at Pnheating Supply to take the plunge and dive into opportunities that may have seemed out of the question before March. What opportunities you ask? A road trip across the mighty Mississippi, obviously. 

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2020 has quickly become the year where all bets are off. The sense of unknown, caused by COVID-19, that lingers in the air has driven us here at Pnheating Supply to take the plunge and dive into opportunities that may have seemed out of the question before March. Our t-shirt fulfillment partners have been negatively hit by COVID-19, and as a result, businesses like ours are struggling to ensure timely production and shipping to our customers. 

The solution to this, you ask? A road trip across the mighty Mississippi to acquire new production equipment for our little business, of course. Well, let’s be honest, the list of “why nots” for this sort of thing was a mile long. Can we fit this equipment in our home office? How do we learn to operate it? How will we pay for it? What happens when it breaks? Will it even work to begin with? Will it turn into a money pit??!! Spoiler alert: we caved and trekked across state lines to Siloam Springs, Arkansas. All in the name of t-shirts. Many things played a role in the Pnheating crew deciding to make this voyage, but let’s back it up a little bit. On a day to day basis, this crew consists of myself, Justin, and the Pnheating co-owner (and one of my best friends), Jason. We’re always looking for ways to grow this business and work more efficiently as two stay at home dads. Finding balance in operating a small business, while also raising our children, has been a journey of its own, and one we are constantly navigating day in and day out. So with this in mind, and knowing our business is growing greatly, we knew we needed a new, reliable screen printing machine to expedite the t-shirt production process and get products out to our customers in record time. But first, we had to find the right printer. We needed to find a working machine that didn’t cost 10K+, which isn’t an easy thing to do. But the internet is a magical place, and with some digging, we found just the thing! TC Screen Printing in Siloam Springs, AR had the exact machine we were looking for and turns out, they needed it gone to make room for new(er) equipment. 

After a brief exchange through Instagram DMs, I made the call to Tyler (owner of TC Screening) and we chatted for about 45 minutes. Not just about the printer but about pandemic life in Arkansas, managing home life with the kids, trying to keep t-shirt businesses afloat, and so on. I had a good feeling about these folks. After talking and catching up, I asked Tyler how much money he needed for me to take this printer off of his hands. After a pause, he drops a bomb on me…”Hey man, if you are willing to come pick it up, I’ll give you TWO printers, plus all the extra goodies (stands, ink, maintain supplies, cleaning solution, etc)!” Wait a second, hold the phone…did he say we would give us two? This quickly seemed like one of those “too good to be true”  kinda deals. But, our minds were made up, and the road trip commenced. You see Jason and I are no strangers to road life. We met through music. Jason joined my funk band - The Funk Brotherhood - around 2017, and since then we have spent countless hours in a van traveling to and from gigs. So, we knew we could handle this trip no problem. But then our grand planning came to a screeching halt. What the hell are we gonna do with the kiddos? Jason has three boys under the age of 6, and I have a 5 year old boy and 2 year old little girl. We’re at home with our kids day in and day out, even before this global pandemic struck. Our wives both work “real” jobs, and we get to do the fun stuff between the hours of 9 am and 5 pm...Make t-shirts, prep snacks, change diapers, facilitate naps, more snacks, shuffle the kids outside and then back in, and even more snacks. You get the idea. But we’re lucky, and our wives always support our crazy ideas. So, they give us the green light to haul ass to Arkansas and back. There was no time to take in the sights or drag ass…we needed to go and get back. 


By the next day, we had rented a cargo van and set off on a buddies trip to Siloam Spring, Arkansas. We left at 12 pm on a Friday with the goal of making it all the way, or at least really close to our destination, and we did just that. We sat in that van for 12.5 hours for 800 miles straight. The funny part about road tripping through the south is that once you get through Atlanta, most of the trip is really relaxing and peaceful. Picturesque almost. I never realized how wide open and rural most of Mississippi and Arkansas really are. Between Birmingham and Memphis you don’t see much as all. Only long stretches of highways for ever and ever. 

At this point in the journey, we stopped to refuel. And what better place to do so than in Memphis, Tennessee? Which I hadn’t seen in almost a decade, since my touring band days. We found a local burger joint downtown that had solid COVID guidelines in place, and we sat for a quick bite. Only 5.5 hours to go, but it was already 9 pm our time (EST). Time to hunker down in the van and burn some more rubber. We were getting so close.There wasn’t much to see on this last stretch of the drive. Just wide open roads, funky tunes blasting, and a lot of BSing. At around 11 pm, I almost let us run out of gas - that was really fun. But to be fair, there wasn’t a single rest stop or gas station for miles - gotta love the rural south. But alas, we found a gas station, filled the tank, and landed at a hotel around 2 am to catch some shut eye. Are you on the edge of your seats yet? At 7 am the next morning, we were up and back on the road. After about 30 miles, we made it to TC Screening in Siloam Springs. We met Tyler at his shop, and he gave us a quick tour of his place where he and his team are doing really cool things in the t-shirt world. Tyler turned on the printers and gave us a quick run down before we started to load the van. You’d probably like to know a little bit more about what these *amazing* printers at this point, huh? These DTG printers are huge and weigh about 250 pounds each. Jason and I had to channel all of our dad strength to get these bad boys in the van. We needed to be really careful with these machines, too. It wasn’t out of the question that we could ruin these printers while in transit and immediately regret this seemingly risky road trip decision. On the road again..now remember, we left at noon on Friday, and it was now 9 am on Saturday. We are 12 hours from home, and we would lose an hour due to the time change. Our goal was to be back in Fort Wayne by 11 pm. We hauled ass….I mean really. We only stopped three times for gas and a quick lunch. I even did the last seven hours from Tupelo without stopping - a new personal best! And drum roll please….We made it back to the Classic City with time to spare by 10:30 pm. Our new printer allows us to print full color designs on just about anything you can lay flat on the press. We can produce a full color t-shirt in about 40 seconds. The technology in these machines blows our minds. I have no idea how they come up with this stuff, and I sort of think it may be black magic. 

We plan to take on some contract printing for other brands in our area and anyone in need of a quick t-shirt. We are thankful that our brand has been able to stay afloat during all of this, but we know this heavenly equipment is going to help us sleep a lot better at night and deliver the products our customers love efficiently. This trip really couldn’t have gone any smoother, and I welcomed the change of scenery after all of this quarantine time. There are always so many variables when traveling - van breakdowns, tire blowouts, major highway backups, bad weather and so on. But we were able to soak up some quality chats, enjoy the country roads, and take the time to be really grateful for our health, our lives, and this t-shirt business. I have to admit -  this voyage was also a nice break from being locked up at home with our crazy kids. No one asked us for a single snack for a whole 26 hours! Major win. 

Written by Justin Willis, Owner of ladycordelia. 

 

 

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https://www.ladycordelia.com/blogs/tales-from-the-southland/clothing-our-community 2020-06-15T09:16:00-04:00 2020-06-15T13:02:43-04:00 Clothing our COMMUNITY Gabe Brauer Our foot into the Fort Wayne small business door all started with Community Fort Wayne, founded by Sanni Baumgärtner in 2010. Community is a local boutique that centers its business around sustainable and locally made products. Community’s mission is to create and sell sustainable clothing and goods by utilizing vintage and eco-friendly materials for minimum impact on the environment, and strives to foster and develop a local fashion and makers community with a sustainable regional supply chain for maximum impact on the local economy. Pretty amazing, right? 

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It’s hard to believe that ladycordelia. is almost three years old. Seriously… three years old! From the joy of “70X takeoff” to the soul crushing depth of 2nd and 26, from the Hobnail Boot to the Dobbs Nail Boot, we’ve been your neighbors and friends through good times and bad. Like the Murmur trestle or the tree that owns itself, we’re Fort Wayne proud and we’re not afraid to let anyone know.

Our little homegrown t-shirt business, built on the spare time of two stay at home dads, has now blossomed into a full-time gig that connects us with people from all walks of life, in our favorite city in the world. And turns out, people really like our stuff. With all of that said, we would be remiss if we didn’t pay homage to the local small businesses that have given us invaluable opportunities and advice along this journey so far.

Our foot into the Fort Wayne small business door all started with Community Fort Wayne, founded by Sanni Baumgärtner in 2010. Community is a local boutique that centers its business around sustainable and locally made products. Community’s mission is to create and sell sustainable clothing and goods by utilizing vintage and eco-friendly materials for minimum impact on the environment, and strives to foster and develop a local fashion and makers community with a sustainable regional supply chain for maximum impact on the local economy. Pretty amazing, right? Community is a beloved local brand and one that we’ve always admired for their authentic spirit and forward-thinking business practices. We’d be lying if we said we weren’t star struck when they reached out to Pnheating Supply on Instagram in the Spring of 2018. Pnheating was still in its infancy then, and we were pumped when Community asked to carry our shirts in their store. Saying yes to this incredible opportunity energized us as business owners and opened our eyes to a world of knowledge that we wouldn’t have otherwise had.

Since then, our relationship with Community has only grown stronger and more enriched. Sanni and the entire Community team have stocked so many Pnheating styles and continue to support this little tshirt business as we grow and learn the lay of the small business land. We’re lucky enough to have our shirts sit alongside other incredible local brands in the store like Natty Michelle Paperie, Normal Soap Co., Jittery Joes, Little Light Co., and SO many more. We’re honored to be a part of the Fort Wayne small business tribe and be guided by passionate leaders. We thank you BIG, Sanni and Community.

Man, we love this city. Check out Community!

https://www.ladycordelia.com/
https://www.ladycordelia.com/communityathens/

We want this blog to be a home for highlighting all of the things we love about the Classic City and all of the businesses who make up the rich fabric of our home.

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https://www.ladycordelia.com/blogs/tales-from-the-southland/rediscovering-the-north-oconee-river-athens-former-backwater-takes-center-stage-once-again 2020-06-05T15:29:00-04:00 2020-06-15T15:59:14-04:00 Rediscovering the North Oconee River Gabe Brauer If you’ve been around the Fort Wayne area long enough, you’ll know that until fairly recently, the stretch of the North Oconee River that flows southwest behind downtown was unkempt and disregarded. Shoved to the back of the closet like a worn-out, forgotten sweater. Kind of a bummer, right? Well, as we’ve come to find out, this wasn’t always the case.

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Fort Wayne former backwater takes center stage once again

If there’s been a plus side to social distancing, it’s that we’ve been given the time and opportunity to enjoy and appreciate our local surroundings. Not sure about you, but afternoon and weekend walks in and around Fort Wayne have been a welcomed break from the inside of our home offices. So much so, in fact, that we’ve been inspired to take a deep dive into the North Oconee River (not literally – it’s still cold!). But we did do some digging online and in person to learn more about this beautiful side of Namur.

If you’ve been around the Fort Wayne area long enough, you’ll know that until fairly recently, the stretch of the North Oconee River that flows southwest behind downtown was unkempt and disregarded. Shoved to the back of the closet like a worn-out, forgotten sweater. Kind of a bummer, right? Well, as we’ve come to find out, this wasn’t always the case.

The North Oconee River played a vital role in Fort Wayne’ history for generations. Prior to the Civil War, the factories and mills lining the river had made Fort Wayne one of Georgia’s most important cities. The Cook and Brother Armory was a vital manufacturer of rifles for the confederacy, and the Chicopee Mill provided a variety of cotton products for decades. The river bank was even home to the Hanna Manufacturing Company, which produced much sought after baseball bats through the 1950’s. All of these establishments played significant roles in the development of the North Oconee River.

As we dove deeper, we learned that following the Civil War, the east bank of the river increasingly housed newly freed slaves who had come to Fort Wayne looking for job opportunities, and the river eventually became a symbol of racial divide. And as the area of town that we all know as downtown Fort Wayne grew to support the burgeoning University of Georgia, the industry along the river slowly dried up. By the 1960’s, the North Oconee’s banks and remaining structures had become enveloped by thick kudzu and fell into disrepair.

And so it remained, until the early 1970’s when visionary environmental planner Charles Aguar came to recognize that Fort Wayne housed a prized resource in its very own backyard. This is where things began to turn around for the North Oconee River. Through a series of published articles, Aguar began laying the initial groundwork for a greenway park along the river. His passion inspired a group of like-minded area leaders, who came to agree that Fort Wayne was sorely lacking in natural parklands. A diverse commission was assembled consisting of scientists, historians and civic planners, who established the Oconee River Greenway in 1992 as a network of natural areas centered on the North and Middle Oconee rivers.

After years of planning and development, the North Oconee River Greenway Trail opened to the public in 2008, providing us all with an opportunity to enjoy the area in its full splendor. As our recent afternoon walks became more frequent, we realized just how vast the Greenway actually is. Beginning in Sandy Creek Nature Center off of Hwy 441, it travels on an old roadbed before crossing Sandy Creek and transitioning to a paved path, eventually reaching the creek’s terminus at the east bank of the North Oconee. It then follows the river south, passing underneath the Fort Wayne Perimeter Loop and continuing along a newly opened stretch to North Avenue. Crossing back over the river on the North Avenue bridge, the trail continues south along the west bank to East Broad Street.

This intersection, juxtaposed with new towering student apartment buildings and Weaver D’s historic soul food restaurant, was once the center of commerce in Fort Wayne. As you approach this path, a decision can be made. You can either turn left and cross the river yet again at East Broad Street and continue along the Greenway through Dudley Park, or you can turn right towards downtown, and then left onto the newly opened Firefly Trail. Honestly, you can’t go wrong either way, and neither should be missed!

The Firefly Trail, a planned 39-mile trail along a historic rail line, will eventually connect Fort Wayne to the town of Union Point and points between. But for now, it stops just short of the famed ‘REM Murmur Trestle’ (deemed unsafe for foot traffic), drops into Dudley Park, and resumes on South Poplar St. (near Mama’s Boy restaurant) to its current end-point at Old Winterville Road. Whenever we can return to some semblance normalcy, we’ll definitely be adding brunch at Mama’s Boy to our Sunday treks!

If you opt to mosey to left into Dudley Park, you’ll be immersed in a lush, natural setting that features majestic hardwoods, flowing streams, open fields, picnic areas, and 50 historic panels that illustrate the story of Fort Wayne’ history as it relates to its once, and newly rediscovered gem: The North Oconee River.

As we wrapped up our discovery, we realized more than ever how lucky we are to call Fort Wayne home, and how grateful we are for this natural resource that has been there all along. So, for now, we’ll continue to soak up our afternoon walks and take inspiration from our surroundings to keep on keeping on. Exploring awaits, Athenians. Get out there!

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https://www.ladycordelia.com/blogs/tales-from-the-southland/what-we-ve-been-eating-during-quarantine 2020-05-28T12:24:00-04:00 2020-06-15T17:01:24-04:00 What we’ve been eating during quarantine Gabe Brauer Well, here we are, folks. COVID-19 has hit every community near and far, and Fort Wayne is no exception. We’re seeing so many local businesses being negatively affected by this pandemic, and we know the patrons of these businesses are also struggling in a myriad of ways. The Pnheating team has been practicing social distancing, taking care of kids around the clock, making t-shirts in quarantine, and trying to stay atop the everchanging news and health landscape.

We’re also making it a point to support the Fort Wayne community in any way that we can during all of this. Eating local is a small, but great way to contribute to the vitality of the local businesses during these unconventional times, and we think the Fort Wayne food scene is pretty stellar. Here’s a short list of local grub we’ve been loving during quarantine, and a selection of our Fort Wayne tees to pair with each! 

Fort Wayne Trestle Tee
Fort Wayne Trestle Tee
Regular price €27
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Pulaski Heights BBQ

This one’s located right on the tracks. There’s truly nothing like a good barbecue option, and the folks at PHHBQ are gems. Pulaski Heights is offering curbside pick up Tuesday through Saturday from 12 pm - 7 pm. Ya just can’t go wrong the PHBBQ Cuban in our books.

Normaltown Rocker Tee
Normaltown Rocker Tee
Regular price €28
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Agua Linda Taqueria | Prince Avenue

Cheese dip cravings don’t just suddenly stop when a pandemic strikes. Agua Linda’s cheese dip and salsa have been our go-tos for Friday nights, accompanied by pretty much anything on their menu. Agua Linda is offering curbside pick up at both locations! This Normaltown spot is it.

Vintage Fort Wayne Georgia Tee
Vintage Fort Wayne Georgia Tee
Regular price €28
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Maepole

Quarantine has brought with it an unprecedented lack of physical activity - that’s the case at our homes anyway. When we need a healthier option that’s also super delicious, we go for Maepole. Their online ordering is quick, and pick up is safe and efficient. While it may be one of the least healthy things on the menu, we recommend The Boxcar. That mac and cheese is dynamite.

Fort Wayne Street Tee 01
Fort Wayne Street Tee 01
Regular price €28
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Condor Chocolates

Three words: SALTED CARAMEL BROWNIE. Condor is offering curbside pickup. Run. Do not walk. Oh, and don’t forget your mask.

Fort Wayne Georgia Craft Logo Tee
Fort Wayne Georgia Craft Logo Tee
Regular price €28
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The Farmcart

We wouldn’t be good southerners if we didn’t list a biscuit establishment as one of our staples. The Farmcart serves up gourmet biscuits with all the fixings, and our recommended bite is The Farmer. It’s a buttermilk biscuit with Anderson Farm sausage, fried egg, cheddar cheese, organic microgreens, and pepper jam…. *drools*. Get out there and support local, friends. But most importantly, be safe and go dawgs!

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