Happy Labor Day! How about we kick off this holiday weekend with a little cuteness?
This week we celebrated the 10th birthday of our sweet Percy (aka Percival Jones, aka Bubby, aka DD's main dude.) When we got this lil guy, he was so sickly and small. We had to stack books for him to use as stairs to get into his litter box. Such a tiny buddy.
He got healthy, eventually outgrew that little grey bow on his head, and is tiny no more. From runt to chunk.
We love him so.
Oh, and speaking of celebrations, mark your calendars for September 14th! We'll be celebrating 5 years of our storefront AND 10 years (whoa) since we informally started Kin Ship--back when it was part art gallery, part hobby, part side job. We've got some fun stuff planned for our anniversary. Stay tuned for details!— HH
We figured what better time than Labor Day to start introducing yall to some of the faces behind the scenes here at Kin Ship. We decided to start with our senior employee, our Shipping Manager Craig Rife!
We always joke that we're not entirely sure when Craig started working here. But, that's because we actually don't really remember hiring him. He just kind of appeared one day when we were beyond overwhelmed and kept coming back.
Craig started out working for us part time, but we soon realized that having help was actually....helpful, so he quit his other job waiting tables and he's been with us full time ever since.
Now, we can't really imagine Kin Ship without Craig. Who would tell us all the dad jokes, break the stress with an impromptu kids toy jam sesh, and send a banana to the North Pole in April?
Wanna TRY to get to the bottom of all things, Craig? Lucky for you, we did a little interview with him.
And away we go:
I'm the shipping manager, so I package up and ship out all the online orders. But I also do a variety of other tasks on a need to be done basis--a sort of Craig of all trades.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
One of my favorite ways to relax and unwind, while also getting a little bit of exercise, is to take my dog Ginger for a walk in the woods. One of our favorite spots to hit are the trails at Little Creek Park. Sometimes I can get a round of disc golf in too. At home I enjoy staring at my phone hour after hour while laying on the couch. This is my wife’s least favorite hobby of mine, so I’ll occasionally get off my phone to see if she wants to do something, but she is usually busy doing stuff on her phone.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in the foothills of the Appalachians in a small town we called Huntington. I spent my days riding bicycles and shooting my friends with toy guns. Later on I skateboarded and listened to punk music. My friends and I had a variety of creative and nerdy endeavors--from playing D&D, to making some crazy home movies with terrible production value, but some great writing and directing. Good times man.
What was one of your favorite places where you grew up?
My friend Russel’s house. He had a swimming pool, a half pipe in his back yard, and a ‘band room’ in his basement where we would rock out. We spent a lot of time there, honing our deviant ways.
Do you have any pets?
What can I say about my wild crew of critters--three cats and a K9 chonker. The cats are all weird, loving, and aloof in their own cat ways. They love sitting on anything new we bring into the house and will all gather around whenever they are hungry or want to lay on top of us. Ginger dog has always been skittish since my wife’s cousin found her as a youngish puppers in a Little Caesars dumpster. She brought the frightened dog to her grandparents during the holidays and Ginger hated everyone there except my wife. She is a true West Virginia brown dog of unknown origins. Seven years later she is going strong. She still loves pizza, but hates dumpsters.
What is something you’ve enjoyed recently that was made by another person
I’ve been binge watching those gif recipes that go though preparing a dish from an overhead view super fast. Then, I pick one that I already have a couple ingredients to and try to make it. So far the meals have turned out really good and it helps me be more fluid and carefree with my cooking style. Since they usually don’t have measurements of the ingredients, I've been eyeballing it instead of measuring everything and triple reading the directions like I normally do. I’d like to try and make a gif for my famous Keto Pancakes recipe I’ve perfected (the secret is to add a dash of coconut flour to thicken, after adding the regular amount of almond flour).
What was one of the worst jobs you’ve ever had?
Target, hands down. Don’t get me wrong, I love shopping there. Grabbing a Starbucks beverage, trying on some new slacks, checking out some sheet thread counts and scented candles. Then hitting the road, driving by Walmart with my middle finger in the air--it doesn’t get any better! But working there was a never ending job of straightening shelves, putting misplaced items into carts, taking carts of misplaced items and putting them back on the shelves. It never ended. As soon as you got one aisle straightened, it was messy again. The carts of stuff were never completely put away because there were just too many for the staff. The feeling of never fully accomplishing anything was very demoralizing.
What are you looking forward to?
Since Kin Ship moved into the space here on the West Side there have been several new businesses that have opened, with more on the way. It’s been great seeing this and I’m looking forward to seeing how this neighborhood is going to transform into a cool shopping/eating community hub. I’m especially looking forward to Vandalia Donuts moving in next door! I’m somewhat of a donut eating machine.
Anything else you want to tell us?
To me Labor Day is about honoring the people who fought and died so that our work life can be satisfying and enjoyable. Thanks to them, we have a 40 hour work week, weekends, and much safer conditions. Workers used to be murdered by our government and powerful business owners any time they would protest or strike for better conditions. Learn your history folks. It could easily happen again if we aren’t diligent in ensuring that our representatives are working for us. Please vote.