Kind of an interesting mix of activity levels around here. The lab has been interspersed with sounds of work. On the cusp of 2021, it was often quiet work. You know, not as much of sound coming from the workbench area of the house. Its been that quiet “doing taxes”, some cleaning binges, and those other “necessary for a business but not much result” actions. With the usual January/February lull in the lab behind us, we now March on with some form of an update.
Its easy to sum up 2020 as a year that was “slower” than usual. We still got some stuff done, but it probably didn’t look like it. Our work<–>Wildgasmasks life balance got a bit tipped, as Stego’s full-time job veers on the side of “essential”. Working through our queue had some delays and then some of the typical sidetracks. One of our orders involved some experimentation in how we can change airflow and allow for a slightly different choice for dragons muzzles. We are always grateful for some helpful lessons (even the kind that don’t feel helpful in the heat of the moment or are time-consuming), because it lets us do better. We even had the opportunity to provide a re-coat on a mask from days before a “Wild Gasmasks customer” was even really a thing. It was amazing to see how far we had come, renewing an old jackal god by placing it underneath the latex waterfall.
Balancing some overnight work calls, I have been hearing more of the grinding wheel. We are pretty much “on time” for a March or April opening. Stego is creating stackles of jackals, as well as popping out a few horse/dragon shells and KG1s. You know what that means. (Yes! Yes!)
All while that is going on, revamps to WildGasmasks.com are coming. My winter has been spent balancing the job hunt and building a whole new website for us. Im already very much aware of how slow our website is to respond, even though people are just doing simple browsing of pages.
There will be some checking and revising of some of the things behind the scenes, and that will be reflected in some of our information and product pages. With some of the changes in the world for logistics, there is some need to review the current situation. I know the website has been lagging hard so chances are, some may be seeing this update again after seeing it on our social media.
Im doing all of this behind the scenes, and then the site will be formally switched. Still, things on this live website may go a bit funny. If we have any major downtime (or issues as I switch things over), than our social feed will be used. (Feel free to just bookmark it, if you dont have an account). Dont mind us …. just working in the background.
Sadly, taxes took a bit longer this year and we were having a hard time fitting mask work into our schedules. We have transitioned out of that in the last week or so. Progression will still be a bit slow now that our ledger has essentially been taken back to zero. We are restocking our supply and accessory shelves, and getting back into a rhythm.
We do admit that this site has been neglected, so it is nice to have an update here. In fact, we can now tell you about some trials (experiments) which we have been keeping quiet about until now…..
For those of you who went to Further Confusion, you may have seen this character walking around in the evening. Taku Dragon, a Bay Area costume creator, was one of our first guinea pigs….err dragon, for what is now known as our DG1 and DG2 masks. Over the holidays, while we prepared for convention and taxes, Stego put this mask together. Although Taku makes his own rubber costumes and fursuits, the DG2 mask seen in this photo became a welcome alternative head/mask for his character.
While we are still working on handling our waiting lists (backlog), we have started a list for people interested in our new(ish) fantasy creature. DG1 and DG2 masks are based off of the molds that we create our HG1 and HG2 masks from. So, this does mean that people ordering a dragon will be queued in line with any horse orders that are in the queue at that same time.
We are still only taking on as many orders as we can reasonably do with our team’s current work (employment) schedule and around our Spring Season. Id say we are about 65% through our backlog from 2015 so we are getting close to a time when we can start working with new orders. With these site revisions, this is your chance to review the product of your choice, and maybe bring out your inner dragon.
As usual, the craziness is building in November with birthdays and other things. We know many of you are impatient and some have contacted us month after month trying to get on the queue. Some of our slowdown was from meddle having to take time from the jackal lab and from full-time jobs leaving us with fewer hours each day. However, around this time, we do take time out for the holidays. This year, we will be doing something different… by taking a trip to New York City
It will be a week of no computers and visiting with family and friends .We might be able to check mail while there. In case we cannot, know that we might be delayed a week on responses.
No doubt that we will be missing the jackal lab something fierce by the time we get back. The queue is looking quite empty for now, with us filling it back up once we can take the last of our backlog. I think we might finish that just as the New Year begins.
Gasping for air (or rather, some time to sit down and write), we can now bring you a much-needed update. Lets knock that Further Confusion post further down the page while giving you a bit of insight into what has been happening with us.
Since returning from Califur, our team had to get back into the flow of our primary jobs. It has been demanding and our respective work schedules have put us out of synch with one another. On the plus side, we do have some inventory left over from the convention, which is still available on our Wild and Free page.
Admittedly, we are not producing masks as quickly as we normally expect to (6-8 weeks for standard mask orders). As much as we regret the way our customers may feel about this, our Real Life obligations need to come first. Fortunately, demand for our products has not diminished, and consequently the wait has grown to full expectancy. We continue to do our best to meet customers’ desires, including answering emails from an ever-increasing amount of prospective customers.
Of note, if you like our horse masks and desire a hood, we have been made aware that our friend Spring Pony is selling her hooded mask. Details can be seen after the jump.