Some time ago, right here on our blog, we introduced you to the Arkansas Bluebird of Happiness, a beautiful glass-blown creation that had touched lives and connected people all over the planet.
You might recall that the bird in question, crafted at Terra Studios, not far from Fayetteville had – in the 29 years since the artisan Leo Ward made his first – sold nine million more.
It inspired us then and it inspires us now, the similarities to our project right here in Saunderstown striking, the connection clear.
But there's one thing that makes Leo's project a little different and it is this:
people travel great distances just to see Terra Studios – the birthplace of the bluebirds having become an attraction in itself, ranking amongst the foremost tourist hotspots in the Natural State.
The OMs are popular but no-one has ever asked to come and see our studio.
Not until now, that is!
Recent days have been spent sweeping and tidying, we're delighted to report, our first ever field trip is due.
This project is all about people, and it is a genuine pleasure for us to prepare to welcome three customers craving just a little more from the OM experience.
For the customers in question, OMs alone did not quite cut it.
For the customers in question, a request to see our studio and to meet us couldn't be turned down.
Here in Saunderstown we're all about connection and this is one that we're thrilled to make: a customer whose two daughters, aged 10 and 13, first spotted our OMs at The Grateful Heart, our retail partner, in Wickford, Rhode Island.
The girls plan to use OMs to make up their Christmas lists, but before then, a request that can be granted right now: to travel to Saunderstown to meet 'The OM Lady'.
So on August 3, they're due, to see our studio, to meet the team, to make a special connection.
Like Alice, these customers – these friends – become part of our story, just like all those to have stopped off at Terra Studios have helped to shaped the bluebirds' tale.
Our latest friends also plan to help us spread the word: their Facebook page will soon feature photographs from our studio – photographs from this morning, photographs not yet taken – and their OMs, we're told, will be accompanying them on a planned trip to South Carolina, to see grandparents and be photographed for our United States of OMerica album.
From one short morning, such connections, such avenues explored, such doors opened.
It's because of this that we're so delighted to open our doors.
This is cute, this is sweet but it's more than that: this is what we're about, people, stories, connections.