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stevef
Administrator


Joined: 27 Aug 2003
Posts: 3542
Location: USA PA ALLENTOWN

PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 3:07 pm    Post subject: Winds of Change Reply with quote

As I am sure most of you are aware, the present inventory levels and service on the catalog side of this website have not been as they were in the past. Most kitebuilders expect and have been accustomed to orders being processed and shipped within 24-48 hours. In the past, if stock was not available, I would just order more and make it available overnight. Emails and phone calls used to be answered in a timely fashion, and updates to this website were frequent. Most days and many, many nights were spent running this company. I’m not sure if you realize it, but for the most part, kitebuilder.com is a one man operation. Yes, my father wore a hat in the machine shop for many years, and Marie took care of the checkbook, but the rest of the hats were worn by me.

Kiting has been good to me. In the past 25 years (almost half my life!), I’ve made a lot of friends, personally and virtually. I’ve done things to get thousands of kites in the air. I’ve sold hundreds of thousands of yards of Ripstop, and shipped a forest of sticks. We machined miles of plastic into tiny little parts. I’ve rewarded hundreds of kitebuilders with trophies and I have been rewarded with honors by the AKA and other organizations. The kitebuilder forum has well over 150,000 posts and it is filled with information that I hope will teach and linger for long after I am not here to monitor it. I feel good about all those accomplishments.

If I sit back and try to pinpoint when changes began, it was probably 2-3 years ago. Dad and Marie were both very sick and required a lot of my attention. At the same time, I met a woman and three kids that I fell in love with and wanted to spend more time with. Also around this time there was a public rant of untrue facts circulating on this website (and others) that really bothered me and had a long term effect on my psyche (I guess). Anyway, one by one, old hats were placed on the shelf, and not worn as often as they used to be. By 2012, both Dad and Marie were gone and their passing created new responsibilities and demands on my time. A majority of last year was spent reorganizing, shuffling rental incomes, and consolidating Kite Studio into a single location.

Now it is 2013 and the accumulated change is affecting more than just me. It is affecting kitebuilders with expectations that I haven’t been able to provide. And it is not fair to go on at fifty (or less) percent while pretending to be at one-hundred. I am now at time in my life where I have to decide what wardrobe I want to change into.

So I am going to be making some changes to the catalog side of the website. I do not think it will disappear entirely, but it will definitely be changed. Do I dare say….unless there is someone who wants it at 100%? (gulp). I am not yet exactly sure the extent of change but I know I have to do something. I am posting this now because feel it is fair to make my thoughts public, and to let everyone know what is going on.

I apologize for the recent lack of communication and service. I can assure you, in my withdrawal, I have not been at ease. My lack of ease has probably motivated my absence. I kind of felt like I didn’t want to face this. The old man is probably swinging a .602” tube in the air and yelling “Steven, what the f@#$ are you doing?”

I guess I am doing what I need to do… to be happy. After all, those were his last words.
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Steve Ferrel
Measure once, buy twice!
www.kitebuilder.com - Go Build a Kite!
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smarties
Kite Builder II
Kite Builder II


Joined: 06 Nov 2003
Posts: 2767
Location: Dieppe, NB, Canada

PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 4:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Steve for the update. I'm sure this will ease the pressure on your end and also on the kite builders' end by adjusting the expectations. One client told me once a long time ago that "everything is expectations" and i find that he was right and not only for clients/suppliers relationship but for everything. I learned that frustrations are caused by expectations not being met. I use to tell my kids that when they are not happy to look if they can adjust their expectations to reality.

I'm not sure if this is coming out the way i want but I just want to say that your post help us understand your situation and hopefully make your life easier. Smile it's no fun when work is not fun anymore.

Cheer and thanks for all your hard work up to now. I realized this morning that the forum will be 10 years old this summer. Look where you brought us all.
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Smarties Razz
http://www.yvonhache.com

To boldly go where no imagination as gone before! Very Happy Very Happy
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KiteSquid
Master Kite Builder
Master Kite Builder


Joined: 29 Aug 2003
Posts: 11696
Location: USA Virginia King George

PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 5:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve,

Whatever happens, you must be reasonablaly happy in life, so please do what you need to do to the catalog.

We NEED you and your kite supplies to keep our spirts and kite soaring!!! so keep your sanity however you need to!

I look forward to our next meeting, phone call, or posting on THE fourm.
_________________
VR/
KiteSquid AKA TakoIka AKA Harold of King George VA
PS Yet another post by the Squid... Shocked Doesn’t he ever shut up?
PPS The wind is like the air, only pushier.
PPPS All information provided is for hobby use. None may be used commercially.
PPPPS Vir sapit qui pauca loquitur. x11.5K
PPPPPS Please excuse my speling errorors.
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aldenmiller
Kite Builder II
Kite Builder II


Joined: 14 Mar 2008
Posts: 737

PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 5:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do what you need to do for yourself and your newer larger family!


-Alden
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smarties
Kite Builder II
Kite Builder II


Joined: 06 Nov 2003
Posts: 2767
Location: Dieppe, NB, Canada

PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 6:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For a reason that i don't know my post above appeared a second time here, 2.5hours later. I just edited it.

Steve, i wish you the best to you and your family.
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Smarties Razz
http://www.yvonhache.com

To boldly go where no imagination as gone before! Very Happy Very Happy


Last edited by smarties on Fri Apr 05, 2013 10:05 am; edited 1 time in total
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Turn11



Joined: 28 Apr 2008
Posts: 472
Location: Bullhead City, AZ

PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 7:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve, I know it is hard to make that admission.

What ever your final decision is you know we support you and wish you the best.


Best regards,
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Larry

We never really grow up.
We just learn how to act in public.
Brian White

AKA Region 12
Skype name - turn11
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BANSHEE
Kite Builder II
Kite Builder II


Joined: 12 Oct 2006
Posts: 1438
Location: Wauwatosa, Wisconsin

PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 9:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

First off thanks so much for all of your sacrifices that you have made for us, the kiting community. You were always a dedicated supporter of kiting and an honest and good businessman who appreciated his customers. I can't imagine what you gave up to provide us with this forum, the store and AKA support for kiting. Now as you stated "winds of change", this dos happen. No need for you to apologize as you concentrate on your changes. The number one priority is your family and you and providing for them. Take those new challenges and embrace them. That's what is important.
Also, I too remember the bashing that was happening. It was all BS. And the architects of these problems had they're own agenda. Buying their way to gain a following of minions and butt kissers. Your still here! You have a bunch of people that will always remain loyal to you and The Kite Studio. Your still here even after they're best shot. Carry on my good man and always know there are a million people behind you. Tell the haters and takers to go kiss your #$&.
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Banshee
Go All Blacks

Pete Pumpkin is Da Man
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MtnFlyer
Master Kite Builder
Master Kite Builder


Joined: 17 Dec 2003
Posts: 421
Location: Steamboat Springs. Colorado

PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 4:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Best wishes, Steve, whichever way the winds blow. I appreciate your help and support in all manners over the years. Make the changes that are best for you and your family knowing we're behind you.
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Bob
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Jesse Gersenson



Joined: 12 Oct 2011
Posts: 924
Location: Czech republic

PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 5:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve,

Your old man wanted you to be happy. For sure he's smiling down at you in support of whatever changes you make towards that end. Chop down the catalog, and keep chopping, until you're comfortable.

"Do I dare say….unless there is someone who wants it at 100%? (gulp)."
No. For the catalog to be useful to ANYONE it needs to be a size you can handle and be happy about.

I smell a yard sale brewing.
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torontokitefliers



Joined: 15 May 2004
Posts: 1021
Location: www.tkf.toronto.on.ca

PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 6:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wish you all the best Steve.

Just an idea, what about a group buy / pre-sold fabric clearinghouse. Your suppliers contact you with their roll-end list. You pre-sell the lot. Then you don't have to sit on the inventory.

Gary
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Weifang 06|Berck 01,07|WSIKF 91-96, 01|Wildwood 98,02|Grand Haven 96,02|St-Honoré 02,08|Thailand 02|Singapore 02|Dieppe NB 02-09|Toronto 96-07|Verdun 96-98,00|Niagara 05-08|Epcot 95|St-Placide 06-09|Pac Rim 90-95,07|Houlgate 08|Mots 08|Borneo 10|Fréjus 10
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TBHinPhilly
Master Kite Builder
Master Kite Builder


Joined: 30 Sep 2010
Posts: 3341
Location: Mt. Airy, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 7:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You should definitely do what's best for you and your family Steve.

Think it through and decide what will work for you so you can make it a success.
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Ben
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mdallmer
Master Kite Builder
Master Kite Builder


Joined: 30 Mar 2004
Posts: 85
Location: Phila, Pa

PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 11:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Steve whatever is best for you is most important. You have been here for all of us for what seams like forever. I'm sure everyone here supports you in your decisions.

Good winds. Mike
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lordzogat



Joined: 17 Aug 2006
Posts: 307
Location: Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2013 1:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wish you Well Steve and hope you get things where you are happy. Ihave always had a good experience in the past with Kite Studio.

Knowing this information will help us know what we can expect moving forward. Peoples interests and commitments change and if you are moving away from the business side of things, that life. The biggest thing here is knowing rather than not knowing whats happening, so we can be more understanding and adjust our expectations based on this new information. Rather than relying on what we knew from past transactions.
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kiteguy
Kitebuilder of the Year 2005
Kitebuilder of the Year 2005


Joined: 16 Sep 2003
Posts: 8505
Location: USA - Kansas, Overland Park - Near Kansas City

PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2013 11:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sigh, winds of change is happening in lots of places. At my house, too.

I certainly appreciate your support through the years. I, also, wish you the best on the path you choose. And, for sure, enjoy your new family. As you are finding out, children demand a LOT of attention.

One change that I would REALLY hate to see is a loss/big change in this forum.
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Dave Ellis
Kites + Kids = Education



Last edited by kiteguy on Sat Apr 06, 2013 4:48 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Pumpkin



Joined: 30 Oct 2006
Posts: 7952
Location: Birmingham UK

PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2013 12:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Finding the balance is what it's all about.

No point in working 24/7 if you don't see the people you love, no matter how high the income, many a rich unhappy fool out there.

No sense in spending all your time with the family if you can't afford to feed em.

Work out what's best for you and yours, then make it happen.

We come second to what you need but I would be sad if Kitebuilder wasn't to continue and am with KG, totally lost if the forum was to fold.

Whatever happens, be assured you have made many friends and many people happy with the efforts you (and Tony) have made for and towards kitebuilding.

We luvs ya Steve.
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Pete
Where did you say the string goes?
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snowykite



Joined: 08 Feb 2005
Posts: 2256
Location: Oxford England

PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2013 12:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with KG & Pumpkin but I would also throw into the pot that maybe the kids might need a job/ income at some time in the future, or you might need the shop to occupy you when they fly the nest.

But I'm sure that you will have taken all this into account before your final decision.
I hope that you will be happy with and never regret the decision you finally make, wishing you and your new family all the best for the future.
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Trevor

Growing old is compulsory
Growing up is optional

All knowledge is useful, you just dont know when
AKA Region 13
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skiandgolf1962



Joined: 06 Dec 2006
Posts: 325
Location: Canada Ontario Whitby

PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2013 12:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Take it from a father of 3 kids (boys) that they will become your life.
Find out what makes YOU happy and go for it

As with everything in life, time they are a changing
I've not ski in years or golf in the the last one but the kids keep me going
as time changes i'll make it back to sking and golfing all in it own time.

As for the Job doing what YOU love and getting paid is the best thing
However one also has to look after the family and there are time one has to work for the Money, may that never happen to you.

But TALK to the love of your life openly about the past, present and future
you never know if she a closet kite nut

May life be good to you and know you can alway RANT online here
signed
SkiandGolf1962
a happy Hockey father of 3 boys
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pwmeek



Joined: 23 May 2011
Posts: 869
Location: SE Michigan

PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2013 1:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve,

Believe me, I know that self-perpetuating evil circle where something doesn't get done and it makes you feel so bad that you can't face it tomorrow.

Do what you have to do. No one here needs kite supplies more than you need your mental health.
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--Pete
(Sesquipedalian Man)
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boxkites
Kite Builder II
Kite Builder II


Joined: 29 Mar 2004
Posts: 1271
Location: New Zealand

PostPosted: Sat Apr 13, 2013 5:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Steve,
Well I know what you are going through as I have been there myself.
If there is ever anything we can do to help you, please let us know.
We admire the time you spend to help us out so if we can do something in return that would make us feel good as well.

Take Care
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imagin
Kite Builder I
Kite Builder I


Joined: 23 Oct 2003
Posts: 577
Location: Moncton, NB Canada

PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 7:31 pm    Post subject: Update Reply with quote

Thank you, Steve, for the update.

It takes guts and "Integrity" to be as honest with us as you've been.

When my father was still alive and I needed to be away from work, my boss in his wisdom said that it's my family that will always be with me. Jobs come and go. He had this phrase "it's my job, not my life".

Sometimes we need time to get things in balance. And in getting that balance we need to cut some things out to make room for new growth.

You are hugely appreciated, Steve!!!!

Marion
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Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.
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