Transcript for IGTV Episode 1

Transcript for IGTV Episode 1

Apologies for the time delay in getting this out versus the video. We ask that folks be patient with us; we definitely always try to accommodate those who are differently abled, but because this video was an unscripted, candid recording made specifically for IGTV, it wasn’t possible to have the transcript done quickly. In the future, with similarly candid videos there may be a delay but we will always get them done. Please respect that we are a small yarn shop with limited resources and proper editing can take hours; hours we’d rather spend dyeing yarn. We will look into the process of getting the video mounted here on the site as well, so the transcript and video can be together, but again we lack the time and expertise (and while I am certain there are wonderful volunteers willing to assist even that process of vetting, communicating, giving access to my sites back end, making sure my message has been translated accurately and to my satisfaction, editing to remove excessive “ums” or video specific interactions (like puppies) etc. takes more energy than I have available). To mitigate this we will try keeping the videos under ten minutes long so I can do the transcribing myself and I will always endeavour to have it up within 24 hours. 

Video link:

Transcript for IGTV Episode 1

[Shireen seated front left, Emily seated front right, Carol seated in the back.]

[General statements of agreement, such as “Yeah” or “Yes” have largely been omitted due to length.]

Shireen: Okay. Alright. So, umm, Shireen.

Emily: Emily.

Carol: Carol. 

Shireen: All three of us are here to answer your questions. We’re going to try to do this using IGTV because I think that’s probably better for us in terms of just keeping the workload down. And also, if there’s anybody out there who is willing to transcribe this video for yarn then that would make our lives a whole lot easier and also give us an option for hearing impaired customers. Cool? 

Okay. So, question. I’m going to start with one of the really big questions because I think it’s, it covers off a lot of the ground that was in some of the other questions. So I’ve cut this down a little bit. I hope the person who wrote it doesn’t mind. 

“I was one of the earlier people to order the wingspan kit and while I really wanted it, now I understood from the beginning that this was not possible. I received a notification earlier on that wait times would be increased because of unexpected demand. That was great. And what I would expect of a business is to give me a choice since I signed up for one thing and wasn’t going to get it due to demand. I chose to wait. 

“But beyond that one email it was crickets unless I followed up. When I did follow up, I felt I was given excuses. Can’t send out bulk emails. (Actually you can and I offered to show you how). But I also understood that you guys are stressed and this is where it showed. This happened a couple of times and each time I was made to feel like I was inconveniencing you. I was literally about to cancel the order when it showed up and I’m very glad I didn’t. But here’s my question: How do I know this won’t happen again? In the end I didn’t even get a small note of apology or a discount on my order. I did get some really expensive looking promo cards though.”

So, okay, this person did say this was not meant as a criticism and I did cut their email down for brevity so if it sounds a little rough that’s why. First thing…

Carol: Is the bulk emails.

Shireen: So we did try doing a pile of research into how we could issue bulk emails.

Carol: Yeah, it was very cumbersome and still not the data that I needed coming from a database background. 

Shireen: Right, so we use shopify, that’s what administrates the backend of our website. And shopify actually, believe it or not, does not give you the option to say, “Okay, I’d like to target everybody whose order is older than three weeks and I’d like to send an email to all those people.” It did not give us an automated option for that. This person does say that they offered to show us how, but I think that may have just slipped us. 

Carol: Honestly, I don’t remember that email. And I’m very sorry because it would have been helpful. 

Shireen: We apologize for that. I think something that people don’t know about Carol is that she is in the back working with us working on yarn during the day and then she answers emails in the afternoon and in the evenings and on the weekends and at four in the morning and whatever else she feels like she needs to do. It’s all hands on deck in the back during the day and so Carol kind of does double duty. And Linda who is our shipping queen is also in the back doing yarn during the day. So it’s all hands on deck on yarn until about just after lunch..?

Emily: One or two. 

Carol: Yeah, probably two o’clock. 

Shireen: So everybody was probably a little bit stressed. It’s not an excuse, it’s just context for why we may have missed that note. As far as inconveniencing us, I definitely feel that. I definitely feel that sometimes our responses would have sounded super tired and maybe frustrated or impatient. And for that I apologize. 

Definitely at no point have we wanted to demonize the customers. I just want to say this for me; whenever I’m like, “Okay, guys, please don’t be mean,” like angry, frustrated emails, even super angry, frustrated emails are not what we considered abusive emails. 

Carol: No.

Shireen: Abusive emails are, trust me, you would know one if you saw one. It’s name calling and racism, because yeah, we got some of that. And insults. Trust me, if you were a customer who was like, “I’m frustrated. I’m canceling.” That’s not what we considered abuse. 

So when we put those notes out saying, “Please be nice,” … we understand when people were frustrated. We definitely don’t accept being screamed at or called names or given racist terminology or anything like that. Sorry, that was maybe a long answer for the “I felt like I was inconveniencing you part”. All I can say about that is I’m super sorry. 

There were thousands of people that we had to deal with. And I think one of the things that kind of happened to us a little bit that is that when, because we went viral, we cast a really wide net and we pulled in a lot of people who are maybe not normally buyers of indie yarn and people who don’t normally understand what indie yarn entails. And so a lot of those folks thought they thought they were getting finished objects, they thought that they were getting it right away, they thought that we should be able to ship for free to their country which was like on the other side of the planet. 

There was a lot of weirdness that kind of came in in the beginning and until the weirdness was processed it was a huge volume of just like the strangest customer service situations we ended up in. 

“I was literally about to cancel the order when it showed up and I’m glad I didn’t. Here’s my question: How do I know this won’t happen again?” 

So, when it happened the first time I was in my basement by myself. This time if it happened again, we have a giant studio, we have staff, I have another dyer, we have enough space to be able to bring more people on if we had to. Which we didn’t have before. And a lot of the work to scale was work that would only be done once. You know, laying floor or getting in hot water or moving all of our equipment or upgrading our equipment.

Emily: Even just like working out a process and system that we were all comfortable with. 

Shireen: Exactly. Yeah, so I don’t think that would happen again because a lot of that work was like a one off to be able to get to the point where we could fulfill Wingspan. 

Carol: Yeah. 

Emily: Yeah.

Shireen: “I did get some expensive looking promo cards though”. Those are, uh, I mean all the yarn is based on photography and it was important to me to have the photography represented with the yarn. That’s why we did the cards.

Carol: I also want to jump in quickly and say that’s not something new. That’s been something Shireen has done since day one. That is part of who The Blue Brick is. 

Emily: Yeah. That’s what you get when you get the whole package. 

Shireen: Okay. [next question] “What are you doing proactively to help keep you on track now that your business can grow at a reasonable rate and still serve that growth? Also what is your reasoning on expanding your product line into ceramics and scarves at a time when you still seem to be playing catch up?”

So that’s a really great question. I think one of the things, (and it’s hard to give like small canned answers for a lot of this stuff), but what we’re doing proactively now to keep on track is really hard to assess because we are still filling the backlog. So we felt very reactive lately and we haven’t felt like we’re… we’re still filling a hole. We don’t feel like we’re building a mountain...

Emily: Right.

Shireen: But I think that, getting back to the other question, we’ve definitely got a better set up now. 

Carol: Yeah.

Emily: Yeah. 

Shireen: Our yield is the highest it’s ever been. We’re up to 70 skeins a day. 

Emily: On a good day. 

Shireen: Which is like, “Oh god, my arms.” [Laughter]

Emily: Yeah. [Laughter]

Shireen: But um, the pipes, right? (gesturing at muscles) That’s not working out guys, that’s that’s yarn dyeing right there. 

It feels proactive to at least be getting ahead of the curve a little bit. And there’s all the stuff that we answered in the previous question about how we’ve increased our capacity and how we’ve increased our systems and our scale and our equipment. 

As far as the reasoning on expanding the product line into ceramics and scarves when we were still playing catch up with existing orders. So what happened there is, um, something that most folks weren’t really aware of. And we didn’t anticipate this happening, but we cast a huge net with wingspan. 

So say you sell a hundred thousand dollars in one day but then over the next few months you refund fifty thousand dollars, but you’ve already gone and invested that hundred thousand dollars in making sure that you could meet the demand. 

When you’re in your basement,( I can a 100% guarantee this for anyone who thinks we didn’t need the studio) if I was in my basement dyeing twenty a day with no assistance we would have never done this. Like I would still be dyeing. I would be, I would be so miserable and…

Emily: You’d be dying.

Shireen: I’d be dyeing. 

Carol: Literally.

Shireen: I’d be dying, yeah. It was not possible to do it without a massive scaling operation. And I think that for us to have those refunds come in, and most of them happened during the time that the company was closed. So May, June, July we were closed. 

August we reopened. So May, June, July, August was when the bulk of the refunds came through. And we’d spent the money on expanding and then we’d spent the rest of it on keeping the company alive during the time that the store was closed because there was no revenue while the store was closed. 

We had also only purchased about half the yarn that would be needed because we didn’t have anywhere to warehouse that much yarn. So we thought, “Okay, we’ll purchase half now and then when we get our warehousing set up and we get to the bottom of this, we’ll purchase more,” but by that time the refunds had been flying out the door and we were determined to honor every single one of them and not make people wait for something that they didn’t want to wait for. 

But that hurt the company badly. So now I needed a way to bring revenue in but I didn’t want to bring it in using yarn because people would feel that I was taking away from their order to start a new yarn-based initiative. So I started leveraging everything else that I know to do that’s not yarn. So while my yarn was drying I would do ceramics, I would paint scarves, I would make jewelry, all of that stuff. But we got some fairly negative feedback.

Carol: Yeah, a lot of negative feedback. 

Shireen: Some hardcore negative feedback about that. So I started doing just yarn again, but then we got some pretty hardcore negative feedback about that too. So there was kind of no…

Emily: No winning. 

Shireen: No winning. Like we couldn’t please everybody, but I had to keep revenue coming through the door because I’m not exaggerating when I say that we refunded half of Wingspan. And not just Wingspan but orders that came in after Wingspan.

Carol: A lot.

Emily: Not realizing what the backlog already was and then not understanding.

Shireen: Then when people realized what the backlog was they backed out. And you know, when you’re refunding like a thousand dollars a week but you’re not making a thousand dollars a week in sales, and you’re a growing company, a growing company is eating through money. 

I don’t know, I mean I’m not going to apologize for that one because I think I did what I felt like I had to do to keep the company rolling. It was really exhausting for me because, you know, here I am, it’s late at night, the yarn is drying, I’m on my pottery wheel. It’s not that I want to be there, it’s not that I’m like a super excited artist who can’t just keep my hands in my pockets or stay focused on one thing and I’m like Arya and I’ve got to run from like thing to thing to thing. No, it was all about revenue for us, it was all about fixing this.

So we were like super nervous when we scaled. We’re like, “Oh my god, giant commitment. Is the company going to live?” And we sat together and we talked and we talked and we said, “Okay, yes we can do this, we can do this. We have a good product. We’re gonna be okay. Let’s do it. Let’s throw our hat over the wall and scale.” And then all those refunds came through and we’re like, “Oh shit, we shouldn’t have done this.” 

Emily: Panic.

Shireen: But we threw our hat over the wall now, we have a five year lease and we’ve made a lot of changes, a lot of beautiful changes, and we don’t want to lose our space. So we just did what we had to do. I hope that that answers your question. 

[next question] “Did you study color theory? Did you study fine arts? Or do you just have a keen eye for color?” That’s very nice of you. Thank you. “And your yarn and pottery glazes and the designs that appear on your pottery.” 

I am not formally trained in anything. I do not have a post-secondary education. 

Emily: Just makes it worse, doesn’t it?

Carol: Just hate her all that much more. 

Emily: Cherry on top. 

Emily: I did study color theory. If that helps.

Shireen: She’s brilliant. 

Emily: To be fair, she knows most of it just off the cuff. Like when you ask her things, she just knows.

Carol: She’s gross. I tell her all the time. 

Shireen: Sometimes I think if I studied color theory it would wreck me.

Carol: Probably. I don’t know because then you’d be focused. 

Emily: I honestly think you’d just learn it and you’d be like, “Isn’t this obvious. Doesn’t everybody know this.” And you’d be like, “No.”

Carol: Isn’t this what I’ve been doing every day for the past four and a half years. 

Emily: Just something that comes naturally to her.

Shireen: Yeah, I’ve never taken a course in photography, I’ve never taken a formal course in dyeing, (or an informal course). I’ve never taken a course in resin or jewelry. But I did have a friend in Toronto who did pottery. So he let me use his wheel for a while. And I am formally trained in karate. 

Emily: Yeah, that’s an art form.

Shireen: Yep, very formally trained in karate. Okay.

[next question] “If I sent you a feather from my macaw could you make me a custom dyed wool that is similar to it?” I am afraid that at the moment we don’t have the bandwidth for custom jobs. 

Shireen: But we would love

Emily: I’d love to see it. 

Shireen: We’d love to see it anyway. 

Emily: Sounds cool.

Shireen: We love doing this stuff. We just don’t have any bandwidth right now for custom stuff. 

[next question] “Do ya’ll have plans for a time when you and the team can routinely take weekends off?” Oh my god, weekends. What’s that? You should see our calendar. There are X’s on it and the X’s on the weekends actually indicate when my team can’t work. 

Emily: I was tricked into working here. I’d just like to say. 

Carol: It’s true, she was. 

Emily: I came in thinking this was a part-time job and then the week I started we worked until midnight every single day..

Shireen: You were here until midnight every single night

Emily: for seven days a week. I was like, “Oh. Okay.”

Carol: I would like to say that I was also tricked. 

Shireen: You were not tricked. 

Carol: I was told that I could work from home. 

Emily: From home. And yet here she is. 

Carol: And I don’t ever see my home anymore. 

Shireen: No, no. It’s true. Uh, Sammy were you tricked? (to the dog)

Carol: Totally. 

Shireen: Sammy was totally tricked. 

Shireen: Sammy is feeling bamboozled. Arya (other dog) is feeling bamboozled too.

Shireen: Back to questions.

Shireen: So, okay. [next question] “I seem to remember you saying you would open up a fresh batch of Wingspan orders sometime in the future. Are you still considering that? What would you change after all you’ve learned through this whole process?” So I think we’re covering a lot of that stuff as we go. But Wingspan, if you want a Wingspan, you can just order yarn and go see Kyle on Ravelry and order the pattern through him. Which is how it worked the first time anyway. 

Carol: We do still have so codes left so if it’s more that you want to support us in that, reach out to me and I’ll make it happen. 

Shireen: Okay. [next question] “Would you do the KW guild in September?” Yes, yes, that’s one of our favorite shows. We’re absolutely planning on being there.

[next question] “You were knitting a beautiful..”

Carol: Uh-oh

Shireen: “You were knitting a beautiful pink shawl last year that you were going to name ‘Patience’. Do you still have plans to release that?”

Carol: Okay. I’m going to take this one. So Shireen is crazy busy. I know shock, surprise. She tasked me with the test knitting of it and frankly it has gotten out of my control. There’s something in the lace, the first lace section that’s not working right. And frankly I just don’t have the time to figure out where it is that it’s not working. I apologize to everyone who’s waiting for that pattern because we did promise it. I apologize to all of my testers who are waiting for me to get to them on… 

Shireen: Patience. 

Emily: Patience. 

Carol: how the lace should be fixed. 

Shireen: I’m so glad we called it “Patience”. 

Carol: I’m so sorry. There’s a cruise coming up so I’ll work on it on the cruise and I’ll try to figure it out for everyone who is still waiting. 

Shireen: There you go. 

Emily: What a better time to do that than with a bunch of knitters around you.

Carol: So completely sorry.

Shireen: Yeah. [next question] “So if I were to order this week how long before I actually receive my order?” That’s a good question. 

Emily: That’s a good one.

Shireen: We have, as of right now, barring unforeseen circumstances, which obviously we’re not, you know, you never know, right? We’re looking at forty days, forty days of dyeing takes us to yesterday’s orders. 

Emily & Carol: Yes.

Shireen: So that’s not, that’s actually…

Emily: That’s the lowest it’s ever been. 

Carol: That’s not bad. 

Shireen: the best it’s ever been. 

Emily: The lowest.

Carol: Honest to god. 

Shireen: That’s the lowest it’s been since Wingspan. So for us that feels pretty good actually. 

Emily & Carol: Yeah.

Shireen: But, you know, I understand that doesn’t feel amazing to you guys. But, I mean, you know we’re doing our best. 

Emily: Truckin’ along. 

Shireen: Truckin’ along. I think, man, we feel so bad…

Carol: It’s true.

Shireen: about this backlog. Trust me. We sometimes we wonder when folks do get angry we think in your worst case scenario what are we doing? Is it that we’re just kind of really incompetent or that we don’t, like actively don’t care? But we’re honestly like trucking as hard as we can trying to keep revenue coming into the company and trying to get stuff going out of the company and trying to make sure that everybody in between is feeling like they have, they’ve been heard. 

And I think that for four people who were overwhelmed and growing at the rate that we had to grow, that’s a lot. We are so fallible and we made so many mistakes. And we let so many things slip, but I think that… I don’t think that there were any days where we were just like “F this.” 

Emily & Carol: No. 

Shireen: Let’s go home.

Emily & Carol: No.

Shireen: Right?

Emily: There were a lot of days where we were like, “F this. Alright, keep going.” 

Carol: And you can hear it in my voice. I’m still sick. I have been since October. 

Emily: We’ve just been passing it around.

Carol: Shireen’s blown out her knee. 

Shireen: We’re just sharing germs at this point. 

Carol: None of us are taking the piss. 

Shireen: I think Sammy is patient zero. I think that…

Carol: It’s true. 

Shireen: I think Sammy’s got cooties, and we all…

Carol: She’s the guilty party.

Shireen: we all have Sammy’s cooties. Okay.

[next question] “What’s your favorite color? Given your amazing color choices which is your favorite?” Okay I’m gonna let the girls all cycle around here. 

Emily: You had mentioned it when you did your talk last week, but I really love “Pride”. 

Shireen: I love “Pride”. 

Emily: I love “Pride”. 

Carol: How can you not love a rainbow? 

Emily: Yeah. It’s just so, it’s so beautiful. 

Carol: I have a different answer, so Shireen doesn’t like to let us pay for our yarn because we work here. 

Shireen: Oh god, gonna hear this again. 

Carol: She also, she also likes to steal things that we knit and use them as shop samples so she doesn’t charge us because it would be unfair to charge us for something that she’s not going to let us….

Shireen: That I plan on stealing.

Carol: keep. So I have snuck around behind her back a couple of times and actually purchased my own yarn...

Emily: Sneaky. 

Carol: so that I can keep it. 

Emily: She can keep it. 

Carol: And funny enough two of the colors that she just killed were the two that I purchased. So she killed my “Peacock” and she killed my “Pictus.” 

Shireen: Okay but those were her favorites. 

Carol: Those were my favorites, yes. 

Emily: “Peacock” and “Pictus”. 

Shireen: And your favorites?

Emily: “Pride”. I think “Pride” is my favorite. 

Shireen: Yeah, definitely. I think if left unattended I would dye variations of “Kim’s Barn” over and over and over again. 

Carol: Yes. Yes, she would. 

Shireen: Because that teal and gold is kind of where my head… 

Emily: That’s like her staples. There are times when I’m like, “Yeah, that’s a little bit like ‘Kim’s Barn’. 

Carol: Yep, that’s a Shireen’s color. 

Shireen: [next question] “How do you cope with dog hair?” Oh man.

Emily: There is no coping with dog hair. I’d like to say I had a cat growing up my whole life and I’ve never had any comments about how much fur I had on me. And now, and now there’s no getting around it because Arya decided that everything I own has to have white fur.

Carol: True. 

Emily: Don’t wear black pants here.

Shireen: We don’t wear black pants.

Emily: It’s just not worth it.

Shireen: Or we just don’t care. I mean I just don’t care. Oh, we keep it away from the yarn obviously. 

Shireen: She’s like walling out on the floor over there but she’s not like rolling around in yarn.

Emily: That’s what we do. 

Shireen: Yeah, we roll around in the yarn.

Emily: We roll around in it, but not for her. 

Shireen: [next question] “What percentage of people who ordered Wingspan ended up canceling? And what is a caramilk bar?”

Emily: You don’t know what a caramilk bar is? Oh my gosh.

Shireen: So good. So good. 

Carol: They don’t have them in the States. You don’t know what you’re missing out on. 

Emily: That’s the most upsetting question I’ve had. 

Shireen: It’s like these chocolate things that have like caramel on the inside. 

Emily: Is it a Canadian thing? 

Shireen & Carol: Yeah, it’s Canadian.

Carol: Well, it’s Canadian and UK. They definitely don’t have it in the States.

Emily: Oh my god, you have to come up and visit. 

Shireen: Yeah, you do. 

Shireen: And when you do…

Carol: Come get the pickle chips. Come get the ketchup chips. 

Emily: Not the pickle chips. 

Shireen: Come go to Harvey’s. 

Carol: And Mr. Big. 

Shireen: And tell me when you’re on your way to the studio and I will get you a caramilk bar. 

Carol: For sure. 

Emily: Very important.

Shireen: I will make sure that there is one available. That goes for anybody visiting from out of country. Always caramilk bars. “And what percentage of people who ordered Wingspan ended up canceling?” Like, I wanna say about forty percent.

Carol: Yeah, that sounds right. 

Shireen: There were two volleys. There were the people who didn’t want to wait and then there were the people who canceled after we came out in support of Wingspan, sorry...

Emily: Trump. 

Shireen: In support of…

Carol: Ravelry.

Emily: Ravelry against Trump.

Shireen: We did not come out in support of Trump.

Emily: Whoa. Gotta go. Not what I meant. 

Shireen: We came out in support of Ravelry and that absolutely crushed us. 

Carol: It killed us. 

Emily: That was a bad day. 

Shireen: We don’t regret it. 

Emily & Carol: No. 

Shireen: We are all women. I am a woman of colour. We completely stand with Rav. But we definitely ate it for doing that. 

Carol: It hurt. 

Shireen: Thousands and thousands and thousands, like forty thousand dollars or something.

Emily: Definitely a polarizing topic. 

Shireen: Yeah, it was really hard.

Emily: I love this question. 

Shireen: [next question] “How are you doing? Can we help?” 

Emily: Awh. 

Shireen: A lot of you sent something along those lines. You guys are super sweet. I think that, as a business owner, all I can ask for is for people to be patient with our fulfillment times and to continue to order yarn so that the business can continue to run.

Emily: You know what helps? It really helps when we get to see your projects all complete. 

Shireen & Carol: Yeah. 

Carol: Oh my god, yes.

Emily: That’s the most rewarding feeling. 

Carol: Send them to me.

Shireen: We feel so good.

Emily: It so nice.

Shireen: We love seeing people’s projects. 

Emily: Like send us your Wingspans, send us whatever you decide to make. Your socks. It’s great. 

Carol: And if you give us your permission, chances are she’ll post it.

Emily: Post it on our stories.

Shireen: We post them online. We’d love to see that stuff. Come down to our knit nights. 

Carol: Absolutely. Come on down. We’re doing classes now too so come on down. 

Shireen: Come down do classes. Or, you know, some people just sent super sweet notes once in a while. We just get like a nice note from somebody who was saying hey… I see you guys. You’re working hard. That felt really good. 

Carol: We actually had a couple last week, early last week, came in from Germany. 

Emily: That was cool. 

Carol: That was incredible. They flew in from Germany and the first stop they made after they got rid of their jet lag was us. 

Emily: Yeah, so that was cool. 

Shireen: I’m just gonna scoot around here, there’s so many. Let’s go back to the top. [next question] “What’s your favorite yarn base?” I do back flips for MCN sock. What about you guys?

Carol: Same. 

Emily: I love lace. 

Shireen: She loves lace. That’s weird. 

Emily: I love lace. 

Carol: So soft and squishy. 

Emily: I mean I don’t knit so really…

Carol: Don’t listen to her.

Emily: I can pick any yarn and it’ll be great. Because I just give it to my mom and then I’m like, “Yay, fun things.” 

Carol: I also love the MCN, but I’m more of a stellina girl so…

Emily: When I’m skeining, that’s the best one. 

Carol: Definitely the Manitoulin Sparkle. 

Emily: Sparkle is fun.

Shireen: [next question] “How have you been able to keep such a positive outlook and keep your space open, I’m thinking of your Christmas invitations, etc., when met with so much hatred?” I think for me it’s partly, okay so, positive outlook, it’s my team. We’re happy. We’re happy every day because we love each other. I think that makes a big difference in every day here. And I can speak for Linda too. Linda is not around. And my girls.

Emily: Puppies. 

Shireen: You can’t see Sam over there. 

Emily: Puppies bring all love.

Shireen: Puppies bring all the love. 

Emily: They’re a ball of love. 

Shireen: And also I was raised to believe in what in Islam they call, I don’t remember what we call it in Isalm. In Spanish they call it el diezmo, the ten, the ten percent. You always give ten percent back to the community. So giving back is super important to The Blue Brick. It’s super important to us in our business model. So whether that’s opening our homes on Christmas day or whether that’s making sure that we have a constant stream of donations going, Sick kids, doctors without borders, dog rescues, places where we’ve taken photography from. I think that that’s important to us and as long as I’m doing what’s important to me, then I’m happy. 

I also recognize that a lot of this hatred is not really… it’s the expression of a person’s anger in the moment. 

Emily: Right. 

Shireen: It’s not legit that this is a hateful (person), like if you ever think about driving. Driving is a great example. As long as everybody abides by the rules and does what you expect them to do, driving is a non-event. But the second somebody makes… like blows a stop sign or takes their turn at a four way or cuts in front of you, then you almost have a disproportionate amount of anger in that moment against that person because they have inconvenienced you when you were going along tickety-boo. 

I think that, you know, that doesn’t mean you’re a jerk for getting road rage. That doesn’t mean that you’re a bad person, it just means that you’ve had that moment of inconvenience and you’re super angry in that moment that you might flip that person the bird or something. And a lot of these emails that we got I think were like the email equivalent. So I think that helped us remember that we’re not dealing with negative people.

Emily: Just a negative experience.

Shireen: We’re just dealing with people who are having a negative experience. 

Shireen: That’s a completely understandable circumstance. Okay, I’m gonna start to wrap this up because we don’t want to go beyond thirty minutes. I’m gonna end on one that I like. [next question] “What is your favorite part of The Blue Brick?” Mine, sing-alongs. So every day we have a theme. So one day might be Beatlemania, one day might be Walt Disney, one day might be reggaeton or something like that, or Bob Marley. And we pump that stuff in the back and we sing. 

Emily: I bet our neighbours hate us. Or they love it. I can’t tell.

Shireen: We sing while we’re dyeing yarn. 

Emily: This is just the most like supportive place I’ve ever worked. I mean I have only worked like a couple jobs but I’ve never had such a supportive team. And it’s just nice coming to work and not feeling like you’re working. Even if we work late, late hours. I would never have done that any of my other jobs. But it just doesn’t feel like work. Which is nice. 

Carol: For me, I’ll say because Shireen and I were friends for quite a few years before this. So what started me here at The Blue Brick was jumping in to help a friend. I still consider that to be a huge part of what I do here. And to those people who’ve been on the bad side of my tongue, I apologize. But that’s the mama bear in me protecting somebody that I deeply love. And that is one hundred percent if I’m snarky with you it’s because I feel that you’ve crossed a line that you shouldn’t be crossing with my friends and my family.

Emily: Our team. Our family. 

Carol: So for that apologize. But it’s definitely working with one of my best friends is definitely my best part of being here at The Blue Brick. 

Shireen: Yeah, I think the team.

Emily: Plus, I mean dogs. Who wouldn’t want to work with dogs?

Carol: Right?

Emily: Come on.

Carol: She lets me bring Bear in. I left him at home because he’s mad at me. 

Shireen: So she gets to bring in her pups every day. And her kids.

Carol: Yep, I bring my kids in when school’s out.

Shireen: Linda brought her kid in so often I hired her. Okay so we’re gonna wrap this up, folks. But we’re not done. We have a lot more questions to get through. 

Emily: So if you want part two, let us know. 

Shireen: If you folks enjoy this, then we’re gonna do more. And thank you very much for listening. Arya says it’s time for more cookies

Emily: Time to wrap it up. 

All: Bye. 

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