A note from Ashten:
Last week I posted a photo of a blanket ladder on Instagram and had so many of you asking me where it came from. Apparently I'm not the only one who gets heart eyes over Pottery Barn blanket ladders...but guess what? It wasn't from Pottery Barn. No ma'ams! My blanket ladder was CUSTOM made by the dynamic and very talented duo Amy and Pat from J.Ames Goods. Amy is a dear friend who I've known since college (she is my comedic soulmate and someone who just gets me). Pat is her handyman....I mean fiancee. Okay he's both. Amy and Pat recently took the plunge into the blog world and what better way to introduce you to them than to have them talk about the story behind how these blanket ladders came to be?! I know you're going to love them.
Make sure you read until the end of the post....they have a surprise for you blanket-ladder-loving-ladies!
Ps: I recommend you read these posts from their blog:
Hey there! You probably don't know us. This is the first time we've been featured here on Just Go Left. We are Amy + Patrick of J.AMES Goods - just pronounced James, in case you're wondering. Our blog is dedicated to finding the good things in life, and those good things generally revolve around some of the projects we pick up. Refurbishing furniture, thrifting, fixing up old cars, calligraphy, leather stamping - you name it, we probably do it. Pat does the building and the dirty work, Amy does the decorating and the writing. This is important to know because I do tend to write in first person singular - even though it's OUR blog. But if Pat happens to take over, you'll know because it's totally dude stuff. And yes, I was an English major.
That's actually how I met Ashten nearly eight years ago - in a research methods course in college. She complimented me on my sparkly rhinestone bracelet and then later she finished off my Daniel Tosh joke. We decided right then and there we would be LLFFLs, or lifelong friends...for life....we made that up. That last bit just reinforces the time-span we intend to remain friends in case the first part didn't already clarify that. We don't want to mislead or confuse anyone - but this friendship is legit.
So back to me and Pat. We met just over two years ago at my parents house - yep, my dad set us up - and we are now engaged. And because life isn't crazy enough with wedding planning, we decided to start our own little side biz and a blog to document all the chaos surrounding us. But really, this was the best decision we ever made - besides deciding to get married, duh.
J.AMES Goods actually came to us in a super roundabout way and was ultimately the result of Pat's temporary layoff. Pat works for my dad's heating and air conditioning company in Southern California. And if you know anything about Southern California, you know that the weather here is amazing like 98.9% of the time. Well, this winter was exceptionally warm and nobody needed to use their HVAC systems. That meant no service or installation work for ol' Patsy or anyone else at my dad's company.
But this ebb and flow of the HVAC industry is nothing new to me. I grew up with the famine or feast mentality and understood early on in life that there are lean times of the year and it's something you have to prepare for when your income is flowing heavy. Somehow the memory of this lifestyle escaped me when Pat and I moved in together, and when this lovely winter of ours arrived, we were not prepared. Okay, we were a little prepared. Pat and I did Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University a year ago and taught us one of the most important life lessons we ever learned - have an emergency fund. Our bills got paid, but homegirl here had a hard time adjusting to the fact that there was no extra spending money for shoes or date nights. So we decided to hawk a blanket ladder Pat had built so that we could have some spare cash.
Rewind: When we first moved in together, I showed Pat a blanket ladder I reeeeeally wanted from Pottery Barn. It had a price tag of $250 that made Pat spit out his beer - and we don't waste beer around these parts, so I knew something serious was about to happen. "I could build that - easy," he said. Duh, he could build it! He built a freaking barn, chicken coop and tack shed all by himself. Of course he could throw together a blanket ladder! And so the very next day I got my very own Pattery Barn blanket ladder which I proudly hung my blankets on in our little living room.
Fast forward: But then we needed some money and surely someone out there needed a blanket ladder. Less than 24 hours after posting an ad on Craigslist and other selling sites, the ladder sold. And when I told Pat the news, his spirit lit up like I had never seen it before! What you need to know about Pat is that he is not a prideful man - the furthest thing from it actually. He works hard is happy with the finished product, but doesn't see the value in his work that so many other people do. The fact that someone actually paid money to display something he built with his own hands was a brand new feeling. And it was a game changer.
Soon other people started asking for ladders too. And then a farmhouse table. I knew a good friend of mine wanted a $1,500 Pottery Barn table, so I suggested to her that Pat make one instead. Pat had never built a table but was open to it and had some (or a lot of) free time. Soon after the table was finished and delivered we were bombarded by requests. Living room furniture. And hair salon stations. And rocking chairs. The interest in Pat's work spread like wildfire!
We had never imagined that people would like our pieces this much, let alone want to pay for them. And we didn't expect our blog to receive the support and viewership we've had the last month and a half. Pat and I were just two people trying to make some extra dough to go out for drinks by doing stuff we love - building and decorating. He loves to work with his hands and fix things. And I watch HGTV like its my job. So it only makes sense that we would spend more of our free time doing these things that make us happy and actually feel alive!
This whole blanket ladder thing provided us with a big ah-ha moment. It so simple and yet it has changed our lives. So here it is: be open to new opportunities. Pat and I will never say no to something right off the bat. Sometimes a no will be the result of a very lengthy conversation, weighing the pros and cons, but we don't immediately rule anything out. Had Pat said no to the farmhouse table, yea our little condo would be less cluttered with our ridiculously huge project pile and we wouldn't run into the ridiculous roadblocks that we do - but we wouldn't be spending the quality time that we do while building things.
In this process we've learned so much about each other, like how I am legitimately allergic to sanding and that Pat should always be consulted when it comes to math, chemistry or physics - oh and also, I'm slightly more responsible (sorry Pat). But we've also been given a different platform to talk about our dreams and to set new goals for ourselves and where we want this new venture to go. And it's been the most insane, hectic and amazing experience yet! So let me leave you with this: be open to whatever opportunities you may stumble upon & do more of what you love! You never know where a seemingly innocuous fork in the road might take you.
Making all your dreams come true, one blanket ladder at a time - the good things in life.
Oh and by the way, if you want to get in on some of this hot blanket ladder action, we are offering a promo for a limited time - 33% off our $75 blanket ladder orders placed by June 4th. That's just $50 for a custom, locally handmade blanket ladder. They make great birthday, baby and wedding shower gifts!
One thing: I regret to inform you that we can only take local orders from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara, delivery included. Shipping on these things is $120. But if you want to pay $120 in shipping we are totally more than happy to make you one of these things.
To place your order shoot an email to firstname.lastname@example.org!
Thanks for reading, guys. We hope to see you around J.AMES Goods!
ABOUT AMY AND PAT
Amy and Pat are the minds behind J.AMES Goods, a lifestyle blog chronicling their lives, projects and the occasional misadventure. Currently engaged and living in Los Angeles with their two pups, Willow and Olive, Amy does the writing and Pat does the fixing and building. Pat is also responsible for the wit, while Amy makes sure everyone gets fed. Amy has her Bachelor's in English Literature and Pat excelled in his studies of All Things Badass. It's a pretty unbelievable duo that they've formed, but you've gotta check 'em out for yourself!