Since I can remember Chris and I have been a unit. We walk in step with each other. We smirk at the same time. We will even catch ourselves drinking our coffee at the same pace from across the table. A unit. A pair. Unbreakable.
For our entire relationship (and countless others he had before me…the scoundrel) Chris has been a business owner and artist within the BMX industry. He filmed, produced, edited and masterfully created films, ads, segment and tv shows within the BMX world. On the side he filmed and created short films and documentaries. He’s won awards and has been in film festivals. He’s lived and breathed BMX for his entire life. BMX has taken him across the world and has immersed him in just as many cultures. It’s shaped who he is today. And it’s been a joy to be a small part of. We have many to thank for his success over the years. And have treasured friends who are more like family.
As the years went on and our two became three and the word cancer entered our world Chris started reevaluating his life and where he spent his time. About a year ago he asked me what I thought of him starting a new venture. A new career. At 45 years of age. Now most of us switch jobs at some point in our lives. I did so last year and couldn’t be happier (go local hemp banking!). But to change a career. That’s like going back to school at 45. Not for the faint of heart. And what did impulsive, insane me say? Let’s do it!
Enter Screenlab Design…..(shameless plugs below)
Chris opened the doors for business on his screenprinting business last year. It’s a small family based outfit that’s out of our barn in central Wisconsin. As different parts and pieces arrived it was like watching a kid on Christmas. When we have friends over the “shop” as I call it turns into a tutorial on the art of screenprinting. In the past, Chris would be holed up in his office trying to get music to sync or trying to find the right clip. E and I could hang with him but honestly there was no way we could help and most times we would just get in the way. Fast forward to the present and future, we can now share in his business and creations.
Screenlab Design is a family event. Most weekends you will find me in the shop hanging out and throwing design ideas at Chris or critiquing the way the ink laid on the clothing. Central waters beer in hand of course. After 30 minutes of just the two of us brainstorming, E comes stomping in wearing Chris’s boots to assist the best way a 7 year old hurricane of a boy can….with chaos. And it’s perfect.
Screenlab Design was just what this family needed. It has brought us even closer. For Chris it has given him a new dream to live and the freedom he needs. It has given him purpose and challenge. For E it has given him that father son time all boys need. He’s learning about hard work, responsibility and different forms of math. And this time it’s all side by side with his dad vs from the outside of an office. For me it has given me joy to see my love happy and creating. It has given me even more pride in the man I love and his limitless talents. It also has given me peace. Screenlab Design has given me peace that when/if I do move on Chris and E will have a business to support them, ground them and bond them together. As the beautiful John Lennon said….
A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality.
Ok….now for the really shameless plug….if you or someone you know are looking for a screen printer to supply your kid’s baseball teams shirts or shirts for your employees or a family reunion please reach out to Screenlab Design. Quality shirts, incredible work, fast service and delivery.