is the case with Steven Tatar, a freelancer and president/creative director of Ohio Knitting
Mills. He sighs and says with an exasperated tone:
I’ll spend hours telling a client exactly what I do, how long it’s going to take, what
they’re going to get. I can spend hours developing a proposal – the result of which is
104,000 dollars and fifty-cents for this engagement. They’re shocked. “For what,
air?” I realize that if I have to work so hard to explain it – then it’s not worth it. If they
don’t get it in 5-minutes – they won’t get it in 5-hours.
“I’m burnt out and working constantly,” acknowledges Steven. We discuss how he is
sitting on a gold mine and Steven answers, “no question.” Ohio Knitting Mills
(http://www.ohioknittingmills.com/) has been featured in many international fashion
Several Japanese, Chinese, Italian, French – I’ve gotten calls from Fossil, Levis,
WP Lavori, Pendleton, and all these companies are interested but somebody
needs to take a step.. .It would take nothing for Levis – I know they’ve shrunk and
had a tough time – but they’re doing well again. They’re still a 4+billion
company. They can take a couple of million dollars out from between the cushions
of their couch and launch this company and just say, ‘We’ll throw a couple of
million at you and here’s our goals.
Steven is taking a big step and moving from freelancer to entrepreneur and although tired,
he excitedly talks about this venture:
The next frontiers are not the Wild West. It’s not the Gold Rush – which was the
origin of Levis. What can we discover in the left behinds? What is it in our cities
and urban places and our former industrial places in the mines – in the
manufacturing – that is beautiful? Yes, it’s neglected but it’s not something to throw
away. This is our soul. This is the essence of who we are. We need to embrace it
– put it back together and put our future together.
What Steven innately gets is that our future is together and that drives a philosophical
stance that is posed for partnership so he can develop relationships “that allow all parties
to access their creativities and develop possibilities where none seemed to exist before”
(Anderson, H. and Gehart, D., 2007, p. 25). A reminder of how critical it is to pay attention
to our language and conversations, because it not only sets the stage for our actions but
also invites others to participate in a shared joint action.