Shutting up shop

Jon MacKinnon

The thought of “shutting” Mack Workshop has entered my mind a few times over the last couple of years for numerous reasons, but today, after some careful consideration and a conversation with my business advisor aka my dad, I had a chat with my boss and decided to go back to full time hours, and begin to wind down Mack Workshop for the foreseeable future.

To be honest, there are a large number of reasons why I’ve decided to do so. The thought has entered my mind at times because I’ve been too busy, sometimes it’s because it’s too quiet, but really I think what it boils down to is the fact that I’ve lost the love for it a bit.

For the last few years working a 4 day work week around Mack Workshop meant sometimes I didn’t get any kind of down time because I had too many orders, I have ridden my bike once in the last 14ish months due in part to this, I’ve had to sacrifice relationships, friendships, weekends, and my 4 weeks of yearly holiday to make bags, and I think it’s about time I took some time to myself.

I could write a lot about other aspects that helped make my decision, but it would just come across as negative self pity, so I’ll save it for my nearest and dearest instead.

I’m not disappearing completely. I’ll still have my sewing machine, that’s not going anywhere, and I will still take on work every now and then, but I want to take on work that excites me. I don’t want to spend my weekend doing a run of 10 Bar Bags, or Road Rolls, or whatever it might be, I want to make stuff that I love the idea of. I’ve had a bunch of ideas bouncing around my head for the last god knows how long, and maybe it’s time to let some of those come to fruition.

If you want anything before I go incognito, feel free to place an order, or drop me an email and I’ll do my best to get it to you in a timely fashion. However as of Friday 1st November, I will be working 5 days a week at my full time job.

To those with existing orders, you’re all good, they’re being done and will be with you ASAP.

When it comes to thanks I guess first and foremost the thanks should to go to whoever I bought a tool roll off that broke within a few weeks of receiving it, you inspired me to do better.

Next up is my mum for giving me some thread and a handkerchief after I bought my first machine and saying “learn how to sew a straight line”, seems her years of being a textiles teacher showed her all that’s needed is the ability to control a machine and you can make almost whatever you want. My dad for sacrificing space in his garage for my sewing machine (the first few years of MW I worked in the basement/garage of my parents house with a fan heater in winter to keep me warm while I worked in the evenings after work), my sister, and her partner for supporting me, testing out ideas I came up with, telling me when things were shit and when they were good, and inspiring me to keep on making.

To Tim at Das Rad Klub/Forever Pedalling/Business As Usual, thanks for being my guinea pig when I was making my first few Tool Rolls, and thanks for coming up with the Jersey Pouch idea, also thank you for allowing me to use your incredible shop space on multiple occasions to not only display my bags but also teach people how to sew.

To anyone who purchased anything, said nice things about my bags, liked an instagram post, whatever it might be, thank you. Without customers I wouldn’t be where I am today, so again thank you for trusting me to make things for you, and once more thank you for being understanding when things went wrong, or deadlines slipped.

If you want to get in touch with me, my inbox is always open for emails, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

Enjoy the ride, Jon AKA MackWorkshop