The past few months have caused quite a bit of reflection on what we do here at the studio, and why, and how we will adapt in the future. The Olio, in short, is an innovation center for "Social Enterprise". What exactly that means takes some explaining, but it also takes discussion, processing, reflection, growth, and perspective. There are many nuances to The Olio, it's an experiment and an ever-evolving one, but it is fairly sustainable, so far successful, and has potential for significant impact.
I was a social entrepreneur long before I ever heard that term. I just did what I wanted to do, and planned the place I wanted to plan. I liked blowing glass as soon as I set foot in the studio for the first time at 19 years old, it turned my fear of fire into an amazing toolbox of skills and fun. I wanted to be a teacher because I knew I would be good at it and enjoy it, but I also wanted to help kids who felt lost like me, connect with something they wanted to do. I love being an entrepreneur for many reasons, but I love teaching entrepreneurship even more - it is amazing to help and watch young people connect with their path.
Covid-19 has forced us to shift some of our business model, you will see a lot more postings of product and less in-person workshop offerings, but it has also forced us to shift some of our unique learning model online. Sarah and I are getting more comfortable with live-streaming flameworking lessons (can you believe after 26 years I am finally learning to use a torch to make beads and small stuff??), and in the fall we will invite you into the shop way more often, where you can stream live and recorded content for various ages and numerous academic focus for those learning at home. Think General Chemistry, History of Alchemy, 3rd Grade Heat Induction, all from your screen.
In honor of my late brother Ben, I am releasing a long-planned but recently executed video podcast series titled "The Beck and Call Show" on YouTube. This is a way to say what I need, reach a wider audience with our model, and hopefully impact someone in the far reaches of the world who might need it. I welcome discussion and suggestions, but know that this is an intimate and authentic look into the development of social change, with all the bumps, hurdles, mistakes and failures in view and for all to see. There is no editing, very little preparation, and no script...as is life. Enjoy!