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January 16, 2024 5 min read

Change is good!  I learned that some 25 years ago.  Some might perceive change as a bad thing, but in my experience, change has brought new knowledge sets and with that, a motivation to put to work what has been learned.  

For most of 2023, I have slowly mentioned certain hints to changes that may take place eventually.  One of those changes is to cut costs!  Oh boy, but how do I do that in an economy that has become oddly manipulated by some?  If I cut costs, will it lead to less revenue?  Will it open up new avenues of investing in my business?  Will it cause my reach to diminish even more than it has with social media platforms tightening the reigns on small businesses?  These are hard to answer questions, but something has got to give, as many costs have sky rocketed out of my control with the highest inflation we’ve ever experienced as a country.  
As an artist making luxury goods, inflation affects my customers’ ability to make purchases too.  I’m a one-manned shop, it’s just me.  I make everything.  That is not easy.  I even make dang near most of my hardware that I use to then make my product line.  (I challenge anyone to find ONE other Maker who is not only making their product line, but also making the implements that go into making said products, good luck.) — So how will I cut costs & create a profit at the same time to support my family?  I don’t have all the right answers, but I’ll never give up my dream of Building my little Brand of Anvil Wallets.

On the horizon:

Be the best I can be.  I’ve mentioned this over and over the past 3 years especially.  There is a Bible verse that has stuck with me most of my life:  “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Jesus.” — So my aim has always been to make the best wallets, the best of what I make & offer through Anvil.  I decided long ago who better to work for than God Himself?  If I’m only aiming to please people, I’m going to run into many crummy situations.  
Especially in this past full year or two, I’ve made it my mission to PERFECT the Anvil Wallet.  I want every aspect and detail to reflect perfection & gain the attention of whoever comes across my little business of handmade art.  One thing I know for sure is if I can make the perfect wallet or chain or necklace or belt, those purchases will come to my family, maybe even without having to pay for advertising.  Advertising has haunted me for 18 years since I started Anvil in my garage in 2005.  It’s so expensive!!!  (lol) - I’ve always dreamed of the day I can get away from it and solely rely of word of mouth marketing from my dearest clients/fans/followers.  This has actually happened to a point, but my family continues to grow, as do my personal & business expenses.  — Whenever you’ve seen or heard me say “The Best is Yet to Come”, now you know what I mean, mostly…

Cutting more cost — I can instantly cut out over $500 per month by cutting the cord of several aspects of my website.  One of which is the Anvil Rewards that was once active, but in recent couple of years has fallen off to nearly nonexistent.  It’s of very little help and therefore I have ended Anvil Rewards as of December 31. 

Since 2005, my costs on hides has multiplied several times over….thats tough to deal with.  My product pricing has followed suit.  My wallets aren’t cheap, because I have learned to only use The Very Best materials, as you’ve grown to know in my works.  Further, I’ve added new machines & equipment to help me make & offer new Metal Gear (made in my humble Metal Studio at home.)  The feedback I get from my customers has been my guiding light as to know what I make next and how to improve my skill sets accordingly.  I’m totally stoked that you have all really enjoyed picking up something Silver from me, whether it be a 999 silver Cross pendant or a 18” Silver Anvil Signature Wallet Chain!  Thank you all so much, my family is so grateful for you!

———

Is a name change coming soon?  I’m not sure yet & I won’t dive into it much here and now, but even if it did, it won’t accrue to much of a change.  In short, and I don’t like talking about this, I was sent a Cease and Desist letter from the capable lawyers of ‘Gildan’, the parent company of ‘Anvil Apparel’.  Yes, the cotton T-shirt company in California that supplies nearly every softball teams’ shirts - you probably have an Anvil T-shirt in your closet.  Well a few years ago, they saw me selling you my highly coveted Heather Black Anvil Customs Tshirt, a shirt loved by MANY who made the decision to purchase from me.  A shirt to merely advertise my business, a lot like a billboard does, except in this case, on a person's body.  --  After a nearly 2 year conversation between attorneys, I finally agreed to not sell that shirt.  As angry as that made me, it is what it is.  In my opinion, it was very much a bullying approach on Gildan's part (they were just mad that I had applied for the word ANVIL as a trademark for my wallets) but I agreed not to sell that dang shirt and they dropped their "objection" with the USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office)....and I finally got my ANVIL Trademark for wallets. 

-- Long story a bit shorter, that whole saga took the wind out of my sails....and my sales. Back in that time, I was really excited to build a Merchandise section of Anvil Customs.  I had spent dang near $12,000 on that conversation between attorneys.....what a ridiculous lesson that was to learn.  Next time something like this happens, its UP YOURS, I'm not giving in for nothing! -- It literally killed my motivation for any other sort of merch I could offer my followers and customers. 

UNTIL NOW....

It's 2024, we're in the craziest year of our lives it seems and I'm just trying to survive and continue this dream of mine.  I'll try and keep this short, I'm designing some original concerpts for new Apparel, Mugs, Hats, Patches, Bugout Bags, Lighters, and many more items that I will be bringing to ANVIL.  But you know what?....I will not be successful without YOU.  Afterall, this is 100% ALL for YOU.  I want my merch to be able to be purchased by all.  I know this means it must be QUALITY, just like the Anvil Wallets you've grown to love.  -- Good news is, I've already started and you can find 2 NEW Anvil Shirts available on the website right now!  Would you consider Supporting Anvil with a shirt purchase?  I would be elated if you would!!! -- Be watching for much more merch to be dropped, I promise only the highest quality.  In fact, I've devoted myself to hand selecting materials and methods to be used in the manufacturing of my merch, something very few business owners care to do.  From incredibly soft, yet durable cotton and tri-blend apparel to wool and limited produced 3D embroidered patches for hats!  - And I'm just getting started!!  I will only be offering each design is VERY LOW production numbers, then Im moving on to the next design.....if you grab something, just know not everyone will be able to, its something unique for you, just like Anvil Wallets.

So yeah, that's just a couple of changes that have been made already in 2024, just the beginning of The New Anvil Era -- BE A PART OF IT!  Let's Goooo! 

RyanTheAnvil