Back when I was a teenager watching "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” in the movie theater, if you had told me then that in the future, Robert Redford, the Sundance kid, would endorse my handmade coffee mugs in a national publication, I would have thought that as unbelievable and improbable as if you’d told me I was going to live on the moon. But it happened!
Robert Redford bought a large parcel of wilderness in Utah and started Sundance Resort there in 1969. His vision was to get creative people in nature. He always admired artists and the work that goes into creating. In 1978, he started the Sundance Film Festival. His Sundance catalog grew out of the popularity of the general store situated at the resort, stocked with one of a kind and handcrafted items. The first catalog went out in 1989. I had always seen and admired the catalog because the things in it were so well made and beautifully shot, but I never dreamed we’d be in it!
Fast forward to 2007. We had been showing our wares at gift shows in Atlanta, New York, L.A. and San Francisco for 3-4 years with our rep, Karen Alweil. It was in San Francisco that a buyer from Sundance catalog first spotted our dishes and placed the first order. Ever since then, we have had a long and wonderful relationship with the folks at Sundance catalog. It’s hard to remember but back in 2007 print was still king, and any way you could get into a magazine was a chance for free exposure far and wide. Well, Sundance was even better than being in a magazine, because it was always tasteful and beautiful, and went to mailboxes all over America on a regular basis, thereby promoting us year round. In one issue, Robert Redford even talked about how satisfying it was to drink his morning coffee out of a handmade mug, and there was his picture, right next to a full page pic of our Latte Cup! They always took such great pics of our pottery, and have used it on the cover a couple of times. All in all, they make us look good! There’s no telling how many people discovered R.Wood Studio through that catalog.
Sundance has always been aware that working with artists is not the same as working with factories. If we got into equipment snafus or got overwhelmed for other reasons where we just got behind on orders, they were always understanding and willing to work with what we could do. Their orders were so large that one order could keep us busy for weeks, and sometimes, when other orders were slim, Sundance was what kept us going. I will always be grateful for the big part they have played in the success of R.Wood studio. They are truly good company.