Saturday, June 7, 2014


The past two months have brought heaps of transition to the Parker family. In March we made the tough decision to close our storefront and convert Custom Futons in to an exclusively online business. While this was a hard choice to make, I have been taking comfort in knowing this direction holds the most promise for future growth both personally and professionally. We were lucky to receive much press during the transition which aided in a relatively painless liquidation of our inventory. We are now shifting our business's focus to supplying customers nation wide with custom sized futon mattresses. More about this change can be read/seen here...  here... and here.

I've also begun a second job working as a bookkeeper for The Dubuque Food Coop, a start up organic foods store located in downtown Dubuque. I feel extremely lucky to have landed this gig so quickly and I am continually encouraged by the seemingly perfect fit this job appears to be for my personality and lifestyle. The staff/management are an amazing lot. They care about promoting work/life balance, food education, and community awareness of healthy living. I feel SO fortunate to be part of the DFC team.

Lastly, we moved our personal residence a couple weeks ago and are now renting a little 2 bedroom house that has a garage just the right size to house my tools and our canoe (all of which I had been storing at the shop). The new place has been a good fit so far, and Stanley seems to approve. We have more space than our last rental and the landlord gave us the okay to go ahead with a garden!

I spent last weekend setting up my home office which fits completely inside the guestroom closet. So, Custom Futons has officially reduced it's area of operation from 1,600sq. ft. to 6! Everything about the new business model is more efficient. I'm still working some things out as far as hours of operation and re-vamping the website, but those are all details that will solidify with time. Below are a few pictures of the new office, and the new place.

Custom Futons new location... cyberspace!

Stanley gets to accompany me to the office on a more regular basis these days :-)

The van is our last big asset to liquidate. Should be done in another week or so. Transitions are hard!

We have an awesome garage at the new place!

The start of our garden :-)

That's all for now, thanks for reading!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Two Onion Farm CSA

Last year our business hosted a pick-up site for Two Onion Farm, a CSA located in Belmont, WI. The first time I heard "CSA" I was like, uh... what's that?!? So, just encase you are in the dark on this like I was, CSA stand for Community Supported Agriculture. It is a concept that promotes purchasing food directly from the farmers that produce it.

Meet the McGuire family, owners of Two Onion Farm!

From what I understand, no two CSAs are exactly alike but most follow the same concept. In advance, their customers (aka members) purchase a share of the farm's yield for the coming season. Then as the farmers harvest, food is dropped off at a local site for members to pick up. This was all new to me when we agreed to host a pick-up site for Two Onion Farm. I must say, it has been fun and exciting to see this method in action. I've had the chance to meet most of the members and Two Onion even gives us vegetables in return for hosting.

I have really enjoyed being involved with this CSA. It supports local economy, promotes healthy food choices and means we get to eat food that is fresh and in season. It has pushed me to try new recipes and be more open minded about what I eat. It has also caused me to think more about where my food comes from. We've really enjoyed participating and agreed to host again in 2014. Can't wait for those boxes of veggies to start showing up!