Landline Creative Labs to feature artisanal, locally harvested, Ypsilanti-aged, hand-planed wood floors

When news first broke a few weeks ago that Jesse Kranyak and I were in the process of buying 209 Pearl and opening Landline Creative Labs, we were interviewed for Concentrate. And, at some point in that interview, I said the following regarding my role in the building’s rehab. “My back is going, so I’m too old,” I told Patric Dunn, the writer working on the piece. “I’ll sit and take pictures of him and blog about it. ‘Look what Jesse’s doing today!’” Well, here’s the first photo of Jesse working. It was taken earlier this evening. In it, you can see the majestically tattooed Mr. Kranyak hand-planing one of Landline’s future office spaces.


And, no, we don’t intend to hand-plane every square foot of the space. We were just trying to see what the condition of the wood was beneath the glue that presently covers it… I do, however, like the idea that, in the spirit of successful new brands like Best Made, we could market the offices as having artisanal, Ypsilanti-aged, hand-planed wood floors. Maybe we could even say we did the work with tools that we built by hand, inspired by drawings we’d in found an obscure notebook of someone like Elijah McCoy or Thomas Jefferson.

I know I’d need a better font, but it would be interesting to see what kind of attention we’d get for Landline if we started running ads like this.


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  1. Peter Larson
    Posted April 4, 2016 at 2:33 am | Permalink

    When you could get a bunch of immigrants to do it for 5 cents and hour, it made sense, but now labor is too expensive thanks to onerous and evil labor laws.

    It is interesting the people get all nostalgic for old school building techniques, but forget how labor abuses allowed it all to happen. All those nice stone buildings we see everywhere are impossible today because it would just be too expensive because labor costs are so high now (not a bad thing).

  2. Peter Larson
    Posted April 4, 2016 at 2:51 am | Permalink

    That was a pointless comment. Ignore.

    I am guilty of only saying useless things.

  3. Eel
    Posted April 4, 2016 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    People eat that shit up. See Shinola.

  4. Kat
    Posted April 4, 2016 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    If you really want to be like Shinola, you’d bring in models to pose alongside really Ypsilantians.

  5. Amy Probst
    Posted April 4, 2016 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    Ha ha ha ha

  6. Landline
    Posted April 4, 2016 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    We could charge another $2 a square foot.

  7. Julie
    Posted April 4, 2016 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    I’m so glad you linked to that past post about Best Made and Re Made. Rebekah’s project is just brilliant. I enjoyed reading that and watching the vids once again. And fer chrissakes, not only is Best Made still flourishing, now they’re an entire lifestyle brand. It is to weep.

  8. Rebekah Modrak
    Posted April 4, 2016 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    That photo’s all wrong – he looks like he’s actually putting in effort. You’ll scare off your clients. Next time, make it look like work is something you do in your $138 white linen pullover and not break a sweat.

  9. Rebekah Modrak
    Posted April 4, 2016 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    Like this:

  10. Eel
    Posted April 4, 2016 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    If you want to do this right, you need to start a Kickstarter to raise money for flannel shirts, skinny jeans and beard oil.

  11. 734
    Posted April 4, 2016 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    “Real, hardworking people sweat on these floors. Your yoga mat would look wonderful on them.”

  12. Peter Larson
    Posted April 4, 2016 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    It always comes back to “we hate rich people.”

    Mark, maybe you should invest the money into hand sanding the floors? It would be expensive, but you’d be providing work for people who will appreciate it. Renting a floor sander from Home Depot (or even some other large rental company) would be simply putting money into rich people’s pockets.

  13. Rat
    Posted April 4, 2016 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    Thinking Better Made is shite is not the same as saying “we hate rich people,” Peter. There are a lot of rich people who don’t attempt to buy faux authenticity.

  14. Peter Larson
    Posted April 4, 2016 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    What is “authenticity?”

    Who decides what is “authentic?”

    Who gives out that license? Is it like porn? Do you just know it when you see it?

    Or are educated, middle class white people the sole arbiters of “authenticity?”

    This is something I’ve long been curious about.

  15. Peter Larson
    Posted April 4, 2016 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    Here, white people love to come in and decide what it or isn’t “authentic.”

    Some people tend to take it really seriously, and it is perplexing to me.

  16. Jcp2
    Posted April 4, 2016 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    My father worked on a pepper plantation in his youth before being the first to go to college. He wanted no part of that authentic labor for his family. My father in law was a union telephone lineman for NY Bell, then Verizon. My wife was the first to go to college. He wanted no part of that authentic labor for his family. Romanticized labor sucks when it’s the only thing you can do, as knees and backs give out well before social security kicks in.

  17. Ted
    Posted April 4, 2016 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    The idea, Jcp2, isn’t to actually do the labor, but to own artifacts that allow you to feel as though you had.

  18. Peter Larson
    Posted April 4, 2016 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

    My grandmother couldn’t figure out why educated young people were suddenly interested in agriculture.

    “We fought to get off that awful farm, and never turned back.”

    Out of 10+ children, none of them became farmers.

  19. josh
    Posted April 5, 2016 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

    Harden the fuck up Mark.

  20. Frosted Flakes
    Posted April 5, 2016 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    Regarding all the criticism of Best Made. Quality tools are expensive. If used professionally or regularly, only a fool would purchase low quality tools. as far as I can tell, their unpainted axes are 2 dollars more expensive than the “council tool” brand–and I actually think Bettermade axes are just rebranded “council tool” axes. They definitely seem to be marketing to people that don’t need a high quality axe but who can afford to have high quality tools. Who cares? Haven’t any of you ever owned something that you use non commercially but is high quality enough to use commercially? It is kind of nice huh? Should we all just shop at Walmart and Harbor Freight for tools? Target? Sears? The hilarious part is that i am hearing about this criticism from the artist community, who, my god, obsesses endlessly over the objects and tools of their arts and crafts–and who pretty much also universally claim they have “always liked working with their hands”. Is Best Made marketing and Shinola’s for that matter, making the in-fad-shared values of the hipster community too obvious for comfort? Still puzzled.

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