the end of an era.

If you’ve read my blog much, you’re familiar with the tiny paper goods company Andrew and I started a few years ago.

Looks like chocolate but it’s really just our logo on (our favorite) French paper in Hot Fudge.

It feels like ages ago (back when we were in school actually) that we had the brilliant idea to combine Andrew’s amazing illustration skills and our knowledge of design and production to form our own line of paper goods. Our first actual products showed up at Knack Studios in November 2009.

We’ve always pursued Two Over Zero as a side project but for the last year or so, the shop has taken a back seat to all the other things on our plates.

Two Over Zero at the 2010 Indie Craft Parade. Photo by Bryan Rees.

Obviously, the more ideas we pursue, the less energy and focus we can give to each one. So we finally came to the conclusion that we need to let go of Two Over Zero to make way for new ideas and projects. We’ll be officially closing up shop at the end of February.

Two Over Zero via @wmdmark
“My favorite to-do list app” via @wmdmark

Running Two Over Zero has been a really valuable experience for both Andrew and me. It’s taught us a lot about how we do (and don’t) work together well, shown us more of our strengths and weaknesses, and given us some great real life examples of dos and don'ts. In case it’s helpful, I’ll share a few.

Things we would do the same:
· Make products we love and want to use ourselves.
· Insist on quality. Our products were produced with traditional printing methods because we felt that was important.
· Surround ourselves with friends and family who are supportive.
· Fill holes in the market. Create products that we haven’t been able to find.

Things we would do differently:
· Take more risks. Don’t play it so safe that it’s boring.
· Plan for the best, but don’t assume it will be successful — no matter what else is on the market.
· Pay more attention to details like packaging. When budget doesn’t allow, wait and save until it does.
· Make sure there’s a bigger purpose. We saw a huge contrast between our level of passion for Two Over Zero and other projects we’re pursuing, probably because this was missing.

While it’s sad to see this wrap up, it’s also a good feeling to look back and see how much we’ve grown because of Two Over Zero.

We owe a giant thank you to our friends and family who have been so supportive of this venture from the very beginning. From helping us package up products to being our regular customers and biggest fans, there’s no way we could have done this without you. Thank you all!