Wedding Celebration & Shipping Delays

As there’s a ton of craziness going on with preparations at the moment, I’ll keep this post short and sweet.

Well, it’s been a long 18 months, but the time is finally here. On June 19th, I’ll be out in California tying the knot with my amazing fiance, Johanna. I’ll be heading out there tomorrow (the 13th) and driving through the night, arriving on Saturday, then finishing up last minute details before the actual wedding, next Thursday. I am so incredibly excited, I can’t put it into words.

After the wedding, Johanna and I will be going on a week long honeymoon/road trip between California and Nebraska. Almost 30 hours of driving across just under 2,000 miles – it’s going to be amazing.

As you can probably guess, over the next couple of weeks, I will not be in the shop nor able to process orders. This shipping delay will be a little longer than previous ones as I’ll be gone for longer, but this should be the last significant one for a while.

All orders placed after 2pm on June 12th will ship when we return, around the first of July. (Our current road trip plans have us returning on June 30th, but there’s the chance we might stay a couple extra days somewhere. However, all order will ship out the first week of July.

While I’m away, I wanted to give a little gift to all of you, too. Until the first of July, you can take 10% off your entire order with the code: WEDDING. It can be used an unlimited number of times and in conjunction with our already present quantity discounts on paper and ink!

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If anyone has any questions, feel free to reach out any time via the comments below, through the contact form on this website, or directly at ajzeller@zellerwritingcompany.com.

Thanks!

983 Thank Yous

Note: This is a cross post from FurrowBooks.com.

After an amazing 45-day Kickstarter campaign, we’re so excited to finally say thank you to each everyone of the 983 backers whom believed in the idea of Furrow Books and chose to help us fund the very first production run of Furrow Books.
Furrow Books - Minimalist and Versatile Notebooks by Zeller Writing Company — Kickstarter (1)
[su_spacer] We surpassed our goal of $12,500 and received over $22,000 (just about $20,000 after Kickstarter and Amazon card processing fees.) Between the regular pocket-size packs, regular large-size packs, and both sizes of the Founding Supporter editions, almost 4,000 individual Furrow Books were preordered and are planned to be shipped out in July. We can’t thank everyone enough for all of the support they showed us throughout the campaign – no matter if it was with a pledge in the campaign, or just spreading the word about our project – every little bit helped and Furrow Books would not be produced without you.

Now that the campaign is over, surveys have been responded to, and campaign funds have been received (after the 14-day waiting period), production is set to begin very soon and we’ll make sure to keep everyone updated as much as possible through social media and our little corner of the interwebs, here.

Now Available For Preorder

For those who weren’t able to get in on the Kickstarter campaign, or want to add some more items to your pledge, Furrow Books are now available for preorder, here. We have both of the regular editions, as well as the remaining Founding Supporter editions available for preorder and all preorders will ship out after the Kickstarter backer packages are shipped out – so plan on late July/early August for non-kickstarter preorder delivery.

Furrow Books will only be available for preorder for the next few weeks, or until our current production run is depleated. Then we’ll stop accepting orders until everything is shipped out. The official release of Furrow Books, available for immediate shipping, is anticipated to take place in August – so if you’d like to be one of the first to get your hands on some of these beauties, snag a preorder soon!

So I Asked Southwest Airlines to Sponsor My Wedding

Yes, you read that right – I requested corporate sponsorship of my wedding. Now before an uproar occurs, telling me how odd and inappropriate it would be to have a corporate sponsor for a wedding, of all things: 1) I never actually expected a response from Southwest. I just thought it would be a cool and humorous story if anything did come about from the request. And 2) even if they did offer to sponsor our wedding, we wouldn’t have done anything which would have imposed upon the seriousness and importance of the event (so no Southwest patch on the back of my tux.)

As many of you know, I will be getting married out in California in June. As probably more of you know, weddings can be extremely expensive. Not many people have an extra $30k laying around, let alone a couple of college students – and so I thought, “It can’t hurt to ask,” and I sent off an email to Southwest Airlines. I never expected a response, so when I received a box in the mail from Southwest Airlines earlier today, I was pretty shocked.

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Now before I say what was in the box (calm down, Brad Pitt,) let me explain why I turned to Southwest Airlines in the first place.

Joanna and I met our Freshman year of college in Atchison, Kansas, however while not at college, she lived in southern California, while I live in Omaha, Nebraska. After my first semester of Sophomore year, I left that college and began to go to the more affordable public university here in town – so while we weren’t at the same college any more, there was only a couple of hours between us, so it wasn’t that bad. After the second semester of our Sophomore year, Joanna also left that college and returned to California. Now there was 1,600 miles of flatlands, forest, mountains, and desert between us.

Enter Southwest Airlines.

As a couple of college students, we didn’t have that much discretionary income, so when looking for flights, we had to keep an eye out for the best rates. Southwest not only had the best rates, but they were also commonly less than half the cost of competitors – which meant that we could visit twice as often. So instead of only visiting each other for a week or two once or twice a year, we were able to visit each other (either she comes here or I’d go there) every couple of months. While I’m not going to say that we wouldn’t have lasted these five years without visiting as often as we did, I will say that being able to visit frequently and get to know each other’s families helped to strengthen our relationship and was a major factor in our getting married.

So I thought that since Southwest has been there for us these past five years, why not invite them to the wedding. So that’s what I did. I invited Southwest to help us celebrate our marriage and the families they helped bring together through the service they provide.

Now while Southwest declined our invitation to sponsor our wedding, they did actually respond, which is much more than I expected.

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Upon opening the box, I found some pretzels, peanuts, and a letter which read:

Dear Mr. Zeller

We’re honored to know that Southwest Airlines has played such a role in your and Joanna’s LUV Story. Even when were miles apart, you still made it work for you by taking advantage of our low-fares! Our core purpose is to connect people to what’s important in their lives, and we are touched we could keep you and Joanna connected since the very beginning.

We are truly grateful you want us to be part of your special day. At this time, we are not able to respond favorably to your request to sponsor your wedding. However, to add a little bit of LUV into the mix, you will find a few bags of our world-famous peanuts and pretzels to had out as party favors!

We truly appreciate the time you took to inform us about your story, and we greatly appreciate your patronage. We send our sincere congratulations to you and Joanna, and we wish you many years filled with happiness and LUV together. It will be our pleasure to welcome you onboard as husband and wife for many years to come!

Sincerely, Stuart Johnson

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So in the end, I guess this post is moreso in appreciation of Southwest’s customer service. Since Zeller Writing Company is a business that puts customer service and satisfaction above all else, Southwest now holds a special place in my heart and has earned a customer for life.

Temporary Shipping Delay

From March 22-28th, I’ll be heading to California to take care of some plans before my June wedding – so while it’s awesome that I’ll get some time in the sun and some personal details taken care of, it also means that I won’t be able to ship packages while I’m away.

All orders placed between 12pm cdt March 21st – March 30th will ship on March 31st.

While I know this may be an inconvenience to some, one good thing to note is that this will be my last trip away from the store until my wedding in June, then after that, any shipping delays should be much less frequent. So if there something you’ve had in your cart or wish list and would like it shipped out before I leave, make sure to get that order in soon and I’ll get it all taken care of!

Introducing Furrow Books

If any of you are following us on Twitter or Facebook, you may have noticed that we’ve been pretty focused on a certain new line of notebooks: Furrow Books. Furrow Books are a brand new line of notebooks that we have designed and will soon be coming out with (contingent on the success of a Kickstarter campaign.)
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Furrow Books are extremely simple, yet versatile in design. They come in two sizes, pocket (3.5″ x 5.5″) and large (5.5″ x 8.25″,) and contain 48 and 96 pages of blank 60#T 100% recycled paper that works well with just about any writing instrument. To see a simple writing instrument compatibility chart, click here.

The covers and two-sided ruled insert cards are made of 80#C stock that’s ivory in color and contains natural flecks of fiber. We minimized any branding or predetermined content on or within these notebooks by limited printing to just the lower-center back of each book. The final product will be packs of three for the pocket size, two for the large; all wrapped with a belly band and heat sealed to preserve freshness.

Besides the materials being compatible with a wide variety of writing instruments, the primary feature that makes Furrow Books unique is the two-sided ruled insert, included with each notebook. The card allows you to choose and change the ruling that you use anywhere within your book. You simply select the ruling you’d like to use, slip the card behind the page you’re working on, add your content, then once you’re done, remove the card and you’re only left with your work. There’s no unnecessary clutter remaining from permanently printed lines that no longer serve a purpose on the page anyway.
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Our goal with Furrow Books is to minimize the noise between the notebook, the user, and the content that they create.

Along with the great design, we wanted to make sure that these notebooks are high quality – that’s why all of the materials for Furrow Books are North American sourced, then brought back here to Omaha, Nebraska to be constructed. We’re able to see the production first hand and make changes easily without long delays or massive minimum run sizes. The process does cost a little more than mass producing everything overseas, but it’s much more efficient on our end and provides for a higher quality product.

Here's a computer mock-up of the Founding Supporter LE.

Here’s a computer mockup of the Founding Supporter LE.

While the total run investment is lower than what would be required had these been produced overseas, the per piece cost is higher, and more than we’re able to invest at the moment – so we’ve decided to turn public for some help. We’ve created a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter where you can learn a little more about Furrow Books while helping us reach our funding goal. We have some awesome rewards lined up for those that choose to back us – including a limited edition Founding Supporter single pocket-size Furrow Book. We’ll only be making 2,500 of them, all numbered by hand.

If you feel that Furrow Books would be something that you’d be interested, we’d love to have your support and encourage your to check out ourKickstarter campaign here.

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Our Vision
If the Kickstarter campaign is successful, we have some awesome plans for Furrow Books as time goes on. The initial production will be for our first non-limited edition, The Great Plains Edition, and the Founding Supporter limited edition; however we intend to release new designs and editions regularly, while providing the opportunity for businesses and individuals to create their own editions with lower minimums and many options. We hope to see Furrow Books in the hands of doers and dreamers the world over, being used as mediums for whenever inspiration or simple need arises.

Update: The belly band viewed in the images above are just mock-ups of the bands, as the final design will change. The talented graphic artist Scott Fuller of The Studio Temporary created an awesome design for the bands and we’ll be releasing the design first to backers during the campaign!