The wind whipped in the snow globe mountains of Willow, New York, a quiet town 15 miles northwest of Woodstock. It was February 2013, and the creator of EarthSeaWarrior was having a dilemma. Ursula had built ESW into an international presence and became a household name among tastemakers and designers in her industry. However, fatigue had set in during her 3rd year of running the company.
Just a few years earlier, Ursula had put her first product on Etsy. Before Forbes, FAB, HBO, Design Bureau, Remodelista, Mass Appeal and dozens of other international brands cosigned ESW, there was simply a vision. ESW originated in the sacred Mayan sinkhole of Dos Ojos in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico. By 2012, ESW had outgrown its early days of a small boutique and was coming into its own as a fully-fledged brand. The world demanded more ESW, but how would it happen?
The 18-hour workdays and sleepless nights were now accompanied with a daily dose of mental and physical exhaustion. It followed her everywhere. Was this all worth it? It sure was. Warriorz don't quit and Ursula was the leader of her pack, a woman full of fire and passion who kept her integrity despite her trials and tribulations. But how could she turn this into something bigger?
Her dogs frolicked ahead of her, chasing sticks down the windy mountain road, as her husband strode gently behind. What could take this magical company to the next level? Would it be more creations? Additional marketing of the products they already had? Or did ESW need to embark on a new journey? The dogs raced back and forth. The snow started to fall as the sun set behind the mountains.
The duo and their dogs reached the last curve before heading back to their cabin. Her 5 year old Boston Terrier, Keoki, who was so expressive and loving, glanced up at her, cocking his head to the side. He and Ursula had a once in a lifetime bond. They knew each other so well and Keoki, with his drooping tongue and boundless affection, was a constant source of inspiration. They studied each other's expressive eyes and, as always, Ursula connected the dots in her mind. "I am going to mass produce my designs," Ursula suddenly announced excitedly. "It will be called ESW²"!
In the Summer of 2013, Little Finger quietly entered the magical headquarters of ESW in Brooklyn, NY. Born in China, Little Finger had studied in London and was now visiting the US. She had found EarthSeaWarrior on the internet while searching for internship opportunities and immediately became entranced with the vision of the company. Upon her arrival, Ursula fell in love with her stubby little thumbs, little knowing how much morbid magic truly possessed those fingers. Little Finger’s small stature belied her pinpoint creative energy as she seamlessly added the missing components ESW would need to grow. She and Ursula quickly developed a strong artistic and personal bond.
A major source of inspiration for Fin was Ursula's 'Alice In The Wall' collection. The collection consisted of headless German bisque dolls (decapitated by Ursula) spruced up with EarthSeaWarrior’s signature design flourishes, including crystals, skulls, and our famous Air Plants in place of their heads. Inspired by equal parts Alice in Wonderland and Pink Floyd’s The Wall, the Tushiez emerged from this morbid madness. With Little Finger adding her own touch, ideas, and shapely buttocks, the duo came together to create ESW's first mass produced product under ESW2.
It was only early January of 2014 and New York City was bracing for its fifth snowstorm of the season. Little Finger’s foray into the world of ESW led to her being sucked into a rabbit hole of inspiration (and tequila), but as winter dawned, she had to depart for her homeland. Ursula hugged her tightly thanking her for the inspiration and close friendship they quickly built. No mere May-December romance, they both know they will be reunited soon. Fin returned to China with a mission to oversee the manufacture of Tushiez, handcrafted at her Uncle's ceramics factory. As irreplaceable as Fin is, the show must go on, and new Warriorz were recruited into the tribe.
As spring blooms, the reality of ESW² is realer than ever. The demand for Tushiez has outgrown their supply. In China, Little Finger oversees the production of thousands of her little butts as the team back in Brooklyn sends information and manages the madness. EarthSeaWarrior had expanded from its humble beginnings to a global melting pot of creativity and teamwork. ESW never lived by the rules or followed a straight path. From the windy mountain roads of snowy Upstate New York, to the renovated paper factory loft in Brooklyn, to the suffocatingly warm factories of China, to the clear Cenote caves that dip mysteriously in and out of light and darkness, ESW² had been born.
Several large boxes arrive at the Warrshop, postmarked from China. Ursula and her team eagerly open them and uncover the Tushiez inside. They have come from Little Finger, tens and thousands of miles away, packed neatly into separate boxes. They contain the largest amount of Tushiez that were created and now manufactured for sale from the mold of Little Finger's backside.
Later that night, Ursula stands in her Warrshop. She looks over her new batch of neatly arranged Tushiez, smiling in appreciation. Her team of Warriorz surrounds her. Wendy, known as Ruca the OG MGMT Warrior, has been by Ursula's side for years. If Ursula is the spine of ESW, Ruca is the backbone. Her toughness and grit has helped push everything forward. George, the Web Designer, IT guy and company prophet, observes from a few feet back, considering the numbers in his mind. He has dedicated months to the cause of helping build the virtual reality of ESW.
Newcomers Flor, Tania, Lisa and Marco stand to the right of Ursula. All four have ancestry from much different parts of the globe (three of them with Mayan/Mexican roots themselves) but are now as one looking over the product. They are a true team in every sense of the word. They FaceTime with Little Finger, excitedly congratulating one another on a job well done. The Tushiez are bathed in the glow of ESW’s illuminationz. As the Warriors march out of the The Warrshop leaving Ursula in solitude, an idea suddenly streams to her mind.
If the team can bring Tushiez to a wider audience, why not ESW² lamps and bulbs to match?
The odyssey continues.... an odyssey indeed.
Written by The Arthur Pitt Chef Warrior