Fifteen and change.

Post by
September 20, 2019

Executive summary:

September 2019 marks our fifteenth year at 1301 Lafayette Street in downtown Fort Wayne. We’ve spent the last 3,840 days (along with a healthy dollop of nights and weekends!) with great coworkers, great clients, great collaborators, great neighbors, and great music—in the heart of this great city. Feeling all the gratitude, and we’re fueled by an explosive amount of energy for this community’s future, and our role in it.


Click here for a PDF of the timeline above.

Unabridged version:

Before moving to 1301 Lafayette, I was co-working. (They didn’t call it that, then.) My co-working space started as my kitchen at 936 1/2 Columbia Avenue, which I split with Jackson. Jackson had four legs and spoke by barking.

My next co-working space was a small room in our house on Randallia, and Jackson and I were joined by a four-month old baby, who happened to be in a baby carrier strapped to my chest. This baby would stare at the screen, lending an eye with proofreading, critiquing the work, and helping curate the playlist.

In the early days, I just freelanced for agencies, often at their place, and then had a few of my own clients—almost all out of town, music folks. But then I started having clients in town, and they were real businesses. A hair salon. A clothing company. A law firm. A cardiology group. A client would want to meet, and I’d say, “Oh, well, I just happen to be at Firefly at that time! Isn’t that serendipitous? Maybe let’s just meet there?”

I was exhibiting the characteristics of a business that had an office, but not being a business that had an office.

An office meant something. Legitimacy, I guess? To be a real agency, OLG needed a real office.

Around the same time, my buddy Tim Brumbeloe was leaving his long-time gig with Galliher Photography and starting his own business. To be a real commercial photographer, Tim needed a real studio.

Tim called and asked if I wanted to look at splitting space; his studio taking up the bulk of it, and me in the corner with my iMac. And we got really close to doing it! But just as we were about to pull the trigger, a little ~225-square foot office opened up on the second floor of the same building Tim and I were looking at—and we both signed our own leases, for our own spaces, and moved in the same weekend in September 2004.

1301 Lafayette, on the corner of Douglas Avenue.

The other thing that having an office meant was, there was no more co-working—I could have coworkers (who weren’t babies and dogs). And so soon enough I started working with Paige, and then Nate, and Amy, and Tommy, and now I blink and am so lucky to work with Jake and Michelle and Jonathan and Olivia and Shane and Beth and Annie and Chelsea and Zach and Caity.

To be a team of 11, we had to have a bigger footprint, and we expanded our space, over and over again. And as incredible as our neighbors have always been here, when one has moved on, we’ve high-fived ‘em, knocked down some walls and claimed their space as our own. 

The photo above was taken by our ol’ neighbor and friend, photographer Andy Pauquette, when we took over his studio in May 2007. Those kids are now 15 and 14, fireworks in their souls. In December of 2009, we invited David Bazan of Pedro the Lion to play a “living room show” in that space. It is now known as The B-Side at One Lucky Guitar. 

There has always been something special in these walls. I really can’t quantify, describe or even justify it. We’ll sometimes introduce B-Side shows that way—this will be the only time these people are in this room listening to these songs, arriving with everything that happened in our days, our weeks, our lives leading up to that moment—and we are in this space together, surrounded by its history, that has been here longer than any of us. (1890 to be precise.) And despite dozens and dozens of performances, they’ve never been remotely the same, and never been less than life-changing. 

Monday through Friday is like that, too. We get to be part of this building’s story, and hopefully add to it, with something unique or inspired or moving, every single day. 

When Matilda Jane Clothing was down the alley from us at 435 Brackenridge, we started calling this block “Bricktown”—we’re downtown, yes, but we’re not in the heart of it. Us and them, we were outliers. And we were outlying. 

We still are. I love that. 

I’ve got all the gratitude in the world for my coworkers, present and past. Thank you for joining me on this journey, and for letting One Lucky Guitar be part of yours. 

Our clients are the greatest clients in the world. We are so lucky. Their vision, their trust, their collaboration, the incredible work they let us be a part of—fuels all of this. We appreciate you. 

Finally, we are indebted to our friends, our partners, our community, and forever, our families. Thank you. 

Be lucky.


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