Forging Our Own Path
Updated: Mar 24
"Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end, then stop." - Lewis Carroll
While the Bavarian Blacksmith Experience opened its doors July 3, 2020, in Frankenmuth, Michigan, our history as a company is a lot like Alice's winding journey down the rabbit hole. During these many years, despite our big voices, we have never had a blog. And so, nearly 13 years into our creative journey, just now starting our blog, I feel inclined to start at the beginning.
We are frequently asked how it is that we came to open the Bavarian Blacksmith Experience. There is more than one way to answer this question, and in fact, it was the work and persistence of many dedicated individuals. Of course, I can only speak for myself, and so I will. If you have ever sat at my kitchen table, you have heard this story, But for the rest of you, here it goes.
Many years ago, at 29 years old, I was a first year associate at a boutique law firm in Keego Harbor; newly married to a handsome Creative Director who was quickly climbing the ladder at the large advertising agency he worked at, and pregnant with our third child. We rented a house nestled in the middle of a tree farm and our life path was familiar and well worn, so it seemed clear. We worked very long hours, had very little time at home or with family and friends, but we were very happy.
One evening, having arrived home from work at 8 p.m., seven months pregnant, I decided a cold can of tuna would be just fine for dinner. As the day's work hung on me like the smell of grease on a waitress's clothes, my husband greeted me and advised, he had an announcement. Just half way through opening my can of tuna, I did not look up but listened with open ears. "I've decided to start gladiator training, which means that I will need a sword. And I will need to make that sword, so I will need to start blacksmithing again and make a sword."
I paused for a moment, dead stop with the can opener. Suddenly, I am Alice with the White Rabbit. We don't have a forge. We don't know any blacksmiths. Did he say "Gladiator"? Aren't today's swords props made in China?! Can you get sword metal at Lowes? My name is not Maryann, dear Rabbit, and what are you late for?
And that was the moment for me. Right there. I did not lift my head and instead, continued to open my tuna. I said, "Okay. What will that entail?" He told me an impossible thing and I believed in him. All these years later, here we are, doing this impossible thing of starting people down the path of their own impossible beginning.
Part of the navigation for the Bavarian Blacksmith Experience is the desire to encourage people to connect through shared experiences and creations. In that spirit, I would love to hear the beginning of your story. Comment here so that we can start on the same page, so to speak.
The Bavarian Blacksmith Blog will feature all of the many very big voices in our colorful company and focus on the special little town of Frankenmuth, Michigan; of course blacksmithing, and that to "believe in the impossible, is the most normal, rational thing that you can do all day." If you are interested in the impossible, come join us for an experience, seven days a week, 11:00 a.m. thru 6:00 p.m. and later on the weekends.
- Mrs. Lauren Weston is a Michigan native; an MSU alumni; mother of 5 beautiful daughters; wife to an embodied force of nature; founder of Weston Creatives; and co-owner of the Bavarian Blacksmith Experience.