Posts tagged craft
Bikes, brews & the things that move you — with Chris Bishop

“I never worked in a bike shop until I owned one. My first day on the job I was reporting to myself. Sometimes we fear what we don’t know but forget to celebrate or praise what we do know. There's this really awesome saying: we fail at the margins of our experience. When we do, great. We grew. We don’t grow by having a cushy, comfortable life.”

CHRIS BISHOP, Founder, Backroom Coffee Roasters and hop merchant 

Pulling up to Chris’s airplane hangar turned “workshop” — where he roasts beans for Backroom Coffee Roasters today — is a much different setting for his business compared to when he was fueling his coffee fix out of the back room of a bike shop, hence the company name.

Chris is far from being stuck in the same gear. He’s the kind of guy who has multiple interests and a willingness to pursue them as far as they will go. He’s also a guy who avoids getting too comfortable with any venture, knowing that comfort has a way of stunting growth and breeding complacency. 

Chris charts his entrepreneurial path and insatiable desire for discovery, from motor sports to bicycles and from coffee to beer. And he believes in doing the kind of work you’re passionate about and can pour yourself into. It’s how he has turned his passions into paychecks and immensely enjoyable work.

Chris’s story will encourage you to go for it — whatever your “it” might be.   

Backroom Coffee Roasters  |  Crosby Hop Farm  

It’s never too late to pen a new script — with Bill Lilly

I thought because of the skill that I had, I should make big bucks. When I turned it down (the White House job), the pay was equal to a truck driver's union-skilled job” 

BILL LILLY, International Senior Master Penman, nonagenarian and retiree

You might not know it from his gregarious laugh and unimposing stature that measures closer to five-foot tall rather than six, but Bill Lilly is a legendary character who pens legendary characters. He is regarded as the world’s foremost Master Penman — a title he’s held for the better part of three decades. Bill’s story is one of his incredible talent in scriptwriting and flourishing with a steady hand, and how his love of script has led to genuine surprises and unforeseen stardom. 

At a youthful 90 years old, Bill sits down with us in his humble in-home studio and weaves tales about serving in WWII, leaving college to improve his script, turning down a job at the White House, plowing through a career he never really enjoyed, and how he ended up becoming a world sensation long after his retirement from International Harvester. For the past 25 years, Bill has been showcasing his work while also giving private lessons to both young designers and hobbyists who desire to learn his technique and who actively seek him out from all over the world.  

Bill's story is a testament to finding one’s joy, honing a hobby into something more, and never abandoning that passion from within. His rise to unlikely fame reveals a remarkable journey that has spanned nearly 70 years in the making.