There have been a couple "Field Notes HQ Tour" posts out in the stationery blogosphere the past couple of weeks. They're very well written and full of awesome detail. I implore you to read Jinnie's post over at Three Staples and Priya's post on The London Parchment for some exciting details and great pictures.
In the last 9 months, I've been to FNHQ 3 times. I live about 2 hours south of Chicago, and FNHQ is in my old neighborhood from when I lived in the city (about 5 blocks from my old apartment, actually). But I went for the first time to the holiday open house in December of 2016. Draplin was there and I got to meet him, have him sign some cool stuff I gave away on the Field Nuts group (and some stuff for my personal stash). I got to meet Jane, who is now a local trading partner and friend, but mostly it was watching people buy stuff from Draplin. The next time was the Draplin Pop Up Shop the same weekend as the Chicago Pen Show in early May. Another visit to watch people stare at Draplin and buy stuff, though I got to meet a couple cool people from the Nuts group. But this visit was different and definitely the most fun.
Tina Koyama, urban sketcher extraordinaire, happened to be in Chicago this past week attending the Urban Sketchers Symposium and put out a call a few weeks before on the Field Nuts Facebook group to see if anyone from the area wanted to do a meetup. Some really great people answered the call, and about 10 of us met at Field Notes HQ for a tour with Bryan Bedell with a little lunch at a nearby restaurant beforehand. We had a ton of fun. Here's a few pics.
It's always fun to get to go to FNHQ, don't get me wrong, but going with a group of people I can now call friends and getting to experience it when there isn't an event going on is definitely the way to go. Bryan and the crew were nothing but gracious hosts. I'm sure it's not easy taking on 10 people that are Nutty as hell about your product!