IN OUR 17th YEAR
Labyrinth Enterprises, LLC, was founded in October, 1995, to meet the increasing demand for technical and instructional information pertaining to labyrinths. It was originally called the St. Louis Labyrinth Project. The use of the word "project" implies an association with Veriditas: The Worldwide Labyrinth Project. Founded at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco by the Reverend Dr. Lauren Artress, Veriditas has been a pioneer in promoting the labyrinth as a spiritual tool. Through the years, Robert Ferré, director of Labyrinth Enterprises, LLC,, has worked closely with Veriditas, including making the Chartres-style canvas labyrinths which they offer for sale and offering trainings in labyrinth construction.
During the spring and summer of 1995, Robert was inspired by the growing popularity of the Chartres labyrinth to study its geometry. For months he poured over his drawing table until he reached his goal to draw the entire labyrinth using only a straight edge and compass. In September of that year, he met Lauren Artress at the First All-Labyrinth Conference in New Mexico, sponsored by Jean Lutz. Dr. Artress expressed the need to find someone who could produce canvas labyrinths and who could organize pilgrimages to Europe. Robert was able to help in both instances. And so, the future Labyrinth Enterprises, LLC, was on its way.
Four people founded the St. Louis Labyrinth Project, intending it to be non-profit and operated by volunteers. Very soon, however, the others dropped away and it became a sole proprietorship. Robert quit his full-time job in commercial real estate management and dedicated his efforts to writing instruction manuals and producing labyrinths. Now there are a number of labyrinth makers, many of whom originally learned their craft from Robert's manuals or trainings.
From 1995 through 1998 we provided labyrinths for First Night St. Louis, a family-oriented New Year's Eve celebration attended by tens of thousands of people. The labyrinths offered a contemplative alternative to the animated activities. As one person commented, at other venues, people waited in line to participate. At the labyrinth, the line was the event. More than 10,000 people walked the labyrinths in those four years. The photos here picture the outdoor labyrinths made in 1995 and the 104-foot indoor masking tape labyrinth made in 1998.
The St. Louis Labyrinth Project expanded beyond its work with Veriditas, as can be seen by the scope of the services and products now offered. In 2002 it changed its name to the more generic Labyrinth Enterprises to avoid any geographical associations, since its work was nationwide. In 2007 the sole proprietorship was changed to Labyrinth Enterprises, LLC. As of January, 2009, Judy Hopen, Vice President of Labyrinth Enterprises, LLC, is also a partner and part owner.
To understand our new name, consider the definitions of the word enterprise:
Labyrinth Enterprises continues to grow and to thrive. Here is a partial summary of our accomplishments in our first 16 years of existence (1995 - 2011):
In 2011, Robert officially retired, although he remains active in the management. Judy Hopen left the company to open her own studio. The work is now being done by a group of artists, under Robert's direction. For more details about these changes, see the latest newsletter: Circles. It has been quite a good ride for Robert, who now is turning to other interests and writing projects. You can keep track of him on his personal website, www.robertferre.com.