Steve answers the question: How did you get started?
I am frequently asked the question: “How did you get started doing this? ”
I have been an Artisan/ Designer/ Business Person my entire adult life. My favorite class in Junior High was ” Shop Class”. I had always loved designing things and working with my hands to create various projects. I got an A in drafting, one of the very few I achieved in school. I graduated with a degree in Business from the University of Missouri in 1968. I was most fortunate that I re-discovered my life passion while serving in the Army Reserves immediately after College. During Basic Training I would go to the Post Craft Shop whenever I had a chance. It was during this important period in my life that I discovered who I was and what my capabilities were.
Prior to the my Army experience I had been a pretty normal kid with no special talents or real interests except getting through school and the social demands of teen age life. It was not until I was cast into a very foreign situation that I discovered who I was. Prior to going to Basic Training, all my Frat brothers told me the best way to get though Basic was to remain anonymous. “If they don’t know you name or who you are, you are going to be better off”.
The first day of Basic Training it seemed clear to me that the best way to navigate this new situation was to be in a position of authority. Those guys did not have to do KP, or Guard Duty and got special treatment. I requested a position of leadership which was a big surprise to me. The current Platoon Guide did not know his left from his right and was marching us into walls. The Drill Sargent knew this was going to a real problem so he agreed to make me the Platoon Guide. At the end of Basic Training, our Platoon won the Brigade honors and I was given the top award for Leadership. So in a very short time of being thrust into the real world, I re-discovered my love of making things and discovered that I had the courage and skills to do something that none of my classmates were doing at that time. Start my own business, doing the thing I loved. It was completely out of the blue and took me several years to realize that this was going to my destiny.
Almost fifty years later and after many iterations of that first business, I am still operating the business I started with $60.00. My company has grown in size and complexity to include 106 employees at its peak in 2008 and enjoy an International Reputation for Quality, Design Excellence and great Business organization.
I still love what I do and hope to continue for many years to come. Sincerely, Steve