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It’s been a crazy ride over the last 8 years…

By April 12, 2018Blog

So much has changed in my life and this company over the last 8 years. We started Vintage Industrial accidentally during the 2009 recession. It blew up and became a full time job in 2 months. We moved to a 4,000 sf building within a year and a half. And that quickly grew to 20k sf, and today 65k sf. Right now we’re running out of room at this shop and are looking to hire at least 5-10 more people. We are working on opening a showroom in Europe, working on a 300+ million dollar lawsuit where our IP has been stolen, working on a potential billion dollar global deal, all the while trying to maintain personal sanity and creating cohesion and synergy at work! Phew, that was a lot!

And last year, we had another small crisis with a slow down in work. That was our third or fourth I believe. With that crisis came a rebirth. With the help of my wife Sim, and some frickin intense therapy, I am back on track. If you’ve read my blog posts over the years, you many remember that I’ve struggled with all of this so called success. Having this business explode with orders and then having people call me all day long telling me how wonderful my designs were, well I was not prepared for that. In a sense I resisted it. I told myself that they were not great designs, I was not great, and sort of secretly wished to fail. By saying that this was too much responsibility I was wishing to fail. My self-worth was a huge problem. Despite that we grew, and it was extremely painful. We grew not just in size, but personally, and culturally as a company. Quickly Sim and I figured out that we were going to do this our way, and not conform. It was essential that we built up the culture and cared for our co-workers. We did go overboard on this and got burned several times. But it was a great lesson. And now today, we are extending our guidance to the team and it is up to them to get on board or not. That started with management and is working it’s way down. Yesterday was Sim’s “phase 3” meeting. The mood, the energy has shifted here. You can feel it in your gut.

And with that shift over the last 6-8 months, a flipping tidal wave of inquiries and new business has punched us in the face. I took over sales mid last year and our lead time has gotten out of control since then. But that is a good problem to have right? We’re approaching a 4 month wait for clients if inquiries continue at this pace. We are looking at starting a second shift as we’re racking up overtime hours every weekend. I’ve been working 60-80 hours again for some time. Being the only sales guy and running the company has been quite the challenge! But January and February were two of our best months ever back to back! Normally that is a slow time. The design community seems to have embraced us as most of our inquiries come from that sector.  With me doing sales, we quickly realized we needed another person helping and put the word out. Sim found the perfect person, and they already worked for us. Brent accepted the position and moved from our prototype fabricator to sales. And he’s taken on the role and owns it! His drive and compassion are unlike anybody I’ve ever met, except for my wife Sim.

 

 

Now it seems everyday we get enough inquiries to keep us busy for a month.  I expect our company to at least triple in size within a year? It’s wild to think about, but I am not afraid of it anymore. We’re not resisting this success. Oddly enough, when I accept it, it flows easily. I remember my mantra years ago, “money comes quickly and easily”. And it has for Sim and I over the years, except when we resisted it. When we got out of our own way, it came in droves. But as we’ve learned money does not buy happiness or peace.

So right now, Sim is doing a guided meditation in the other room with a couple co-workers. I’ve never heard of a company doing that before, have you? Her phased plan is working. It’s pretty cool being married to such a powerful woman. She’s had such a difficult life, the kind you read about in books or see in movies. It was extreme with tragedy, violence, war, depression, and more. But today she is a force to be reckoned with. She has the ability to peer into a person’s soul and see their higher self. She used to hide that part of herself, not anymore. It’s like being married to and in business with the Oracle from the Matrix. And she makes a mean cookie! Here’s a rare photo of her when she was going through a Diana Ross phase…

Some of the jobs we’ve gotten over the last 9 months have been pretty cool. We always love when companies that we respect call us needing help! Breweries have been a big one. I do love a strong IPA myself, and the craft brew thing has exploded. Just today we got another call to potentially do the furnishings for two breweries. I think they are local too. They need it soon too, so how that is going to happen, I am not sure? But we’ll figure it out, that’s what we do. This 12 foot gear is going in one of Rogue Brewery’s places in Oregon.

The Big Bang Theory’s new season has been showing more of our furniture in the comic bookstore. I finally got a shot with Sheldon and the Train table…

Our R&D department shifted gears last year for a while and was helping with marketing. Well that worked and now they are back to designing for the most part. We discovered that they were so frickin smart, motivated, and willing to help, that they eventually were helping in every facet of the business. This of course lessened their designing which is their passion. So about two weeks ago, we formulated a new plan and they are back to designing. Below is a sample of one their ideas. As a test they made some custom acoustic paneling which is for sound deadening purposes. Normally it has pyramids for the shape, but they figured out how to create various shapes. If you are interested in some custom acoustic paneling, contact us!

Also R&D’s new designs have started selling. I’ve been the sole designer since day one, and it is awesome to have some help! Next week they will be schooling me on theory. I never went to school for design and have a lot to learn, I guess it goes both ways as I am teaching them the marketing and business side. Here’s a few of the new designs that are taking off, the Tetra and Manhattan Shelf, and the Faceted Console

 

And one of our new designers just released a couple pieces that we’re very excited about! MohammadAmir Safari’s designs have already one several awards and his new pieces have already captured the attention of some Yuge design firms. The simplicity and complexity create something new for us. And as we’re getting to know him better, he’s sharing his personal story that got him to this point and it warms our hearts. The two designs are the Vine and Dadash

AUDIOPHILE FURNITURE!

One of our returning clients needed some serious furniture with very specific audio properties. High-fidelity audio spares no expense when it comes to the perfect recreation of sound. Vibration control is a key feature for these pieces. This ideal is very similar to what we do. We go the extra mile when it comes to furniture. Design, resale value, obsessed attention to detail, longevity into the next century, ergonomics, customizability & sustainability are just some of the considerations we take when designing and building. Here’s a console we just finished, along with a couple more concepts we are making for an audiophile…

COLORS!

We used some color in the past, but not too much. Recently we’ve added more aged paint and vibrant colors to our palette. These can be used across all of our designs and really change the feel of the piece. Below are some examples…

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Join the discussion One Comment

  • Tania Wilson says:

    Oh wow what a ride and what an inspiration you are. We are all the way over here in Australia and I just stumbled across your site and blog.
    My partner has been unofficially building furniture for years and just took a leap of faith and named his work and is start a business.
    He has a slight industrial edge but a little different to you.

    Thank you for your words of inspiration and good luck with everything you have going on! Your designs are awesome.
    If you are every over here, give us a yell and we’ll show you around Melbourne!

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