We’ve been inundated with sales requests, and we apologize, but we’ve gone on holiday. The business is 12 years old now, and ever since the 2nd or 3rd month of starting the business, it became overwhelming for me. It started just making pieces I loved and putting them up for sale, but then came the custom requests. And after that, our lead time grew reaching 6 months at one point. I outgrew the shed in the backyard quickly, and we moved to a 4k square foot shop, then 10k, 20k, then 50k.
Our dream was to get this machine of a company running like a top, then get someone to run it and take a break. We could oversee the big numbers, and not be in the day to day anymore. But that never happened. We were never able to get it running very smoothly, that is running without us working on it 24/7.
At one point we had 45 employees which is hard to believe. The amount of furniture that we were producing was, well, astounding considering how it all started. Keeping the quality second to none was always the focus, and always a battle.
I have Aspergers, and people confuse me about as much as I confuse them. For some reason I do great in sales despite this, but as for dealing with employees, it was a problem for most. They didn’t get me, and I can’t manage them. So my wife took over more and more of the company. She was really the CEO and was doing great all things considered. But it never felt like it was her baby. She still can’t take credit for her accomplishments. It wasn’t her dream for sure.
Well we learned a fuck ton working for VI. From dealing with the government, sales, marketing, lawyers, accountants, and list goes on. The stress level though was just wayyyy toooo much. Just to break even over the last 5 years, was over $200k monthly. We needed that much income just to break even. Somehow we managed to do that and never borrow any money, except for some small equipment leases. Can you imagine needing $200k in monthly income, just to break even? And it was alllll up to you to make sure it happened.
So, VI is still around, we’re just on vacation. Sim and I moved to another state, and can see the ocean from our bedroom. Our new venture is stressful at times, but there are zero employees, and we don’t work together. So the stress is a different kind.
Once we get settled here, I plan on making more furniture as I do miss it. And it’ll be structured differently. No more employees, might be just me in the backyard again. Or I have a couple great shops that can help. I don’t have a timeline for this, but we do appreciate all of our fans and those interested in our furniture. I am so happy for Sim too. She chose exactly what she wanted to do, and she’s kicking ass at it.