November 19, 2015
The 1906 Gents
It’s always extremely difficult to find gifts for guys, especially around the holidays. That’s why whenever the 1906 Gents show up at our Fairs, we’re so delighted to stock up on their gorgeously handcrafted wares for our dudes. Chicago, get ready for a clean shave with one of these bea-u-tiful brushes.
Where did your business name come from? Is there an interesting history behind?
In 1906 Theodore Roosevelt established the antiquities act that let to preserving landmarks and national parks as monuments for ‘generations to come’ . In that same vein we took that same heart to make things with our hands that would stand and last for generations and be appreciated in the same way.
When/Why did you start working in this particular craft/field?
Reuben has been turning for over 10 years and I have done woodworking for the past 5. We both had an intense interest in building and making things with our hands.
Have you had any major failures? If so, what were some important insights gained?
We started in my basement, and we moved real slow at first. Some things we tried to do didn’t work out, and the best and worst part of woodworking is sometimes you don’t fail until right before you are done with your work. Sometimes you invest hours or days into a piece only to have to shelve it due to a defect right when it was almost done. Insights are gained daily honestly. We never knew we would be received so well or grow so fast. We learn more every month it feels like. The thing that has stayed true is hard work pays off; always!
Have you sacrificed anything to create your business? If so, what was it, and do you have any regrets?
No regrets and if there was anything sacrificed we would sacrifice it a million times again to live this life. We invested all we had to get going, we owe no bank, we owe not private investor; we owe ourselves. And this is a good thing.
What has been your proudest/favorite moment since creating your business?
Probably having our families be proud of what we are doing. Our parents, wives and kids; having them say they love what we are doing and say they are proud of us. There is not a better feeling of worth than that, no one, nothing can touch those you love being proud of you.
How does the city you live in influence your work?
Springfield MO is an incredible place to grow and operate a business. Its full of entrepreneurs and individuals that want to help you succeed. We have enormous talent that can help fill in ends you may not have as a small shop, Graphic design, web development, marketing, photography. We have a huge pool of artists here that have enormous skill.
What valuable experience/knowledge did you have before starting your business?
Reuben had some great woodshop experience and I had a background in Business from college; other than that it was on the job training so to speak.
What made you take this leap into being your own boss?
Timing, one day it was just the right thing to do; a now or never sort of moment. There is this quote we say to each other from time to time about this. “some men go to their graves with a song still in their heart” Not us we say. Then we get back to work.
What are some inspirations for your work?
For us again its family. We don’t do this to get the fast car or the bigger house. We do this because we want to leave more than a car or a house for our families when we are no longer here. We want to leave memories of men who worked to create a dream not live for someone else’s.
What are some tips or suggestions you’d like to offer to fellow makers?
Be ready to work 100% more than you ever did in a ‘regular’ job and be ready to be insanely happy about it.