Steven Kelley with Love Builds

Steven Kelley with Love Builds

Transcript:

This week Marcus sits down with Steven Kelley with Love Builds. From mutual connections and social media, Marcus was captivated by Steven’s intricate woodworking. Steven is one of those great models of doing whatever it takes, working extra, and using your garage as a shop to make the dream come true. Let’s dive in to this week’s podcast.

Steven: My name is Steven Kelley, I'm the owner at Love Builds Custom Woodworking.

Marcus: Awesome dude. I'm excited to get to hear your story because actually you and I don't know each other. News flash, not everybody is somebody that I know and definitely most of these people aren't clients. I saw your work on Instagram, I think, and was like, "We have got to get this cat on because I just love what you're putting out."

Steven: I appreciate it.

Marcus: Yeah. To get into this, we always like to hear a little bit about who the person is. So, tell us some of your back story. Where are you from? Where'd you go to high school? College, if you went? Are you married? Kind of tell us who you are as a person.

Steven: Absolutely. Married to, I guess not really my high school sweetheart, but we knew each other, didn't date until after college, but married to Morgan. We have two wonderful little boys, Kipton and Nash.

Marcus: Nice.

Steven: One's six and one's three. Grew up in the Saraland area, most of my life, moved here in sixth grade. Went to Satsuma High School. Go Gators! Then kind of bumped around for colleges. I went to Faulkner State first, moved on to South Alabama, went for a few semesters, took some time off to figure out what I wanted to do, and then went back to the University of Mobile and finished up with my business degree.

Marcus: Very good. You know a former guest on the podcast, Brad Custred.

Steven: I would know him very well, being my brother-in-law.

Marcus: Is that ... Okay. Somehow I heard that you all were somehow related or something along those lines.

Steven: Yeah, married his sister. I know him really well, the Mobile scene, the small business and he's made a good name for himself.

Marcus: He's a good guy. I really enjoyed getting to know him and I think we're on the advisory board for the University of Mobile Business School.

Steven: Yeah, you were telling me about that.

Marcus: Did you major in business?

Steven: I did. That's what I graduated there. I like to tell people I crammed my four years of college into six, but it was a good learning experience.

Marcus: That's too funny.

Steven: Yeah, I enjoyed it.

Marcus: The six year plan. What was your first job and were there any lessons that you still remember from it?

Steven: My first job, besides working with my dad in the shop, when I was younger, my first job I believe was Rich's Car Wash in Saraland, back in high school and it taught me a lot about hard work, working in the cold, working with your hands, showing up to work on time and doing a good job. People like a clean car. If I had to remember back to my first paying job, it would be Rich's Car Wash.

Marcus: You mentioned working in the shop with your dad. Is that how you got started in woodworking?

Steven: Yeah. I've grown up and been around it my whole life. He's always dabbled with it as a hobby, but never as a profession. I guess maybe before I was born he did do cabinets with a buddy of his for a while. It's always just been a hobby of his. He's always had a shop, always built things, had tools, fixed things. I've always been around it and he just kind of taught me a few things as I grew up. It's not until recent, the last few years, that I've really gotten serious about it.

Marcus: That's really cool. How did you start the business? It's one thing to start, if you go to school and you got an accounting degree, it's one thing to go and be a CPA, but starting a woodworking business, I don't know if that's a wise decision or brave decision or just-

Steven: I ask myself that all the time. I'm sure my wife questions that as well. A little bit more of the back story is, when I graduated from University of Mobile, I was actually playing music with a couple of guys in a band, here locally, playing Christian music and traveling around. We decided to give that shot full time, so-

Marcus: Was it a band that I would have-

Steven: Probably not, [inaudible 00:03:58] was our name.

Marcus: Okay.

Steven: We played a lot of churches, a lot of camps, traveled around, went to Vegas a few times, a lot in the Midwest. We tried that full-time for almost two years. It was a blast getting to travel around and play music for a living. Once I did that, Brad kind of saw that the typical struggling musician scene, and he was managing or I guess CEO of the time of Planet Cellular, who was an AT&T authorized retailer. I guess he didn't want to see his sister starve, so he knew I had my business degree and was playing music and offered me a position to manage one of the new stores they were opening. Then eight years later, the story ends with me deciding to get out and start a woodworking business. Did that for a long time, managed a store, and then recently realized that I didn't want to be 65 or 70 managing an AT&T store, and did something different.

Marcus: I can understand that. Retail is not, especially if your passion is woodworking, is not the place for you to be.

Steven: No.

Marcus: There are a number of different ways that you could go and obviously in this area there are a lot of custom homes that are being built, so it'd be really easy for you to fall into cabinet maker extraordinaire. I've got a few friends that do that and it's a living, but you've opted to go down the path of making furniture. You brought a beautiful cutting board for me, thank you very much for that.

Steven: You're welcome.

Marcus: What was the drive to go down that path, which seems like a little bit more difficult, I'm not going to lie.

Steven: It is. I'm learning that. Like I said ... I guess I'll share all of my story real quick. Like you said, "Don't sugar coat it." When I left AT&T, I knew that there was no way I could just jump ship and provide a living for my family, just cold turkey doing woodworking. I actually got a part-time job at UPS in the mornings, full benefits for my family, so that's kind of the small business grind. I'm up every morning at 3:30, go load some trucks, nine o'clock rolls around, I leave there and I go home and build the rest of the day.

Marcus: I want to stop you. Listen, that is what this podcast is about. We just did a Podcast with Mission Fitness right before Steven came in. It's just like, you know, there are pieces of this, you've just got to suck it up and do what it takes if this is your passion. If it means getting up at 3:30 in the morning, but the benefit now is, that you have a business that is viable and that you're able to do what you want full-time and provide a living for your family.

Steven: When I look at the calendar it's been right at, I guess, 15 months that I've dedicated full-time to this. Like I said, I'm I guess full time, from 9:00 til the afternoon. I get frustrated when I think that I'm not where I want to be, or I'm not as "successful" as I'd like to be, or at a point where my business has grown. 15 months into it I realize that I'm still just an infant as far as small businesses go. I can look back upon the last year or so and the lessons I've learned have been phenomenal and I am learning from them. Hopefully, in the next few years, with my plan, that I can get to where I want to be. Right now, you just gotta do what you gotta do to make it work.

Marcus: You led into something, normally I would ask this later on in the interview, but what is one of the biggest lessons that you've learned about running your own business?

Steven: That it's never as easy as you'd think. Nothing is every going to go to plan, so you have to either have a contingency plan or ABC and try to go with the flow. It's going to be stressful. I'm learning a lot about myself this last year. How I deal with stress, how I deal with the work family balance, which some authors say, "There is no balance. There's seasons." That's what I'm trying to navigate those waters right now.

Marcus: I think one of the best explanations that I've ever heard of that is that there's no work life balance, but there is work life integration.

Steven: Yes.

Marcus: Right? The fact that I'm guess your shop is-

Steven: Still at the house right now.

Marcus: At the house. For many people that have a situation like that, it's that ability to, "Okay I'm going to start work later today because I have to go to my son's school because he's getting some award" or something like that. That's the work life integration. Or, "I have a project that I need to do, but I'm going to stop at a reasonable hour, go and have dinner with the family, and then go back out and finish the job afterward." Those are the things that small business owners all across the country are doing daily to make their lives work because there is no 9:00 to 5:00 when you do this.

Steven: No, like I said, I've worked more this last year than I ever have at any other job. As stressful as it is, I wouldn't trade it.

Marcus: It doesn't feel like work.

Steven: Obviously some days it does, when the cards fall and the chips are against me, it feels like work and I get stressed out, but at the end of the day, to be able to turn around and know that I'm doing something that I love doing, creating something from nothing, it's rewarding, so it's fun.

Marcus: That's cool. Do you remember the first sale that you made or the first, I don't know if you call them sales or contracts or whatever that you made that made you think there might be something to this?

Steven: I do. It was a table I made, well before I was doing it full-time, but a table I made for some friends of mine. Typical farmhouse table, and I think it was probably the first one I built, but I YouTubed it, did all that good stuff. I knew the basics of woodworking, but based on the kind of design they wanted and charged them a fair price for it, but was able to put it together fairly quickly. I kind of just sat back and said, "Wait a minute, I might could do this." As I progressed, obviously my style has gotten different. I've gotten a lot of ideas that I want to try to get out onto material and wood and kind of express myself that way now, rather than the run of the mill pieces that you see all over Facebook and Craigslist. I think that would be the first piece that I can really trace it back and say, "I would like to try to chase this down, see where it goes."

Marcus: Very cool. If you were talking to someone that wanted to get started running their own business, what's the one bit of wisdom that you would impart to them?

Steven: Do your homework. A lot of people say, "You've just got to jump in." I think doing your homework, which I should have done a little more of, but now I'm in it so I'm learning as I go. Know your market. I think for, depending on the type of business, I think your market is going to change or can change. You've got to stay with what's new, what's trending, especially in my type of industry. Just kind of know your market, know who you're going after, and then have a plan. That's been one thing I'm still learning this year, is kind of falling back to my original plan. What steps am I taking towards that? Is it helping me? Hindering me? Just have a plan and make sure you're executing every single day.

Marcus: Yeah. I'm going to just pull my man card out here and just lay it on the table. Jared, you can collect this from me, but I love the Chip and Joanna Gaines, I forget the name of the show-

Steven: Fixer Upper.

Marcus: Yeah.

Steven: I'll lay mine down there with you.

Marcus: Thanks, joining me. The guy that builds-

Steven: Clint. Clint Harp.

Marcus: Clint. I love ... Every time he comes on I get excited because I love that they're using someone that has that skillset. Often times it's gotten lost. We have all this pre-made furniture, often times coming from overseas-

Steven: A lot of it, yes.

Marcus: We were talking before the podcast about, I used to dabble quite a bit in woodworking and built a hope chest for my wife and I've done some other woodworking projects, so I understand a little bit more than the average bear. I know the materials that go into it and the equipment that you would use and stuff like that. I just think it's so cool, that we have in our backyard, someone that can do what you do. Why don't you tell people a little bit about the types of things that you make?

Steven: Yeah. I originally started the business, hence the name Love Builds, I guess it's kind of two fold. One, I love to build, but cutting boards was something I got into to begin with. It can be a beginner woodworking project, but then obviously you can step up and do-

Marcus: Yeah, the one you brought was not a beginners project.

Steven: That's what I like to progress towards in even bigger designs from that, but the reference behind it or what my thought was, I always want giving back to be a part of whatever business I create. I thought about that years ago. Me and my wife like to donate to different charities and things like that. If I did have a business one day, I want a portion of it or a part of it to be something that can give back to the community. So for every cutting board I make, I like to give a portion to either my local church, they have a food bank and I'm trying to kind of figure out avenues now, how to team up with Feeding the Gulf Coast, and thinks like that. The cutting board portion, that's kind of my give back. Love Builds, the idea that you purchase a board from Love Builds, you're at home cooking your dinner on it, and you can just kind of think, "I had a small helping hand in helping another family close by that may need some help."

Marcus: Yeah.

Steven: Started out with the cutting boards and then slowly kind of progressed into some of the higher end furniture. A welcome desk for a couple of churches, I'm actually working on one now for a church here in Mobile. I've done several pieces for Mars Hill Church over in Fairhope. Some good friends of mine over there. Sliding barn doors. Custom sliding barn doors is what I'm really into. As I've kind of honed my craft and I get a little bit better every day and I start using different materials, again, I don't knock anybody for buying something from overseas, but I'm wanting to create, for my own personal reasons, something that will last for generations. I know my clientele that may be in that range of products that I make is smaller-

Marcus: It's not everybody. Yeah. It's more labor intensive so it's going to cost more.

Steven: Yes.

Marcus: The materials are higher.

Steven: I'm really learning how to navigate that. My personality and I'm learning through this process is that I just can't nail two pieces of wood together, throw some stain on it and call it a door. That's not me. I want to cut my mortise and tenon joints, I want to domino everything-

Marcus: Nice.

Steven: All these woodworking terms that mean nothing to anybody, most people, but 1 out of 1,000 people here may look at that and realize that's a well made piece of furniture.

Marcus: At one point in time I had a subscription to Fine Woodworking so you're speaking my language. I recognize, but your audience doesn't necessarily have to just be here.

Steven: No. That's what I'm trying to kind of figure out, again. All of this past year has been such a learning process of where my market is, how to engage my market, how to find those people that appreciate, and it's not even, I hate using the word, "Who can afford," I don't even want to say that.

Marcus: No, but appreciate it. Some people are going to spend it regardless of your income or background.

Steven: Exactly. I want someone to be able to appreciate it as a functional piece of art, even if it's a cutting board that they have on their counter. I have a lot of people that have bought some of my nicer designed cutting boards and they say, "I'm never going to cut on this. I'm going to set it up as a display." I'm like, "Hey, that's fine if that's what you want."

Marcus: I'm going to use the one that you brought me.

Steven: There you go. That's what they're meant for. Even if someone wants to display that, it's fine, just to allow people to appreciate it for what it is. There have been a couple of pieces I've made that were a solid Mahogany credenza for a client in Fairhope that I was really, really proud of. Grain matched, the edges, inset doors, maple shelving, the whole works. I actually hand turned the legs on it. Solid Mahogany legs. All that jargon that nobody cares about, but it was a beautiful piece of furniture when it was done and he appreciated it. I made him a matching coffee table, solid Mahogany coffee table. Those are the type of projects I live for. Taking my time, creating a piece that he'll be able to hand to his kids or grand kids. That's what I really appreciate. Not somebody that's going to change their mind or the style of their house changes and they junk it in the trash.

Marcus: No, yeah, you're definitely not throwing these pieces away.

Steven: No.

Marcus: Left to your own, given freedom, what's your favorite piece to make? Is there something that you really get excited about or-

Steven: Barn doors I've got a plethora of ideas in my head of different designs on barn doors I want to start doing. It's just hard to commit to make a bunch of spec pieces or convincing the wife to let me.

Marcus: Yeah cause the wood is not terribly inexpensive.

Steven: It is not inexpensive and hardware for that matter as well. I've got a lot of designs in my head that I want to start working out, as well as some wooden wall art pieces that I've been kind of dabbling in lately. I would love to get into that scene as well. I've got some new carving tools and equipment that I want to try to see what kind of ideas I can flesh out for some actual art pieces. Really nice solid wood credenzas, sofa tables, that's kind of the thing that I'm really gravitating towards. I've actually had a few people ask me for TV consols with the sliding barn doors and they want the rustic look. Nobody ever wants to turn down work, but if it's not something you're passionate about or you're not going to enjoy building it, some of those I've turned down. I said, "I don't think I'm quite your guy. It's not what I'm looking to do." They've been okay with that. So, if left to my own, I would love to just create stunning barn doors, really nice coffee tables, credenzas. That's kind of where I think my niche is and I would love to explore it.

Marcus: Yeah because even within the woodworking world, there are guys that just love to get on a lathe and turn bowls all day long.

Steven: All day.

Marcus: Or make pens. You look online, you can find these guys that create pens out of all these very exotic woods. At one point in time, I had one that was made out of Zebra wood and purple wood.

Steven: Purple Heart is beautiful.

Marcus: Stuff like that. It's really wild. What does a typical day look like for you?

Steven: After the rise and grind early, back at the shop, working on whatever orders I have, trying to take a very small lunch to maximize my time, and like you said, having that freedom, come around 4:30 or 5:00 when the kids get home from school, being able to shut it down. Play with them and actually have a life with them. I don't want to be one of these business owners, which again it's still in its infancy, but I don't want to look back 10 years from now and say, "Sorry kids, I was working trying to build something for you guys. A legacy." Again, just trying to find the integration, somewhat balance so to speak, but just living life with them. Throwing the football with them, playing outside, play in the mud outside, going through trails in our woods, obviously taking them to soccer practice, all that good stuff. Shutting it down on the weekends as well. If I have deadlines, they understand and I will work through them if I have to, but just really trying to make sure I spend as much time with them. The last six years of my oldest son's life have flown by.

Marcus: It is amazing how quickly that goes by.

Steven: Yeah.

Marcus: If you were to look to the business world, is there a person that motivates you?

Steven: One person comes to mind. A company named Slingshot. If he's listening.

Marcus: He better be listening.

Steven: No, I'm sure he will. He sent me a text right before I came here, so I'm sure he should. Man, there are so many good ones.

Marcus: Just so the people who didn't catch the reference, that is Brad.

Steven: Yeah.

Marcus: Brad owns Slingshot.

Steven: That's my brother-in-law.

Marcus: They may not-

Steven: Just in case they forgot.

Marcus: We get the joke, but the people may not.

Steven: There's so many. One book I've read, Darren Hardy. The Entrepreneur Roller Coaster has been a great book. Actually Brad gave me that book. Look it up. It's a great book.

Marcus: I will do that. My phones off right now because we always put it in airplane mode, but when we finish up I'll actually add that to my list.

Steven: Yeah, Entrepreneur Roller Coaster has been great. Of course, all the typical Tim Ferriss, Four Hour Work Week, all the usuals have been great. In the business world, it's just so tough. I've got woodworkers in the business world that I look up to.

Marcus: Like who?

Steven: One guy is a content creator, The Wood Whisperer. A lot of people know him. If you've looked online for anything, he's probably the grandfather of woodworking and online tutorials. He's a wealth of knowledge and a guy that not only makes fine furniture, and he does make fine, fine furniture, but has figured out a business model to where he can build at his own pace and allow people to obviously impart his knowledge and get paid for that and make it scalable with different projects that he does. Just encouraged by different guys like that in the business who have figured out how to make it work.

Marcus: Have you ever, and we're going down a rabbit hole that we don't normally go down, but you are in a business where there's probably not that many people that are doing that.

Steven: Not a lot, no.

Marcus: Have you ever thought about going down that path and doing content creation?

Steven: I have. I've tried to reference all their rules and tips for videos and things like that. Anytime I try to kind of get into it and do that, I find that it's just not me. I don't know if it's that I'm too lazy, don't want to take the time, or I'd rather spend my energy in creating a new piece of furniture.

Marcus: If you're not bent that way then it may not ... I just think it would be an interesting thing to think about.

Steven: It's definitely a different business model that is much more viable than the avenue that I'm choosing, which again-

Marcus: Wisdom or stubbornness?

Steven: Exactly. I'll say it's wisdom, but my wife may think I'm being stubborn.

Marcus: It's all good. I completely understand. Some people just don't want, because it is time consuming to generate that type of content, but if you can build an audience, not only does the business aspect of what you're doing, like the actual creation of the pieces of furniture, start to grow, but you're also generating revenue from the content creation as well. Whether it's generating plans, so that you can sell the plans online for other woodworkers, or whether it's just the publishing of video content on YouTube so that people can follow along-

Steven: Exactly.

Marcus: Seeing some revenue from advertisers or whatever. Then the other added benefit of, if you get big enough, I'm sure the companies that make equipment and stuff like that, start looking for guys where they can sponsor them.

Steven: There's plenty of guys that get free tools from the companies and that's obviously been a very enticing idea, but believe it or not, speaking of Mobile and business models and things like that. My 10,000 foot level for this, for the last year, has been I would love to get some space downtown, open up not only a shop where I'm building my furniture, but really have the cutting boards on assembly line with a couple of guys making them. I would love a small store set up to where people could come in, they could almost build a bear, but build a board, is kind of what I've been thinking about.

Marcus: Build a board.

Steven: Build a board and pick different exotics. Kind of a hands on space for people to come into, team up with local retailers, sell all the local honeys, the jams, really get in touch with Mobile, team up with local restaurants, have food-

Marcus: Cheese Cottage, by any chance?

Steven: Cheese Cottage, yes exactly.

Marcus: They're going to be a guest here shortly.

Steven: Awesome. I would love to have it where the shop window is open and people can go through and see the process of handmade goods being made right here in mobile, know the story behind it, have barn doors set up, have a coffee table set up for sale as well, but just have a small retail space for people to come into to see the process of this. Some people may not care, but obviously have other items to try to draw them in.

Marcus: I'm tuned into what guys like Mike Rowe-

Steven: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Marcus: Mike Rowe is the guy that recorded Dirty Jobs and he has a foundation now that is trying to build awareness because we have changed the way that we think in the U.S., so that so many kids feel like they have to go to college, even if college really isn't the best path for them. What that means is, all of the trades, whether it be woodworking or plumbing or electrician or carpentry or whatever-

Steven: Iron working-

Marcus: Iron working, welding, all that stuff. Those are becoming jobs where I talk to folks down at AUSTAL occasionally, and they're telling me that if you want to learn how to weld, that there's a chance that you can make six figures just being a welder. Granted, that is not an easy job. I get it. It's not an easy job, but if you really get off on being the best welder that you possibly can be, then that would be an incredible education for somebody and then who knows. Maybe you take it down the path of, I love Jesse James, the guy that used to do Monster Garage.

Steven: Yeah, with the bikes.

Marcus: Yeah. Now, he's taken welding from building these custom cars that are just completely crazy, to now, he's a gunsmith in Austin, Texas and building some of the finest weapons that you can ever imagine. At one point in time, he took an iron railing from the World Trade Center that had fallen down, and through a process, it's call Damascus, where you basically fold the metal over-

Steven: Yeah, layering steel over and over again.

Marcus: Yeah on itself. Then he hand forged this 45. It's just a beautiful work of art. I just think, getting back to what you're saying about having a space down town, I just think that the more we can show people that there's an artistry and artisnalship, I don't know, that's not a word, but anyway, leave that in there Jarred, but there's an artistry to working with your hands and that you can build really beautiful things, I love that idea. I think the more that we can show kids, that there's a way for you to meld your passion, whether it's woodworking or welding or any of these things, that there's some place for them to apply that craft and make a living. They may not make a million dollars, but if they're a smart business person, who knows?

Steven: Yeah.

Marcus: I know plenty of people that own plumbing and electrical and general contracting businesses and wood framing businesses that do pretty well.

Steven: Really well, yeah. That was my thought.

Marcus: We may have to ping Luke Peavy because they've got, he and Matt and Jake are the core of Peavy Foundation and they own some space down here and just saying, "Hey. What's going on with the building, can we get our buddy Steven some space so he can?"

Steven: I've already found the space I want, right across the street from the Fire Station down here, right by Moe's. Huge warehouse space. I think it'd be really cool, the clear roll up garage doors. I've kind of got it in my head. But yeah, like I said, just a spae for people to see how things are created, right here in our city. Again, as far as the boards are concerned, just being able to have a place for people to say, "Hey, our purchases make a difference. They're going to help somebody." Just that community vibe and feel, that would be great.

Marcus: Any books, podcasts, people, or organizations that have been helpful in moving your forward?

Steven: This last year, like I said, early in the mornings I kind of get my fill on all of the podcasts. Big fan of the Tim Ferriss podcast, a lot. John Maxwell's got a good one. There's so many and I'm blanking now that you asked me the question.

Marcus: That's fine. You ask people this question, I listen to podcasts every day, but if somebody was to ask me I'd go, "Uh, I don't know."

Steven: S-Town, it's great. It was a good one. There's just so many that I've been trying to, whether it be motivational or actually business oriented, just trying to get little tidbits from everybody. Again, I'm very, very new to this. Just getting my feet wet, learning as I go, that's part of the fun. There's a lot. Too many to name right now. I get my healthy dose of podcasts in for sure.

Marcus: Tell people where they can find you. Obviously Instagram is where I found you. Is it Love Builds?

Steven: Yeah, just regular Love Builds. The website is Love-Builds.com. Real quick, I do have a funny story and I'll wrap it up real fast. One thing that's been neat about the business is, sometimes you never know what projects are going to cross your path and see where they may lead. Just recently, or several months back, had a buddy of mine approach me and want to make a TV box of some kind for Saraland High School, for the coaches to work on the sideline. We made a prototype out of plywood. He brought me the idea, I brought it to life, we made it happen. It became such a huge hit with the high school, everywhere they went they had people asking about it, so finally by buddy says, "I think we may be on to something. The coach says if we don't patent this, he will."

Marcus: Oh snap.

Steven: So low and behold, here we are, got a new business I've started with a buddy of mine, "Huddle Box." Anyway, we're working, patent pending right now, we've got all that stuff submitted and working on some production runs with different sports marketing companies and things like that. I don't want to jinx anything, but it's been a neat process, kind of how it's organically grown. Maybe some big news in the future for that, but it's been fun. So Huddle Box will kind of be produced by Love Builds and kind of get a warehouse going.

Marcus: It's funny how you're just doing something for a local high school team, but then you kind of fall into something that may be bigger than-

Steven: Yeah, it's a very niche market, but the feedback has been really, really great. Huddlebox.com is where we're at right now.

Marcus: Let me, just as the person that kind of directs this, I want to stop there. Often times as business owners, we fear going into a niche. The truth is, if you are positioned correctly that going into a niche, please understand that I understand this, but also don't follow this rule, but also wish that if I was to reinvent Blue Fish, I would have picked an industry or some way of focusing the business, because what you have now, with the Huddle Box, is you have an audience. You know exactly where those people are, you know how to contact them, you know exactly what their needs are, you know how to address it. There is no clearer path to success than to have all of that defined. If you look at Blue Fish as an advertising agency, we can apply our training and our skillset to just about anything.

Steven: To a lot of areas.

Marcus: And we do. Although we are doing some things internally that hopefully will be going down into some niches as well, because I very much know, from a marketing perspective and a position perspective, it's much easier. I get what you're saying, "It's a small niche," but at the same time, if you're out there listening, and also to you, I just want to encourage you, a niche is not a bad place to be.

Steven: Yeah.

Marcus: It is actually a really good place to be. I look at other companies that specifically address, like dentist offices or, "We're just going to do car dealerships," or whatever. "Not only just car dealerships, we're only going to work with GMC dealerships." You can get really specific. There's an audience out there for that. You can literally make a living just off of building cutting boards for chefs in high end restaurants.

Steven: There's a lot of guys that do.

Marcus: We pick the perfect woods for the blades that you use, because these guys are spending thousands of dollars on one knife.

Steven: One knife, yeah.

Marcus: So they're not going to trust that to just any cutting board. You don't want to ruin your blades with that.

Steven: Exactly.

Marcus: I mean literally as a marketing guy, I'm just like ... So anyway, I'll step off my soapbox now. I just wanted to say to the audience because it is a lot of people out there that are thinking about starting businesses or are running businesses. Don't be afraid of that. It's something that can be beneficial.

Steven: We're excited, so I think it's going to be a good time. Of course, Facebook they can find me as well.

Marcus: Yeah Love Builds.

Steven: But Instagram is where I usually spend most of my time. The website is actually Love-Builds.com. I do have an online store there. Hopefully we'll have a lot of my barn door options and tables up soon. Right now, it's just cutting boards that you can purchase.

Marcus: Hurry up. You've got two weeks until this goes live man.

Steven: I'll do it.

Marcus: No promises. We love when people support the people that have been, because not only are you supporting, I mean really you're supporting local businesses when you buy from the people that we have on this podcast. This is a podcast about Mobile business owners.

Steven: I love it.

Marcus: Yeah. Well, Steven I appreciate your willingness to sit with me and share your journey as a business owner and entreprenuer. It's been great talking with you.

Steven: Yeah, thanks so much for having me. I appreciate it.

Marcus: Yeah, absolutely.

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