Here are the questions;
1. Why am I doing this?
2. Why am I the person to do it?
3. Why is now the time to start?
4. What problem am I solving?
5. Who is it for?
6. Why will they care?
7. What do the people I hope to serve want?
8. What do they believe?
9. What do they do — where, when, why and with whom?
10. What will customers say to their friends to recommend this product or service?
11. What am I really selling, beyond the utility of the product or service?
12. How can I add more value?
13. What happens because my business or project exists?
14. How will people find me?
15. What’s my greatest strength?
16. What weakness might get in the way if I don’t address it?
17. What does success look like, today, this year, next and five years from now?
18. What do I value?
19. What promises do I want to make and keep?20. What’s my difference?
Question #2. Why am I the right person?
When answering the list of questions I quickly realized that my business is 3 actually different businesses. Actually maybe its 4 businesses. I got to into woodworking first as a maker of furniture. Secondly I am a restorer/preserver of furniture. The third part of the business upholstery of furniture using period methods. Lastly I am an educator of information gained from period craftsmen.
With all the aspects of my business I can only reflect back to my apprenticeship at the Furniture Institute of Massachusetts (FIM). This is where it all really started for me. After graduating from FIM I became a journeyman and worked for furniture studios, cabinet shops, and conservation studios. I applied myself to many aspects of the field to further my knowledge, understanding, and skill in making furniture and the art of restoration/conservation.
There is huge void and misunderstanding of quality in the world today and I feel I help can fill that void. To be a restorer you first need to understand how to furniture is made before you can restore. There is a delicate approach that a restorer must follow and education is the only way to learn the process. I have studied and continue to study the art of restoration and conservation to further assist my clients. From my studies customers benefit from all the possible options available in restoring their artifacts. Education is by far the most important aspect in this field.
The art and craft of upholstery is dyeing and sadly many upholsters are not educated or skilled as they once were. I decided to get into upholstery because I was already repairing hundreds of chairs every year and than subbing out the upholstery. Every time I subbed out the upholstery I was disappointed in the final product. So I went out and studied under Master Upholster Michael Mascelli. I never thought I would be an upholster of furniture, but the huge void in this area has forced my hand. Today I love upholstering furniture and using period methods that was passed down to me. The methods used in period upholstery by far is the highest quality and the items use in making an upholstered seat for example will out live us all. But this isn’t true when modern upholstery materials are used.
Teaching was never something I thought I would be doing. I have taken many classes and wished I could get my money back. I like to tell students because an individual is a great craftsperson doesn’t mean they are great teachers. I for one stay humble and feel I have a long way to be a great teacher. That said, many students have told me that I am meant to be a teacher. I love to share and to educate. What makes me different as a teacher is I understand exactly struggles the students are having. I have been in their shoes, so I am happy to help bring them to a new level of skill and understanding. Phil Lowe director of FIM is the one who told me that I am meant to teach and because of all he has taught a great foundation has been established.
I guess this is why I am the right person. I love what I do. I am skilled, talented, and capable of tackling just about anything that comes my way.