In 2014, I had left teaching and needed a job while I figured out my next move.
After a series of events too long to go into here, a job came courtesy of my brother, Matt, and his new-at-the-time business Mule Resophonic Guitars. I had given him a place to start Mule in the form of an inappropriately-small closet in my garage and his business was exploding. Staring at a two-year wait list, he needed an extra set of hands. Despite my only experience being 5th-grade level arts and crafts, he hired me anyway.
Mule moved to Saginaw and we spent a year in a cold, dark, and moldy basement trying to figure out how to be one of few people in the world making steel guitars by hand.
Fast forward two more years and 400 guitars and I had a job that taught me about running a business, building relationships and about the power of story. It gave me a safety net where I could test the idea of Full Steam and then eventually turn it into a full-time operation. Today, when I'm having a conversation about business, I will almost always hear myself saying something Matt say and kick myself for becoming my brother (which isn't completely bad, but I will fight it nonetheless).
The move into Full Steam HQ begins this week and to fill the space, I've started the task of collecting something from everyone who has helped Full Steam become "a thing". It's an impossible but necessary thing to do.
Impossible because of the massive amount of people who have directly or indirectly helped me along the way. But among all those people, it would be hard to overstate the importance Matt and Mule has had in the life of Full Steam.
Working for Matt gave me the support, experience and space to start building my own business, and so Matt and I built the desk I'll use at Full Steam HQ out of maple neck blanks used for the guitars at Mule.