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the story of path

Back in 2018, I was working for a home staging company, and I was drawing in my downtime more than I had ever drawn before. I was looking to put a portfolio together for a potential tattoo apprenticeship. So, I filled up a couple of sketchbooks and after that, I wanted to do something more, I wanted to try my art on a larger scale.

Now, prior to this, I was building tables, I was building furniture, and so I decided to, kind of, blend my two hobbies together and smaller tables that I built or tables that I thrifted or kind of scooped up off the side of the road on garbage night, I decided to take my favorite drawings, my best drawings from my sketchbook and project them nice and big onto these tables and draw on them.

I wasn’t really sure what I was going to do with it, but it was fun to me, at the time and I thought maybe I could sell a few. So that was kind of where I was at. This was my very first one - this is the Lion Table and not long after I posted that I got a message from Brandon.

Brandon and I went to the same high school. We graduated the same year, and we sort of had an understanding of who the other person was but we never really talked to each other, we never hung out, and so I wasn’t really sure what to think when I got a message from him.

It turned out that he was in school for media at the time and he was looking to do a documentary style video on a subject and he found me.

Now, my business at the time was not a business. I was literally just experimenting, I was taking drawings from my sketchbook and putting them on tables and that was the end of it. But something, I don't know what, compelled me to say yes and so I was like, yeah, let’s do the documentary and shoot it in my parents’ basement, why not?

So then, a few days later, we met to talk about the documentary and the project and just sort of how it would all go and we ended up talking for about four hours. We shot the documentary and from that point on, we’ve pretty much been inseparable.

About four months after we first started dating, we moved in together. The month after that, we signed the lease for our first shop and the month after that, we took our first cross country road trip together.

We were planning on taking a cross-country road trip in June, June 10th more specifically was the date that we were planning on leaving. And then in May, we started to kind of get an itch for a creative space because we both wanted a big, open space where we could be loud, we could be dusty, we could kind of let all of these ideas that we had for potential business ventures and artistic endeavors to just be set free, you know?

And so the first day we started looking for a space like this, there was this industrial warehouse space that was listed on Craigslist not far from home and we jumped on it. We spoke with the property manager and went to go see the space the next day and the following day, we signed the lease.

Now, we had about ten days from when we signed the lease - we signed the lease on May 30th - to get a very basic, bare wood shop/studio together, just to have something there for when we got back from our trip.

And then, we left on June 10th in Brandon’s Nissan Sentra. We popped the backseats out, slept head to foot from the back seat to the trunk, had a bubble on top with all our stuff in it, and slept in a lot of Walmart parking lots.

Neither of us had gone away to school. I dropped out my freshman year of college and Brandon went to school locally so neither of us had really been away from home for an extended period of time. We hadn’t traveled too far, and so this was a really formative experience for us.

It was something that we both wanted to do, and I don’t think either of us really could’ve imagined the impact that it had on us moving forward as Path was going to kind of take off on this trajectory that we dreamt about but didn’t actually know that it was going to happen.

It showed us a lot about what we wanted out of life and how we wanted to do things. But, between that trip, the security deposit and the materials to put the shop together, we had very little left when we got back.

Luckily, in August of 2019, about three months after getting the studio, we got our very first order and it wasn’t big, it wasn’t anything crazy. It was a 6’ table, two benches and, you know, at that time we were talking six foot table for $600, free delivery.

We probably would have done it for free at that point because it was our first order. It covered materials, it allowed us to buy another tool and it was something to put on our resume, something to put on our website, something to put out there and send to people and say hey, look what we can do. Do you like it? If you do, we can build you one just like it, and so, in a lot of ways, that first order was so much more valuable than that $600.

After that one, the next one came and then the next one came. And pretty much everything we would make from those orders, we would reinvest back into the business. We would take an order that needed a router, but we didn’t have one so we would use the money from that order to buy one, now we’ve got a router.

And that’s kind of how it worked for a really long time until we had built up enough tools and materials to really feel comfortable.

Fast forward about a year and change, September 2020 is the first month that we get five orders in one month. That, for us, was incredible. It was slowly, kind of, building its way towards that, and finally in September we got five orders in one month, and at that point, we knew that if we kept working the way that we were working, we had the momentum behind us, that there would never be another month that we had less than five orders in one month.

That December, December 2020, was the first month we ever made $10,000 in a month. Neither of us had ever made that much money in a month, probably even in a year, up until that point. We worked hard. We worked very hard that month, we stayed up all night. That was before we had a truck, I mean, we were loading 50 2x4s into the back of a Nissan Sentra. We would do these deliveries in U-hauls, and to try to just soak up as much of the profit out of this that we possibly could to put back into the business, we would try to group as many of those deliveries together on one day as we could. And so we would do three, four or five deliveries in a day from Upstate New York to South Jersey and everywhere in between.

That was the month we hustled the hardest, and we absolutely saw the return.

Then, 2021 was a great year for us and we brought in six figures, which was wild. It still is wild to think about - to think about a business that was once an idea when you were sitting in college contemplating dropping out and, you know, getting back now from this first road trip and spending for of the $800 that you have left in your bank account on wood to build a table, to then

making $10,000 in a month, to then cracking six figures the next year, and to know that every single decision you made that got you to that point, good, bad or otherwise, you made it. You found the space, you acquired the customers, you designed and built every single piece of furniture.

It’s a hard feeling to describe. We were so excited. We are so excited.

I feel like those years, 2019 to 2021, in that shop, were undoubtedly the formative years of Path. Path is much bigger than custom furniture, it’s a mindset, it’s an ideology, it’s the combination of art and functionality. It’s so much more than that, but those three years taught us so much about the craft, about ourselves and each other, about business and selling, and I couldn’t be happier that those three years are kind of the foundation for everything that Path is and everything that Path will become.


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