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we hired our friend

Alright, today, I want to talk to you about Franny - Franny, Francisco, Enwood Games. Franny quit his job and officially came on board with us back in March 2021 - I say officially because Franny has been around since Path was just an idea in my parents’ basement. He worked alongside us, he contributed his time and ideas and, most importantly, he believed in Path.

Brandon and I each knew Franny separately and at different times in our lives. I first started to get to know Franny when we were seniors in high school. We ended up going to the same college and so, for the semester I attended, we commuted together. He was probably the first person I told that I was dropping out.

Franny went on to finish school. He graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Civil Engineering, and went on to design retail and residential properties, stormwater systems and potable water lines. He also spent time post-grad inspecting building foundations and construction. He’s the real deal.

Back in March 2021, we were busy and

getting busier. We didn’t want to slow down and so we started to entertain the idea of bringing someone onboard with us. Our circle is pretty small and initially, we were struggling to think of someone who would be open to working as often as we worked and be as dedicated to focusing on even the smallest details of each project as we were. That’s when Franny came to mind.

Franny shared our passion for building, and the message at the center of Path has always resonated with him. We built together in my parent’s basement, we built Brandon’s studio desk together when we first got the studio - I think that might’ve been our first build in that space - and so it started to become clear who we wanted on our team.

So we reached out to Franny. He had a good job at the time, but he was craving the same freedom and creativity we were when we started Path, and he found it here. Franny quit his job and came to work with us full time. It meant a lot to us that he was willing to give up that security and more traditional way of thinking and working with us, because he believed in us.

It was around this time that he started pursuing his own venture, Enwood Games - a puzzle business that features uniquely shaped pieces and incredible artwork from up and coming and established artists around the world.

Puzzles have always been a part of Franny’s life. They’re a way to bond and connect with friends and family. The same way Brandon and I know what makes a good piece of furniture, Franny knows what makes a good puzzle - everything from the look and feel of the pieces to how tightly they fit together.

I can think back to so many late nights in the studio, after a full day of working, hanging out and throwing around ideas on how to make our businesses grow, what our next steps are, and we were tired and sore even sometimes, but we stuck around because we wanted to be there, we believed in ourselves, and we wanted to get better and that, that level of commitment and optimism has always been a deep-rooted

similarity between myself and Brandon, and, I think the reason Franny fit so seamlessly into those late nights is because he shared that too. Recognizing that ambition in each other, without a doubt, strengthened our friendship and made our time working together a lot of fun.

Bringing another person on board was a first for both Brandon and I. Neither of us ever had to rely on other people to get work done and neither of us ever had someone rely on us to keep the work coming. It was a completely new experience for us. There was this added sense of responsibility, taking on not just another person, but a friend. Brandon and I are just as invested in Franny’s life as he is ours, and knowing that now, not only are we doing this to support ourselves, but Franny too - it was even more motivating. Every decision we made from how quickly we answer an e-mail for a potential project to what days we take off affect him too. It was all so new.

I remember the first time Brandon and I went to go get lunch for all of us - walking out of the studio and still hearing the sander running was pretty mind-blowing. Work was getting done while we were at Lowes or at the lumber yard or on a delivery. We had another set of eyes and hands to help refine our work. This was hugely helpful in terms of efficiency and it gave us an idea of what’s possible if we were to continue to grow like this.

All in all, having Franny on board was a great experience. I think it taught all of us a lot about woodworking, about running a business and about each other. It bonded the three of us in a really unique way and I don’t think any of us will ever forget the time we spent in the studio.


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