Serving Veterans: Engraving PLUS Paverart
My views of business tend to solidify over time. One such area? HUMANS. There are a few things I've learned to be true almost all of the time.
People make things happen. Or NOT happen.
Teams that share a common goal can become a force multiplier. Getting teams to gel is hard, time-consuming work. Missions can be fuzzy, the "hows and whys" of how to get things done create barriers to progress.
EVERYBODY has their own battle to fight, and those demons span the gamut. Some are public with those demons, others keep them silent.
I've worked with people from all walks of life. Advanced degrees, blue-collar, disabled, etc. There's one "group" that always stands apart: VETERANS.
My experience with Veterans has been universally "off the charts." They just seem to be wired a bit different. Responsive. Attentive. Focused. Disciplined. Grateful. Objective/mission driven. I chalk some of it up to the training. And I also have to imagine that people that JOIN the military are a unique segment of our population. They are drawn to MISSION. Purpose. That goes a long way.
As I look back on 2023 in the weeks ahead, I'll be thinking about our "highlight reel." Things we should be thankful for. A couple come to mind quickly.
One of the "friends of PAVERART," Mr. C! Joe and his wife took a cross-country road trip, and somehow PAVERART made the agenda. He felt the need to thank US for the work we did creating a customized compass rose commemorating a 25-year career with the Coast Guard. Humbling to say the least.
We shared some bagels and spent some time in the shop, and we happened to have the makings of another custom compass rose with custom engraving in the works for a different Veteran, pictures below. Joe had all sorts of observations and tremendously valuable insights.
Joe shares these insights generously and in a way that inspires me to learn more. Rare.
When I generalize and say Veterans are simply "cut different," these are some of the reasons why.
Joe, Brian, Mike and I profiled this project and there are some videos on this post: Inspiration & Purpose: The United States Coast Guard Custom Compass
Another thing I will look back on in 2023?
The connection of our 2 businesses, PAVERART and Engraving. We always thought of these businesses as separate vs integrated. But more and more we are seeing PAVERART capabilities and engraving be merged together and the unique value that can add to our clients.
In January of 2023, we opened up our dedicated engraving shop (across the street from PAVERART), and we are starting to really see the benefits of that, from improved turnaround times, and embracing more challenging jobs. To be honest, SEPERATING (even if only 75 feet apart) gave me a bit of anxiety.
But FACILITIES do not improve things. People make things happen.
It takes both of our teams working together to bring Paverart and engraving into one project. One side has to do the custom cutting, and the other the engraving/fill work to bring it all together. They need to be in sync with communication and timing.
NONE of this is easy. It requires craftsmanship, patience and detail orientation. SPEED and craftsmanship are evil cousins.
Some projects we clearly see as more challenging. The 2 custom compass designs with detailed emblems fit the bill. As do our Military insignias pictured below.
The picture of the Military ship makes me smile. But that's about a half a smile.
An ear to ear, facial soreness smile? Mike's comment on the facebook post. Bertele is the best blaster in the business. Primo work. Way to go Nick.
Mike is a co-founder of PAVERART, 20+ years. Every employee, every PAVERART and Engraving job he's touched in one way or another. When I think of "Old school meets new school" (the subtitle of our podcast), Mike comes to mind. Rock solid. And he doesn't throw compliments out like this lightly.
PAVERART's brighter future is not a function of having more physical space and 2 businesses having their own, separate spaces. Space does not have a heartbeat. Nor does fancy, expensive machinery.
Better tomorrow's come back to HUMANS. When they come together, there's a pretty darn good chance for progress.
Hail to all of our nation's great Veterans.
Thanks for being a shining light.