Tavares: Actually, we were inspired by several people—our mom and a friend of the family.
Troy: That friend of the family told us that we could be criminals and do nothing or work for ourselves.
What do you wish you knew when you got started?
Tavares: Discipline and saving money.
Troy: I would have to agree, and I wish I knew how to be more productive and constructive when I got started.
What are you glad that you didn’t know?
Tavares: I’m glad that I didn’t know I would have to put in a lot of hours. Even though I could assume that from working, but that would mean that I was satisfied with a certain dollar amount at that time. Now I know that consistency pays more bills than just coming in the shop for a certain amount of money.
Troy: I don’t have any answer for that one. (Laughs)
What are some of the best lessons — in business or for life — you’ve learned from being your own boss?
Tavares: Smile and be courteous.
Troy: Some of the best things I’ve learned working for myself is that everybody counts. Every person and interaction is worth giving your 100 percent.
Tavares: I was going to say something similar to that.
Troy: I’ve definitely been learning to diversify yourself but still strengthen yourself through that diversity. This meaning that you don’t just try and spread yourself so thin, but reach people where they are because we come in contact with all different types of people. You have to be 100 percent authentic to yourself. The best business lesson that I’ve learned is that I didn’t have enough business information working for myself so it caused me to go learn and research about taxes, insurance, etc. If you’re working under someone, they may not tell you those things. We had to learn these things ourselves. We did go to school so we got the basic craft skills down. Our position comes from the art, working with other people and listening to our customers. They’ll tell you want they want but then they’ll want to quantify it but you’re an artist as well.