I spent the majority of my life in Virginia Beach, Virginia. It was a fun place to grow up with the ocean and the Chesapeake Bay right there for you to swim in. During the summer, the boardwalk would always be packed with people, bands, and an overall sense that you would never run out of things to do.
As a kid I always loved to play video games; it’s been a lifelong passion of mine. We were limited to 30-minute sessions when we were younger, and the older systems were not generous with their save systems like they are now. I was really good at the first half an hour of Sonic the Hedgehog, I’ll tell you that much. Besides video games, I really enjoyed playing football and getting in trouble with my brothers and friends. We still get together to this day and play football at our old middle school.
My first job was working for an event specialist company that my parents ran when I was younger. As soon as I had a work permit, I was working in the warehouse. They handled everything from children’s parties with bounce houses and inflatable slides to setting up decor for formal parties like proms and corporate holiday gatherings. I would have to say that job might have been my least favorite job. Don’t get me wrong--it was great for a young kid to earn some money on the weekends and during the summers. But as I got older and I was out of school, the hours and money just were not worth it.
My wife and I moved down here to North Carolina back in May of last year. I was having problems finding a job when a friend of ours told us that a company she purchased fabric through was hiring, and they were based out of Durham. Neither one of us had heard about this company so we looked it up. My wife, being a seamstress, insisted that I apply but neither one of us were sure I would get the job. The closest thing to Spoonflower work experience I had was screenprinting. I did get an interview but they were on the fence about creating a third shift, so I waited for a decision to be made. In the meantime I went to work for a garage door maintenance company and was grateful when Spoonflower called a few months later and offered me a position. It may be too soon to say, but Spoonflower is my favorite job I’ve had so far. I love the challenges it brings. There's a great sense of family and community here that you just don’t get at most work places.
When I first started printing, I was a little frustrated at my own waste ratio until some kind co-workers explained that it takes time to get good at printing. It’s been a lot of fun for me, getting familiar with the way everything runs and seeing improvement. Every day is a challenge to yourself to see if you can do better. Also, the staff meetings here are a blast to attend. Everyone gets to kick back for an hour or so and discuss what’s going on in a very lively atmosphere.
I don’t sew or mess around with fabric too much myself. I do enjoy building and fixing things but living in an apartment is a huge setback. I've always loved motorcycles and, a few months ago, my brother brought me one from Tennessee when he purchased a new one. So I went out and got my learner's permit and he showed me the ropes while he was here. Unfortunately after driving it around for a week -- and having a blast, I might add -- it was stolen from my apartment complex. I want to purchase another one, but I think I'm going to wait until I get a house of my own with a garage. The Triumph Street Triple R is my dream bike and I will own it one day! It isn't overly fast or flashy but it’s everything you need to have fun.