I asked you guys on Instagram what you’d like to know more of when it comes to Steve, also known as: Husband / Best Friend / Mechanical Engineer & Smarty Pants / Dogfather / Part Time Woodworker & Mr. Fix-It / Furniture Mover / a Patient & Relaxed Man of Few, but Wise Words / Dani’s Vintage Designs Business Advice Giver!
Get to know him, how we met, how he felt when I up and left my job and started a business without consulting him, what drives him crazy about me, and all the good stuff in between!
PS – I bribed him to do this cosmopolitan style back and forth actual “interview” with me over Leopold’s Poutine and beer. Works every time.
STEVE – WHERE ARE YOU FROM? WHAT DO YOU DO? TELL US MORE ABOUT YOU!
Steve: I grew up in the small town of Leader, Saskatchewan. I moved to Saskatoon for University in 2005 and took mechanical engineering. I’m currently employed at Standard Machine and have worked there for 11 years. Just recently changed responsibility and am now the team leader and in charge of the disassembly and assessment of gearboxes.
-Dani: Do you like what you do?
Steve: Yes. The variety of jobs that come in, it’s different every day. The people I work with are great.
-Dani: What are your favorite hobbies and interests?
Steve: I like sports, I don’t play much anymore but I like following them. The Raptors, Blue Jays. Don’t really have a favorite hockey team. I love golfing because it’s a relaxing yet challenging sport and you can get out anytime and enjoy the weather, good exercise. I like woodworking but I don’t have a good shop or setup.
-Dani: Because of me?
Steve: Well it’s tough to maneuver in there with all the furniture. I also like traveling. Traveling is fun, but sometimes stressful.
-Dani: I feel like we always argue on road trips. We’re normally rock solid and then put us on a road trip and we are going to fight. I don’t know what it is, you just get so stressed out on road trips.
Steve: It’s because you don’t know how to read a map. *Dani laughing*
-Dani: I have google maps. There’s no need for maps in this digital age. *Steve now laughing*
HOW DID YOU TWO MEET?
Steve: We met at ultimate frisbee practice, we were on the same team. We had a mutual friend as well – James. It wasn’t a setup, but just playing for the season.
-Dani: James sneakily tried to set us up though, didn’t he?
Steve: Well he didn’t tell me about it.
-Dani: Well he didn’t tell me either, but he was scheming it even though we didn’t know that at the time. So tell me more about how we met and what attracted us to each other.
Steve: She threw a good disc.
-Dani: No, I didn’t! I was so terrible. I hate running. Thank you, that’s so not true though.
Steve: She was the smartest one out there though.
-Dani: Why was I the smartest one out there?
Steve: I just felt like you were. You were smart on the field.
-Dani: Oh, because I passed/pawned it onto everyone else like a hot potato so I wouldn’t have to do any of the work or run around?
Steve: Maybe, but you kept moving the frisbee around. I felt like you were smart when you played.
-Dani: For the record, Steve is WAY too good at ultimate frisbee, so this is a huge compliment I had no idea about. Guess he really did like me back then.
-Dani: So, how did we start dating?
Steve: I cowered for about 4 or 5 months and then we finally exchanged numbers.
-Dani: You mean when the frisbee season was done and if you got rejected you wouldn’t have to see me again?
Steve: Pretty much.
-Dani: So did you text me, or how did you initiate that?
Steve: I think I texted you the first time to wish you a good trip when you and your sister were going to California together, this was shortly after the season ended.
-Dani: Yeah, and I didn’t even have you in my contacts since I got a new phone and I was like, who is this? When you said it was you I got really excited because I had a huge crush on you all summer. I was confused about why you were texting me and thought – this is amazing, but what is this about, what does this mean.
Steve: Well there you go, I guess it was enough, I hooked you!
-Dani: I remember on that trip in California I talked to Laurelle (my sister) and asked if I should text Steve (she knew him from being on the same frisbee team too) and she said not to and that I’d scare him off. Back then being a badass bold girl wasn’t cool. But I did it anyways and snuck out of the room and texted you. Do you remember me texting you, are you happy that I did that?
Steve: Obviously. Yes I remember that.
-Dani: So I was thinking of you when I was in California.
Steve: Well I appreciate that!
DOES STEVE ENJOY THAT YOU’RE AN ENTREPRENEUR?
Steve: Yeah, I love it. It’s exciting, it makes me proud of her. It’s a good business.
-Dani: Well…is it a good business? *we are both chuckling here*
Steve: It’s fun for her. Yeah, I’m happy that you are. It’s better than your old job, for sure – let’s put it that way. It’s kept it interesting, for sure.
WHAT ARE STEVE’S ROLES IN THE BUSINESS / WHAT ARE HIS FAVORITE PARTS AND LEAST FAVORITE PARTS WITH HELPING?
Steve: I love moving furniture around. LOVE IT. Favorite part.
-Dani: Ok well that’s really funny and sarcastic, but really?
Steve: I like fixing the furniture, some of the issues. Depends on the issue though. Sometimes it’s tough to fix old furniture, depending on their state.
-Dani: Well you always figure it out, even when you say you’re not going to fix it and I tell you that you always end up figuring it out.
Steve: Yeah, I know. Sometimes it’s easier and better. Sometimes you just can’t do a good job because of the parts you’re working with. And stuff isn’t straight anymore, stuff bends and gets wonky over time. If a piece breaks that you don’t have access to anymore, that’s hard – if not impossible.
-Dani: What else do you like about helping in the business? Do you like giving me marketing and business advice?
Steve: I do what I can, but I’m not an expert at it.
-Dani: I think you’re good at it. I think you’re really realistic and smart. Somehow, some way you got that gift for just understanding business. You’ve really helped my business so much and giving me realistic advice when I’m being irrational.
Steve: I’d say I’m more of a sounding board than anything.
-Dani: Do you like helping with color choices and design?
Steve: I like giving you confidence.
-Dani: What’s that supposed to mean?
Steve: That means that you’re good at picking the colors and I’ll agree with you.
-Dani: So you don’t think I’m confident at picking the colors on my own?
Steve: Well I think you are, but you’re always looking for confirmation.
-Dani: From you, or from everybody?
Steve: Well I don’t know about everybody, but you always ask me and I’m stumped.
-Dani: So just to confirm, I ask you about colors just to make sure I make a really good choice long term and not something stupid I’ll regret?
Steve: Yeah I guess, I think you always make the right choice though without my help. I never provide any positive or beneficial feedback.
-Dani: The worst part is asking you for pricing ideas and I’ll be shooting for the stars and you’ll say like $2-$300 cheaper than I had wanted and I’ll get so annoyed. But then most of the time it does sell for that price and you’re always surprised.
Steve: That’s my cheapness coming out.
-Dani: You’re cheap? You have a cheap mindset?
Steve: Yeah, I do.
Steve: I’m not too sure why, I’ve always been this way.
-Dani: That’s true, I think you’ve gotten better with it though.
Steve: That’s because you’ve been more successful. *Dani laughing*
Now how about what you don’t like?
Steve: Sometimes the urgency of getting stuff done. I’m a procrastinator sometimes and you’re a go-getter. I can be lazy. That’s a pretty minor one. The big one is probably the financial steadiness of it. The lack of consistency in the income and never knowing how much will be coming in and depending on sales.
-Dani: That’s true. As an entrepreneur you just never know how much money is going to be coming in that month. Back to this moving furniture, how do you feel about that?
Steve: Yeah, not a big fan. I don’t mind helping you move stuff but when we move it from one place to another 10 times within our house it gets old.
-Dani: Ha ha, but you’re strong and you’re the only one who can help me move these things. How about the urgency in how fast I need you to FIX my stuff and that you’re the only one who can do it for me?
Steve: Yeah, you’re a bit too fast paced sometimes for what I can handle and not much time to work on it. And if you need it done right away it can be a lot of pressure.
-Dani: Do you feel like this furniture painting business takes away from our life because I’m so busy focused on the business and it takes way from our free time together?
Steve: Sometimes, I guess. When you get really going hard and in a busy spell or when you set these deadlines for yourself. You always seem to achieve those goals, but you’re always stressed out to the max. It’s like you lock yourself in the office when you’re working on something on the computer or lock yourself in the garage, and it’s like CYA!
-Dani: Yeah, and I don’t see you much and I don’t even know what’s up with you during that time even though we’re in the same house. And you’re just watching movies or something and I don’t even know what you did that day. I’m so laser focused and time is just going by so fast that I don’t even come out, I’m in beast mode. Sorry!
FROM YOUR POINT OF VIEW AND BEING DANI’S HUSBAND, HOW HAS THIS BUSINESS CHANGED HER A PERSON AS OPPOSED TO BEFORE THIS BUSINESS?
Steve: I feel like you’ve become more outgoing. Maybe it’s the salesman coming out in you.
-Dani: Salesman? What do you mean?
Steve: Yeah, trying to showcase your stuff and engaging with customers and you’ve become more passionate, and that’s gotten to be more and more as time goes on. I feel like you’ve become more stressed, too. At certain times, especially when you have a big bill coming up or taxes due. Or when you don’t have a sale for a while, it stresses you out.
-Dani: Yeah. I can say I’ve noticed that the lows are so low in the business but the highs are so high. When there’s a period of time where I feel like I’ve been selling lots I feel like I’m on cloud nine. But when it’s not going well I feel pretty low. Am I easy to be with at that time?
Steve: Yeah, you’re down on yourself, but whenever that happens you eventually get out of that rut and you’re back on top.
-Dani: Do you think this business has brought me more confidence?
Steve: Yeah, big time. Big time.
-Dani: So I wasn’t confident before as a person?
Steve: I think you’ve developed more confidence in your business skills and marketing. You know what your customers want and you’re a perfectionist.
-Dani: HEY, HEY!!! You know I’m not a perfectionist and how much I hate that word!
Steve: There are times where I think that there’s a piece of furniture and it’s functioning, like the drawers, and you say “this is not acceptable!”
-Dani: Well, as I’ve gotten more into this business and I’m asking those higher prices, people are expecting a really good functioning piece and I don’t want to sell them ****. I want to build a good reputation.
Steve: Yeah. That’s true!
-Dani: Do you think in this business I’ve become more self-aware as a person and also understanding people more in general?
Steve: Yeah. Just because you deal with so many different types of people.
-Dani: What do you mean, types?
Steve: There’s picky people, easy people, quiet people, outgoing people. Everybody’s different out there so somehow you have to relate to all of them.
-Dani: And what happens to me when I’m dealing with a picky person?
Steve: You get a little frustrated.
-Dani: Is it because I can’t relate to that type of person because I’m an easy going, love everything type of person, and they’re just someone who will never be happy?
Steve: Yeah, probably a personality clash.
HOW HAS THIS BUSINESS EFFECTED YOUR MARRIAGE?
Steve: I don’t know, I wouldn’t say it has much, other than what we mentioned already, the financial stuff.
-Dani: So you think this has only effected our marriage financially? Really? I feel like it’s given us more freedom in a way, but more chaos in a way, more interesting.
Steve: Yes, definitely.
-Dani: I think it’s also given us a lot more opportunities too to travel to deliver stuff out of province or do different things/meet new people.
WHAT DID YOU THINK WHEN DANI UP AND LEFT HER FULL TIME JOB AND DECIDED TO RUN THIS FURNITURE PAINTING BUSINESS?
-Dani: I remember planning with my old job to scale back and just do part time while I focused on this business, but I just couldn’t do it any longer and I quit sooner than I had planned. I thought – I don’t want to be here another second. I was feeling some really crushing anxiety at the time, my body was just riddled with tension and stress. I wanted to be free and I felt it in my soul that this was my calling, I couldn’t wait to paint every day.
I remember that day of me calling or texting you and saying heeey, I guess this is going to be my full time business! And you were nervous about it financially even if it was going to be just part time. So tell us about your experience about being on that end, when I just told you that I had quit and this was going to be our new reality.
Steve: It was just the unknown that was coming. You were doing this for what, 6-8 months or something. It wasn’t exactly paying the bills.
-Dani: It was paying our fun bills/activities and giving us extra spending money.
Steve: Yeah, when you had a full time job that’s what it was. And then when we had to rely on that, it became a little stressful at times.
-Dani: Were you mad at me that I just left my job and things didn’t go as planned, when I just left my job and made this my full time business without consulting you and went all in, were you upset with me?
Steve: I wasn’t upset, no. I was nervous, but not upset. You really proved yourself within the first year after you left your job. You worked super hard. I remember our garage was FULL of stuff. FULL. If anything on Kijiji popped up, you went and bought it, it didn’t matter what it was. It was packed to the nines and things inside the house. I think you just ended up selling all those as is later. It was a learning curve.
-Dani: Oh my gosh I forgot about that, I just bought EVERRRYTHING even if it didn’t apply to my style. I didn’t even have a style back then. I was just so bad at what I did back then. If you’re reading this and have something from me from back then, thank you! Ha ha.
Steve: Well like you said, it’s a learning curve. You’ve only gotten better.
-Dani: So you’re not mad at me for leaving my job and not consulting you first, let’s confirm.
Steve: No. If you would have quit and just not tried then I would have been upset, but you put your heart and soul into it so that’s good.
THAT’S THE END OF OUR CONVERSATION, FOLKS! Thank you Steve for joining me on this “interview”!
When Steve and I met in 2011, I was a completely different person. For him, it’s like he’s been with two different people, two different “Danis”, so I’m sure that was a bit hard for him to see his wife completely changing on him. Even through big changes in our lives, he’s always been on board, and I so appreciate him for that. I feel like if he wasn’t the person he is, I wouldn’t be the better person I am either. Someone who allows you to be your true authentic self and be a better person – but also – when it goes both ways and you make them a better person too – is someone you should be with.
To me, Steve is my rock and allows me to freely be me and continue to change creatively as a person and in business. I’m not sure I’ve ever met anyone who doesn’t like him, he’s probably the most patient, relaxed guy you could ever meet. He is quiet and soft spoken, but the kindest gentlest soul. He’s wickedly smart, handy, and HANDSOME! His parents did an amazing job raising him to be a kind human and to respect women. Thank you Mary and Kerry! Those are my inlaws, I love them too! I don’t think I’ve ever heard him bad mouth ANYONE. He’s just an amazing person, I’m so proud to be with him!