Drum building is not a get-rich-quick profession. It takes a lot of work, a lot of love, and a whole lot of time. It is, however, one of the most satisfying, creative, and rewarding things I have ever done. I’m not just doing something to earn some cash flow, working the 9 to 5 to get by, I’m creating drums that haven’t been done before! Both in innovative design and execution. I’m creating a material object formed from natural substances that is transformed into spiritual extensions of the future owners… or at the least, a beautiful work of functional art that just happens to sound amazing!
Aside from what is seen here on my blog (and perhaps an excuse for the lack of new content here), my website, and Facebook, there is a lot going on behind the scenes. A lot of product development, research, trial and error, experimental projects, etc. Right now I am slammed with all of the above!
I am in the process of developing a new concept for a drum; think earthly elements, tonal percussion, and portable (this is going to be bad-ass but don’t want to give away too much so soon). I’m also developing a new type of conga drum with custom stainless hardware that I’ll be making in-house. In doing this, I’m going to need some new equipment… So… I’m also working on a Kickstarter campaign to help raise funds and awareness for what I’m doing. In order for that to be successful I’m working on a press release to get attention to the Kickstarter, so I can get the equipment to build these innovative drums. Sheeew.
I’m really excited about where all this will lead. I’m branching out from the African drum niche and doing some cool experimental drums, but like I said, it’s not easy and it takes time.
I stay with about 10 drums on my to-do list and have a wait time right now of about 6 months for a custom build, so it’s always a struggle to develop anything new and a tug at where to put my time. Put into account that I work full time as a fabricator outside of Rhythm House Drums, and have a wife and a 3 year old that I want to spend every spare minute with (this nice weather and her amount of sweet adorableness isn’t helping to get more drums out).
I hired an apprentice a few months ago (excellent woodworker / cabinet builder) to help me out because I was getting too behind. By the time one drum shipped out, I had orders for 2-3 more. So this has been great to get some good help and I feel like the work is manageable now, I just have to be sure and stay on it so I can get ahead. One day I will have RHD drums in stock and ready to ship so there is no wait. Think of all the business I’m loosing because customers have to wait half a year to get a drum…
This isn’t at all a rant, or a complaint about what I do, I love it… It’s more of an explanation of what goes into running a small business on a tight budget. I’m sure it’s pretty universal to a lot of other folks passionate about their hobby turned business. Some days are a struggle, some days frustrating, a few days go really good… but every day is interesting and rewarding!
It’s it hard? Yes!
Do I miss my family? Yes!
Do I wake up some mornings and wish someone would offer me 5 million to buy the business? Yes!
Would I sell it? Not so sure I would… I kinda love it.