The Chair Endeavor

It all started with one chair I had decided to build in my carport one hot Florida summer weekend. The next weekend I made another chair to match the first one. Then, a curious neighbor walked by inquiring what I was doing. The end result of that conversation was my first sale of two chairs, sold for $75 each.

For two years thereafter, I was busy filling orders and making furniture out of my carport every weekend, while still working my full-time corporate job Monday – Friday. Looking back, I don’t remember ever taking a day off, and if I did, there had to be a very good reason!

After quitting my corporate job in 2005, I found myself working even harder. My first son had been born 3 months prior, adding to the long list of responsibilities. This meant doing shows on the weekends and building furniture, Monday – Friday. But, I wasn’t complaining, though hard work, this still beats the corporate job, which I never liked anyway. I was my own boss now! I got to actually implement my thoughts and ideas, no approval needed.

Starting with the name for the business, I remember very clearly that “Eureka moment” sitting in the hot tub consuming a well-deserved beer after a long day of building chairs, thinking about a perfect name for the business…Island Time!!! Yes!!! That was the perfect name for my newly formed company… Island Time. I thought and smiled, and have been smiling ever since. And the rest is history.

Oh, wait… it would be an injustice if I excluded my partner in crime in this “chair endeavor”. Captain, my blue and gold macaw, of course. Not too long before that first chair, Captain had come to my life as just a few month old little chick. I hand fed him, and we became best buddies. He loved to ride on my beach cruiser handlebars on the beach. Though we couldn’t get very far because people would stop us constantly wanting to take pictures of us, which quite honestly, Captain truly enjoyed.

In the early days of my chair building, Captain would sit on his perch and watch me build, and also tell me with very loud screeches when it was, …well, … 5 o’clock. Sometimes I would bring Captain with me to a show I was doing and he would steal all the attention.

One day early on in this endeavor, I had bought a jigsaw to cut curves. I was excited to test it out and decided to cut out the side profile shape of Captain sitting on the perch. After finishing successfully, I hung my new piece of carport art on the wall. Just then a neighbor walked by, again inquiring about my doings. I showed her the cut out of Captain and shared with her my thoughts of having a branding iron made with the same shape in order to brand the logo onto the chairs I was making. She took the wooden live size cut out of Captain to a local welder, who then made the first branding iron with the same shape. After being heated burning red hot in my chiminea, the branding iron would produce a small flame from the heat and leave a perfect burnt in mark on the chair.

Only years later I realized the beauty of this process, which is that no-one decided one day: “let’s design a logo today!” No, Captain’s logo evolved 100% organically: From the actual live bird to a cut-out piece of wood, to a branding iron, to a burnt in logo… and from there on, a digitally produced image of the logo on t-shirts, decals, hats, etc.

So, when you purchase an Island Time chair, you get a little Captain on it! You are not getting just a chair, it comes with the story, the feeling and the experience of Island Time.

Stay on Island Time,

Chairman of the Beach