How we got started
One of the most common questions I am asked when we talk to our customers in person is how I got started with this. I’d like to take a minute to address that question here.
Back in 2013 while at George Brown College I laid my eyes on a piece of equipment in one of my classes and couldn’t stop thinking about it. What was this piece of machinery you ask? Well it was a small 2x2’ CNC plasma cutter, and at the time it was hard to think about owning one of these, but that didn’t stop me from plowing my way through online forums and doing my own research on them.
Guess what happened next? 6 months later… I bought one. I had NO idea what I was doing, I had NO idea how to use CAD, how to run a CNC table, or even where to buy steel from at the time. But it was too late to turn back.
The first 6 months was torture, there were many times when I thought about throwing in the towel and just accepting that I made a mistake but I kept pushing on. Keep in mind that I wasn't relying on this as my source of income at the time, I was literally doing this on the side after an 8-10hr shift - Which was even more painful considering that most days (in the beginning of this journey) were followed by a pile of scrap in the corner of my dads garage.
Thinking back to my first couple years I remember it being a huge learning curve, but like the tortoise - persistence paid off (although I never would have believed you if you told me it would back then).
I eventually (I think after 1.5 years or so) upgraded my machine to a 4’x4’ CNC table. This allowed me to handle more projects and also allowed me to do things that I just didn’t have the ability to do before. By this time I was finally starting to feel more comfortable with the whole process and was becoming more self aware of what I could and couldn’t take on.
Then, back in December of 2015, I registered Feddes Fabrications Inc as a business. Being a kid that came from a family where “business” wasn’t really in our DNA it was a surreal moment for me. I wasn't really sure where it was going to go, or if I was going to be able to continue to grow or not, but I had made a commitment. Which meant no more excuses, well except for one. At the same time my (now) wife and I had bought our first home, and guess what… yup I spent the next 6 months renovating. New foundations, news floor, steel beams, wood beams, you name it and it happened. I was able to still fulfill the orders I was getting at the same time but basically I spent 6 months working 12’s or more and almost 6 days a week + working a lot of Sundays.
The next year (2017) was my first year that I was able to stay busy enough to work for myself almost the whole year. I say almost because I still work as a millwright on a rare occasion but usually not for more than a few days at a time anymore. I also upgraded my machine once again to a 5x10’ CNC table. I guess this was a confirmation for us that the way we were treating our customers right, and the quality and care we had for our products was starting to be recognized and talked about.
Now here we are - as I write this we are coming into the summer of 2018. We are very grateful to have a Facebook following over 9k people, and also to have had the privilege of providing our products to customers all over Canada and even into the United States. It’s been quite the journey so far and when I really think about it - It’s just getting started!
If your an existing customer reading this I would just like to personally thank you for being a part of our ever growing story. We’ve had the privilege of meeting all kinds of new people both online and in person and this continues to be my favourite part of “running” a business. We treat our customers as we would like to be treated if we were buying from us.