I had always told tell people what I thought they wanted to hear, instead of what I actually wanted to say. Around 1997 this came around to bite me in the ass and caused a few problems in my life as well as some others. From then on, I have only told it like it really is, regardless of the what anyone might have wanted me to say. The following is a brief account of my life since starting in the cabinet business.
I started out in the cabinet business around 1991after about 3 years (8 all together) as an ASE certified mechanic at the Marathon station in Cary, IL, ( an awesome time by the way!, In case any of my old fellow employees should ever read this, I miss you all!, please contact me I would love to hear from you, especially Rachel, Joe, Joel and Sean ). Sorry, where was I? There had to be an easier way to make a living than leaning over an engine 8 hours a day. My back couldn't take it any more!
After the Marathon turned into a mini mart I ended up working at a small cabinet shop in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago (Johnson's Custom Cabinets, in Barrington, Hi Henry and Ed!) and we mostly built hybrid 'frameless' cabinets, with most stiles and rails at 3/4 but the face was 3/4 thick, not just an iron on wood tape which was prevalent at the time. Everything we did one was 'one of a kind' with every kind of finish you can imagine, simple stain/lacquer, imported Italian laminates, gloss lacquer, painted, Corian and laminate tops ,we did it all and it was a great learning experience. I even got to do some repair work on a blanket chest that come over on the Pinta (as in the Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria, 1492).
Around 2001 I moved up to Green Bay, WI and took a job at a small cabinet shop with a lot of big ideas and empty promises, doing sales and design. It turned out to be a lossy operation as far as I'm concerned. Particle board in cabinets in $250K houses, what a joke! A real shame though, if I was able to change things as I wanted to it could have become one of the best cabinet shops in the area, not really much for competition in Green Bay, high end wise.
Anyway, while working there I was thinking about doing some remodeling on my house, nothing special, but I wanted to design it with my computer. I made up a few drawing with my CAD program. Then, when I wanted to make some changes, it was a hassle to redraw them. Next, I made a few Microsoft Works spreadsheets to print out the list of parts. This worked OK, but I wanted to put a drawing on them like the shop drawings we use where I worked. There, we used K**w. It works pretty well for the most part, but it's not worth the $5000+ price tag.
All along I kept telling myself that if I could write a program using the BASIC computer programing language I learned back in the 80's I could make a program that would be similar to the one we used at work. Well, low and behold, the BASIC language is alive & well and has been updated to work with windows. Around December of 2004 I began putting together a fairly simple program and have been adding to it ever since.
After telling a coworker/friend from the Green Bay cabinet shop, Jason, about it he said I should try selling it. When I listed the first one on July 4th 2005, Independence day for me (Yes, I really did plan it that way) on eBay I would have been happy to get $20 for it.
The program has now grown to over 100,000 lines of code, about the equivalent to 7 Readers Digests text wise, with many thousands of hours of time into it. The response to this program has been beyond all expectations with over 3000 customers around the world. I am also happy to say that I have become friends with quite a few of my customers, most being honest hard working people like myself.
If you're considering buying the program, please be sure that you will always get a straight, honest answer each and every time, not just what you want to hear from me in order to get you the buy the program. If I don't think my program is what you are looking for, I'll tell you straight up.
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