We had the good fortune of connecting with Brian Roberts and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Brian, what is the most important factor behind your success?
I learned quickly that the creative aspect of my business is only one half of building success. Unfortunately, the “business” aspect of creating a successful brand is equally, if not more important. Having no background in marketing, accounting, website design, etc. I found myself treading water without clear direction on how to turn a passion into a brand. Through hiring a career coach with a wealth of small business experience, I was able legitimize my brand and create systems that allowed me to focus my energy on creating without sacrificing too much of my time to the less glamorous aspects of small business entrepreneurship. Fully transitioning from a hobby to a business has risk. However, I found that I had to go all in on the transition, and through the help of my coach, was able to create attainable milestones that provided me enough time to research each decision and minimize the financial risk associated with each. Furthermore, taking organizational tools from my career as an Army officer allowed me to schedule product production and hold myself accountable to timelines. This takes discipline. It is easy to stay motivated and expend energy on your business when everything is going well and sales are consistent. However, motivation is not enough to sustain your brand in times of strife. Not unlike training for a marathon when it is easy to run on a sunny day but bottomless mimosas and brunch seem like a much more viable option on a rainy Sunday, motivation is often temperamental. Discipline, on the other hand, is decision to get out of bed, to answer emails from customers, or to put yourself out there knowing you could fail.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I always feel uncomfortable when referred to as an “artist”. I never pictured myself in this role although I’ve had a lifelong passion for woodworking. Bear Bros Woodworks is essentially my side business as my actual career is serving as an active duty Army infantry officer for the last 16 years. The juxtaposition of these two aspects of my life could not be more starkly contrasted. My professional career as an infantryman is forged around the idea of destruction, whereas I built a business around creating and bringing joy to my clients through handmade and artistic products. You can only imagine the looks I get when restocking a gallery in my Army uniform…

Woodworking filled a void in my professional career that I didn’t know I needed until a few years ago. Many of us can relate to long days at work that yield no tangible outputs after hours of labor. However, the ability to create, and to hold a thing of beauty in your hands, is a primordial need that many I’ve spoken to feel. It’s much like the movie “Fight Club” but with much less blood (assuming you use your tools correctly).

The ultimate goal of our brand is to build a community maker space so we can facilitate the creative output of others that need help getting started. The physical, mental, and emotional benefits of creating and working with ones hands is something that all communities can benefit from.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
As an ocean obsessed individual, I will always recommend going west…

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Without a doubt, the support of my family is paramount in the success of my business. In fact, my kids are the driving factor in all I do. Our brand name, Bear Bros Woodworks, is an acronym of our names being Brian, Everett, and Arlo Roberts (BEAR). They are a huge part of the creative process and take an active role in coming up with new design ideas and marketing strategies. Additionally, at the ages of 7 and 9, have gotten extremely proficient in creating designs with epoxy and have sold their creations online, in galleries, and at shows. They are the reason that I get up every day and keep sanding.

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Website: www.bearbroswoodworks.com

Instagram: @bearbroswoodworks

Facebook: @Bear Bros Woodworks LLC

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