We had the good fortune of connecting with Garrett Brown and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Garrett, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
I always struggle to achieve this balance. As GBD grows and we become more established, I am able to make more time for myself. But in the beginning, all I did was work. It was a miracle if I was able to break away to go snowboarding for the day. COVID has actually helped me create some space from the everyday struggles that used to weigh so heavily and would prevent me from taking care of myself. Or at least that was always my excuse. When COVID hit, it forced me to work from home, which allowed me to create separation, take care of myself on a daily basis, and look into the future with GBD. Spending time with friends also helps me check out from work. When I am with friends, I leave my phone at home so I can focus on what we are doing and avoid work distractions. Relationships are a constant reminder to be conscious of having that balance.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
GBD is a very dynamic business; we provide a wide range of services. We started out making custom one-off pieces of furniture and now we do very large build outs and are fabricating large quantities of each piece. We still do the custom one-off pieces, but we love working with a designer/architect to create an entire space. We are a different design/build studio because we specialize in the large “wow factor” pieces. GBD will design/build the entire lobby of a hotel and fabricate all of the furniture in each room. We are truly your one-stop shop for high-end custom millwork and furniture. The woodworking team is classically trained in fine woodworking and understands wood movement. This ensures a lasting product that will hold up from the wear and tear in a commercial setting. We are most proud of our ability to adapt to every project. And we pride ourselves on being the team on a jobsite that always has a smile. We truly love what we do. Building a brand of this size and scale took a lot of blood, sweat, and a couple of tears. Many long nights and sleepless days. In the beginning, we said yes to every project and it created a lot of stress, but we also learned so much so quickly. We overcame the challenges through continued hard work and dedication. A lot of research goes into each piece; we put in the work ahead of time to make sure we have a high-end product in the end. As we continue to grow, we realize that we are not built for every project; we have learned to say no to certain things. We have also built a wonderful network of subcontractors that are experts in other fields, so we have partnerships that help us with some of the larger scale projects. We want GBD to be synonymous with quality craftsmanship, prompt communication, and creativity.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If I had a friend coming to visit Denver for the week, I would recommend that they come in the spring because that is my favorite time of year to be in the city. We would go on hikes in Boulder/Golden for the day and climb Boulder Canyon. We would probably take a day trip to Upper Colorado River, put in at Pumphouse, and ride our stand up river paddle boards down to Two Bridges. I love that section of the river. On our way back down, we would hike around the waterfalls in East Vail and If the snow is still good, we might take a day trip to A-Basin for some late season riding or go for a skin on Berthoud pass for some late season laps. At night, I would take this wonderful friend of mine down to Rhino. We would start with a drink at Our Mutual Friend. Then we would head over to Finn’s Manor and get an Old Fashioned and some food at the local food trucks. The next night, I would take them to get oysters and pizza at Cart Driver. If COVID is more controlled and live music is not a thing of the past anymore, we would definitely go see a show at the new Mission Ballroom and sit on the benches that GBD designed/fabricated outside of that space. And then hopefully catch a more intimate show at The Ogden on another night. There are so many interesting things to do in Denver; this is just the tip of the iceberg.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I’d like to thank my two mentors, Jeremy Cox and Jason McCloskey. They were the co-department heads of the Red Rocks School of Fine Woodworking. They taught me so much and I continue to learn from them to this day. Of course, I’d like to thank my parents and my family for always supporting me and for always lending an ear when I’ve had a tough day. But most of all, I’d like to thank my team. Without their continual support, dedication, and love of the craft, GBD wouldn’t be close to where we are today. And a special shoutout to Barry Paul, our business advisor. He certainly has done everything in his power to make GBD a successful and stable company.
Facebook: Garrett Brown Designs