We had the good fortune of connecting with Jeff Musgrave and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jeff, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
Work life balance was a very serious concern when I launched my business back in 2003. I had a 3 year old daughter and a 1 year old son at home. I made very conscious decisions to be home for dinner every night with my children. And I was very conscious to make it to school plays and sports games, etc. My family comes first and the business #1 job is to support that family. This, for me meant starting my day early so I could come home by dinner time. But it also meant trusting the process, being patient on life, and not trying to force my business to do something it wasn’t ready to do. At 5:00 PM on Friday, I walked out of the shop and left it all behind. It would still be waiting for me on Monday, it didn’t need to follow me home. I started my own business so I could have the freedom to enjoy life, raise a family, travel, etc. The business’s job is to provide for that. For me, my business is a tool to get to the places I want to be in my life. It is not my identity nor is it my ultimate goal. I love my business for what it provides for me. Sometimes it demands a little more and other times it frees me up to play, but it is just that, a balance of give and take. To any young entrepreneurs starting up, always keep in mind why you started up your business and keep the main thing the main thing.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Each piece of my art is hand crafted and one of a kind antler chandeliers and furniture. We have a very niche market, but a good one to be in. We market to higher income folks around the world. We specialize in custom designs and fitting each piece to your home specifically. We don’t mass produce anything. Our designs are artful, practical, and functional. We build each piece with a specific client or home in mind.
The artistry of the work was the easy part, I enjoy making new creations. Running the business, and when it grew, training future artist to create as I have, has always been the challenge. I find it is rare to find a person with creative tenancies and a mind for business. I have sot to hire friends (which ran against the norm for most business men I have meet), people I have known for a while, people of high character and loyalty. We do a 2 year employee starter program and then I bring them into profit sharing. Making them a part of the business and giving them a sense of owner ship in the whole package. I can’t do this with out them and so they deserve to reap some of the benefit of how the business does. I preach to them to take time for them selves, they can’t be good artists if they are not at peace in their own world. So take the time you need to get your head right, sure up your family relations and then come to work and make beautiful work. We are a team of artists and we are in it together. We also have beer Fridays every week, where we clock out at 4 PM on Friday afternoon and sit around as friends and chat about life for an hour or two after work. Wives sometime come and we support each other in all of our adventures. This creates a positive work environment and we genuinely like each other. It is important to me that we all like what we do and that my people find a home and success at The Peak Antler Company.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I live on the back side of Pike’s Peak in Colorado. I love the mountains. I love hiking, fishing for trout, camping, and riding my motorcycle through the twisty Colorado roads. For food and drink, we have great craft breweries and great local food trucks with a variety of great flavors. Shout out to Paradox Brewery in Divide CO and Thia Good Eats food truck! My wife and I have taken many around the tourist places near Colorado Springs, a drive up to the summit of Pike’s Peak, and/or to the hot springs at Mt Princeton. I am not much of a skier but Breckenridge is a short 90 mile drive from my house as well. We do live and play in God’s country!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I am a perpetual learner and seek to better myself everyday. I have learned as much in my journey from others failures, as from successes. As Thomas Edison said, “I didn’t fail. I just found 2,000 ways not to make a light bulb; I only needed to find one way to make it work.” I sot to learn from others failures so I would not have to make the same mistakes they did in my own business. But my biggest benefactor was my father and the way he raised me. My father passed when I was 17 years old but he taught me how to be a man of honor and integrity. Beyond him is my own personal pursuit to know God and the greater mysteries of life. By finding peace in my soul, I am able to to make more sound logical decisions in my business and personal life.
Marcie Runnels Photography Tanner Coy Ali Myers