Father's Day Message from R.T.

Father's Day Message from R.T.

A few months ago someone asked me “how did you know you wanted to become an entrepreneur?” At the time I wasn't sure how to answer. I thought about my childhood and told the story of my great-grandfather, Charles DeLong. In 1941 he started a Christmas tree farm in Pennsylvania where I grew up. I talked about him, my Grandfather who owned the farm while I was growing up, and my parents who ran the farm throughout my childhood.
I talked about how my parents taught me educational sales by teaching me everything about Christmas trees then merely conveying that information to customers. I talked about how my parents, who were both in advertising when I was a child, would watch the Super Bowl with me. But, it was just for the commercials so they could explain to me the target audience, expected outcome, and marketing strategy behind those particularly expensive pieces of video content.

Some time after answering that initial question, I had a conversation with a friend about being a Dad. We shared best practices, what to do, what not to do, etc. and he told me a story about why he thinks he never became an entrepreneur. The people in his life that he looked up to, including his parents and coaches, told him from an early age, “try not to set unrealistic goals… we wouldn't want you to be disappointed if you can’t do it.” The conversation revolved around sports, and I remember having those discussions with my parents too. However, I remember my outcome much differently.
When I was little, my Dad told me “when you grow up, you can do anything you put your mind to.” I remember him saying it when he put me to bed. I remember him saying it when he helped me build my Lego projects, and I expressly remember him saying it whenever I was especially excited about something but was nervous at the same time.

I think he meant that I could be an astronaut, firefighter, engineer, architect, or something like that. I’m sure if I told him that I wanted to be an entrepreneur he would have been ecstatic.

I told my Dad that I planned to sacrifice the summer of my freshman year in college to start a painting company with a franchise opportunity called “College Works.” He said, “Go for it!” That was my first real foray into entrepreneurship. My Dad was always there for advice and encouragement. And, after I was successful in that venture, he helped me invest the profits in real estate.

Throughout this entire journey, I have had my father to thank for his early and unwavering support of our company. He’s always been there for me. In 2013 when I told him about the idea Tyler and I had on a golf course, this crazy idea called “Vortic,” he asked how he could help. With a $10,000 loan from my father, we bought a 3D printer and launched the Kickstarter campaign for The American Artisan Series.
On June 10th, 2017, I became a Dad and started to see things a bit differently. As an entrepreneur, there is no “good” time to settle down, have children, focus on family, etc. Lindsay and I are very blessed to have Sawyer, and he’s truly a bundle of joy. Recently he learned the word “Daddy,” and now he runs to the door yelling it every day when I get home. It’s the best part of my day.
As I write this, Sawyer is sitting on my lap. He’s hit the keyboard a few times, deleted a couple of paragraphs of good content I can never get back, and poked me in the eye with his favorite toy (a calculator). The jobs of father and entrepreneur are equally rewarding, and the little frustrations pale in comparison to the pure joy that comes from success in both.
Thank you, Dad, for making me the man I am. I hope I can be half the Dad to Sawyer. And, thank you to all the Dads out there reading this blog. A lot of you are customers, and I cannot begin to explain the privilege it continues to be to build you watches and run this company.

Now that I have a son of my own, it all means so much more. I think about building beautiful watches that can be passed from generation to generation — much in the same way that the antique pocket watches we salvage and restore were passed down. So many of you have told me that you plan to give your watch to your son or daughter, and even more of you have engraved your last name on the watch to ensure it remains in the family.
Regrettably, the Custer family does not have a pocket watch heirloom that I can use to create a priceless watch like many of our customers. However, I hope that one day, Sawyer won’t just inherit a watch… he’ll inherit a whole watch company!
Thanks again, Happy Father’s Day!
R.T. Custer
Vortic Watch Company

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