Over the years we’ve become the owners of multiple businesses alongside our real passion for violins.
At first our problem was how to attain skills to do a great job at whatever we wanted to undertake. But in the end it happened by accident that I met a man with a love to rival our own for his business.
Guy inspired me from the day we met because he built and nurtured his fencing business much the same way that we grew our music business. His Horsham fencing company started as an idea when he was just 10 years old, helping his Dad on the family farm. He loved to hammer the posts into the soil and over the years he decided he wanted to build fences for a living.
It doesn’t sound like a labour of love because any kind of work in the great outdoors can be laborious and hard. But Guy relished the elements and with his father’s help he set up his own company.
I loved his story and his passion, and how that 10-year-old knew just what he wanted to do for the rest of his life. So much so that I asked Guy to take me along one day to learn some of his skills.i
Much to my surprise I loved working outdoors, though I freely admit I like to choose when I work and prefer the warm inside during the winter months. So we became informal business partners as I set up my own company and subcontracted to him. We still get along like brothers and it’s been a great friendship. When I need to burn up some energy or destress, I help Guy with the work. It might be a closeboard fence for a small town garden or deer fencing measured in kilometres around a farm. I don’t mind and we make a great team.
When I’ve had enough hard labour, I return to my precious violins. It’s a wonderful contrast working with delicate instruments one day, ensuring a perfect finish and using a light touch. Then next being out in the fields with a club hammer and landrover, getting dirty, hardening my hands and getting blisters. But somehow it works and I love it all.
In some ways though it’s not so different. Both skills demand a degree of accuracy and precision. It’s readily apparent when it comes to violin making, but not everyone would appreciate that a fence needs to be accurate too. After all, it’s no good fencing a pretty garden and ending up with a wonky fence, or one that has panels of different sizes. And it’s almost an art to make a fence look pristine.
So maybe they have more in common than you’d first think.
Violins and fences – who knew?