It was 8 years ago today when Gareth signed the Certificate Of Incorporation of Creative Conners, Inc and kicked of his dream of building awesome and affordable scenic automation. Let’s take this opportunity for a meander down memory lane.
The first fabrication started in the basement of Gareth’s house in Providence, RI. Gareth had to stand by the washing machine to get cell phone reception and fight with the cat for bench space. But from the forge of these obstacles was born the Stagehand, Avista, the Showstopper and the Pushstick. In 2007 the Conner Clan relocated to Barrington, RI and Gareth was able to spread his wings with a 2-car garage, and even some semi-regular help with electronic fabrication. This was when Avista was reborn as Spikemark, we added the Revolver and the Stagehand FX, and the Stagehand AC was redesigned from the ground up.
But things really took off last summer. First, more space was needed and we found an awesome shop in Warren, RI. The company added a sales guy (yours truly) and a Product Engineer, Royal Marty. And with the help of the awesome marketing firm Tribal Vision, we built a new website and re-tooled our marketing and branding. It’s been a great year – we’ve sold more gear than in any previous year, we’ve added the Curtain Call to our machine lineup, and put a new focus on communicating with our customers. But the biggest change has been in machine fabrication. With the new shop and additional staff, we can now make our own machines giving us control of the process and making protoyping new products easier. We still get water-jet cutting and tricky machining done by our friends and partners at Mystic Scenic Studios, and we found a great powder-coater nearby, but we do the rest ourselves, which is helpful when we have the biggest 2-month stretch of machine sales that the company has ever seen!
But, of course, we couldn’t have done any of this without our customers, more than 150 organizations who have trusted us with their ever-tightening budgets to deliver automation products that will move their scenery for show after show for years to come. So we celebrate with you as we blow out the candles on our birthday burritos (Royal’s a vegan) and even as the company grows, we’ll always put our customers first. Thanks for 8 years of changing the automation game.