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The Evolution of the Ford Pickup

27 Sep 2023 0 Comments

If you are going to do something, you need to do it right.

Lee Hoffmeier is the owner of Fort Wayne Industrial Revolution. There are a few things to note right away about Lee: first, he’s the type that thinks before he speaks, and second, he doesn’t cut corners. As a former Master Sergeant in the Air Force at the 122nd Air National Guard, it’s obvious that the mentality of ‘if you are going to do something you need to do it right’ has stuck with him. The way The FWIR came about in 2017 is a testament to that. If ever there was a more real-to-life Ron Swanson, I have yet to meet them.

FWIR was founded out of a personal need. Unable to locally source the perfect table, Lee took it upon himself to make what he couldn’t find. Unknowingly, he also started what would ultimately become a highly sought-after furniture design studio.  We were fortunate enough to spend the day with Lee and his wife, Micah, while they installed several pieces that had been commissioned. Being able to see the process from loading up to installing, to the way they both engage with the client offered so much insight into what it takes to build and maintain a place in his industry.

Each install was uniquely its own thing. The first stop was a quick in and out coffee table set up with an older couple who you could tell put a lot of thought into what they were adding to their living room. It wasn’t just a coffee table, it was a focal point. Lee and Micah quickly had the table top placed, the base installed (which is something Lee prefers to do on location) and the final product positioned all within 45 minutes. Following the install there was run down for product care, a little gift exchange; a bag with Lee’s preferred wood care products, and then off to the next one.

Crafting furniture from pieces of history

The second install couldn’t have been more different than the first. We were there to install two pieces for a family that moved from Utah and prior to moving sought out Lee to build a dining room table with a matching coffee table. And not just any dining room or coffee table though, this family wanted something local that would tie into their new life in the Summit City. Lee again, spared no effort and sourced a pre-Civil War era tree from downtown Fort Wayne that was damaged during a large storm. Both the dining and coffee table were sourced from this piece of history.

The dining table came in at roughly 400 pounds when it was done, so watching the guys navigate from the truck to the house was entertaining, to say the least. Like the previous install, Lee installed the bases on-site, carrying thoughtful conversations with the clients the whole time. Once the installation and placement were done, Lee went through the run-down of product care, did a quick gift bag exchange, then we set out to end the day at Dot and Line Brewing Company.

Another job well done.

The largest takeaway from our time together is that, at his core, Lee is an intentional person. There is a phrase my grandfather used to say regarding anything in life and that was “slow is smooth and smooth is fast”. I don’t think there is a more fitting phrase to describe the work of, or the person that is the Fort Wayne Industrial Revolution. Nothing was rushed the entire day, no excuses were made, everything was done to the standard that was set by the work, and each interaction was sincere.
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