It’s hard to believe it was 45 years ago that I started my business, Jim Farris Cabinets. I was 22 years old and had no fear! I started out working out of my garage under the carport with just a dirt floor. I thought that I had a lot of tools but I could fit them all in my Opal station wagon. My first big tool upgrade was a yellow and white Dodge van. Only a few months later I married the love of my life, Chris Christen (my best friend’s sister). We spent our honeymoon camping out of that old van. We will celebrate 45 years of marriage this year as well!
The first several years in business were really tough. My first real shop was 700 square feet. What an upgrade from the one-car garage and carport! Most of my work was for friends and family with new clients coming from advertising on a tight budget. My first advertising campaign consisted of 1 sheet of Masonite cut into 24 equal-sized pieces, painted with white house paint (from my dad’s garage), stenciled with the words, “Cabinet Maker and my phone number”. I put this up on fence posts and telephone poles around my targeted business area. Early on I would do just about anything large or small.
The next big step in my business happened in the spring of 1978. The interest rates were skyrocketing and my dad told me we had to go by a house NOW! It didn’t take long to determine that Chris and I couldn’t afford to buy a dog house in Bellaire where I grew up. We ended up purchasing an 1,100 square foot house southeast of town. I moved my shop to South Shaver St. in Pasadena and I am still there today! My first space here was 1,200 square feet. I hired my first full-time helper at that time. Since that day I have had as many as 8 employees at one time. That made me CRAZY! I prefer to focus on doing my best as unto the Lord! I feel like I can do that best with a smaller team.
I now have 2 employees and we work together in an 8,000 square foot, fully equipped shop. Together John Fife, Jose Dozal, and myself make a great team. We are all better off together! John and Jose have both been with me for over 30 years! Together we get to design, fabricate, finish, deliver and install some of the best crafted cabinets and furniture around. Thank you, John and Jose, for sticking with me even through the toughest times. Even through those tough times God has always been faithful to provide enough. Thank you, God! I am so blessed!