“We” vs “I”: Twisted Willow is So Much More Than a One Man Show

The word “we”. We use it a lot. It gets a lot of comments, especially when people know Twisted Willow Fabrication is mainly a one man shop. Comments like, “how many people do you have working for you?”, “do you have partners?”, “you have a mouse in your pocket?” There’s a lot going on with that little word. I want to take a moment to comment on this little word, and yes, I did mean to use “I” in this sentence.

Beware of the person marching around using “I” all the time. We (you and I) see it often. We have seen it in a big way with our recent elections. Statements like, “I’m the only one who can do it” or “I alone can do it”. These are flags that should serve as warnings. No one does anything alone. No one is an island, no one is self-made. We are all affected by those who came before us. We are also affected, in good ways and bad, by the people in our lives. Those we work with or work for, the work of those we follow, those who have taught us, those who have raised us, technology we have used and improve on. We take all these ingredients, good and bad, and become who we are.

Business is no different, and it became apparent to me a few years ago when we had a business attorney set up Twisted Willow Fabrication LLC. From the start our attorney was testing and correcting us when we used the word “I”. In a corporation or LLC there is no owner. “I” can infer there is an owner, and therefore places legal limits on that corporation or LLC if someone wants to challenge them. You have to speak carefully when dealing with people and sign documents with a title tagged on to the end of your name. You have to be careful in this litigious world. We were tested often by the attorney.

There was a joke that I had a split personality because I became many different people overnight with the formation of Twisted Willow Fabrication LLC. But then that got me thinking. There’s much more than the formation of a business going on here. This business is actually a “we”. That “we” starts with my wife of 32 years. The beautiful Mandy Lu believes so strongly in me that she went along with remortgaging our paid off home to start this business, and to use our savings. She has taken over the bookwork and she’s been involved in making sales. I do realize what she’s done and I’ve even asked myself if I would have done the same for her. So legitimately, without business law, Twisted Willow Fabrication started as a “we”. But it builds from there.

We live in Western New York in farm country. Our area is not zoned for a fabrication shop. While the town to the north of us reacted negatively to our proposal to start our business there, our own Town of Groveland was very welcoming to the business. We went through the zoning process and received a variance. People we do business with or people with their own businesses started giving us advice. Each person gave us only one piece of advice. It was the most important advice they could think to give us. It was almost like a storybook character who receives advice from other characters to successfully complete his journey. That advice was not taken lightly.

Our webpage master, Jeremiah Craig, built our webpage and maintains it. Jeremiah has a degree in business, specializing in advertising and public relations and social media. Our webpage has brought Twisted Willow Fabrication business from residential and commercial customers, including a 20 year old specialty equipment company. This company also brought us a branch company. We have been building the metal portion of the equipment these companies produce. That equipment has gone to other states. We are presently doing the metalwork for a specialized piece of equipment that will be going to Europe. This is a huge honor for us.

Let’s not forget the companies that build the equipment that Twisted Willow Fabrication uses. The technology of these very good companies has allowed the little Twisted Willow Fabrication to do what only the big businesses could do in the past. Inverter based welders and plasma cutters and CNC plasma cutting. Punching, pressing, bending, shearing and rolling. Companies like Miller, Hypertherm, Torchmate, Edwards and Jet. More local companies like Klein Steel and Mahany Welding not only take good care of us, they provide a great business example to a newer company like Twisted Willow Fabrication. All the people and business mentioned are part of that Twisted Willow “we”.

We could not be Twisted Willow Fabrication without the customer. We can invest as much as we like into the business, but it is nothing without the customer. We have been honored to do the work we have done so far, and we’ve had a great experience with our customers. We thank you all. You are part of the Twisted Willow “we”.