If you have not read about my America Trip
, it'd be good to read over it, to get an idea of how I got to this point. This page picks up where that trip left off.
Before my sophomore semester ended, I was looking to change majors in college. I had been enrolled in Computer Science and Engineering. I enjoy working with computers, programming and such, but I was getting burned out on it and didn't look forward to a job that meant sitting at a desk all the time. I checked around with the college advisors, looking for other degrees, etc, but was disgruntled at the fact that changing degrees would mean I'd start all over as a freshman, since the advanced computer, math, physics and other engineering classes wouldn't transfer to the other degrees I was looking at.
A couple of things happened that set the pace for where I am at now... I started making some strange art sculptures in my dorm room. I had seen various modern art exhibits all over the country, and felt really inspired by the artist lifestyle to be creative and expressive, doing things that are completely opposite of what most 'normal' people do. I tinkered with a few things in my room and one event led to another until I made a water fountain on my wall. Not your normal water fountain, but one which the water changed colors when pouring from various brass pots. I used a flourscent green dye for one of the colors, which I ended up really liking. So I went to find a way to make another water fountain that accented the green water. I ended up finding a custom acrylic fabrication shop across town. I went there originally to get some plexiglass so that I could build a box, but discovered they had tools and equipment to build plexiglass into any shape and size you could imagine. That really amazed and intrigued me. I build the new fountain to be air bubbles to trickle up through the green water, which was lighted. I started getting tons of ideas for fountain designs, and went back to the acrylic shop to get more plexiglass and to learn more how to build the acrylic better. It didn't take too long until I just asked them if I could get a job there, so I could really learn how to do it right, and to have access to their tools and materials. I put a fountain on eBay for auction, and it sold 2 days later to a person in Seattle. I figured if I could sell 1 fountain, I could probably sell a lot more. I was disgruntled enough with school that I decided to drop out, at the end of my first semester of my junior year. Now I was full time building things out of acrylic - both unique fountains for me to sell, and helping out the acrylic shop with their work. It was a great time of learning and work with the shop. After working in their shop for about 5 months, I began renting a small shop that was a few doors down from their shop, so that I would have more room to work on my fountains. I started a company called Beyond 7 Designs, www.Beyond7.com
, to sell the fountains. I was meeting gallery and shop owners in Flagstaff and Sedona, and selling on the internet. It was all pretty amazing how it happened, as I didn't expect all of that to happen when I built my first fountain in my dorm room, one thing just lead to another, really. One of the greatest parts about the fountains, is that they let me travel again! The America trip really made me find out that I love traveling, and delivering and installing fountains gave me a reason and means of getting back on the road. I had my store/shop in Flagstaff for just over a year, when I came up with some internet business ideas. I had been using the internet for almost 90% of my fountain sales, and lots of other businesses where asking me how I did so much on the internet when they weren't getting any success on the web. That led me to find ways that I could use my methods and make them automated so that other people could put their busineses on the internet like I did. Realizing the huge potential this could offer, I looked for a business partner and invester to help make these ideas happen. I had been entirely self-employeed with my fountains and that kept me really busy trying to manage it all, and realized that I would need help to run an internet business. The partner I found was Allen Dugas from Willcox, with whom I've work with before, and we did some local websites in Willcox. I moved to Willcox to develop the project, www.TotalUSA.com
. I kept doing water fountains there, although now changing my approach to go from making lot of cheaper fountains to working mainly on 1-of-a-kind fountains that are more unique and higher quality. I've been making fountains for trade show exhibits and custom designs, traveling to California, Las Vegas, Cleveland, Texas among other places. Between Allen and I, my original idea grew to be something of a lot larger scale, and we have been working on the project for about 18 months now, and it is nearing completion for public release.. Currently we are in Louisana working on completing the project.... more about that as it draws near...