How a mischievous puppy led two cousins and a brother to start hand-making shelving and home decor. (What a teaser, right?)
Rob, Clark, and Rich Porter have a love for collecting vinyl. From early hot and heavy love to longtime sit-in-comfortable-silence love, they savor visits to the record store, the excitement of a new find, and the look and feel of a collection. Most of all, they enjoy the ritual of choosing an album, letting the needle drop, and sitting back to enjoy.
As their collections inevitably grew, the usual bookshelves and entertainment units weren't cutting it anymore. The last straw was the day Rich's puppy chewed up several of his records. He set out to find a solution—one that was 1) high-quality and stylish, 2) designed for records, and 3) would get his collection up off the ground. There wasn't much. He ended up getting something custom built by a local woodworker and, although the end result was great, the process took close to 6 months and required professional install.
So he called Rob, a guy with a lot of experience in carpentry and woodworking. Rich laid out an idea for display shelving designed for records that was easy enough for any unskilled dummy (e.g. him) to install. Something that was made from quality wood materials by hand with a clean look. Something that could grow with a collection, but also would work for books, plants, pictures, etc. And, something that could get record collections off the ground and away from the dogs. Okay, that's a little specific, but bending down, squatting, sitting on the floor: Who wants to do that every time you put on a record?!
"Can you make something like that?" Rich asked. Rob's response: "Yes, yes I can". And he did.
How we make our products is like how we listen to our music: the hard way.
We make all of our products by hand the hard way in our Minnesota woodshop. For example, we use miter fold joints in a lot of our pieces. It is a unique choice for this kind application. But we love that joint because it looks interesting yet subtle, it is super strong, and it allows corners and woodgrain to run continuously without any screws or nails. Are there easier ways to build? Definitely. (There are also easier ways to listen to music than records). But we love the details. And we want to build to last.
We have handpicked our premium materials from the best suppliers in the state. Our premium walnut and hard maple hardwood and ply is ideal for our products. From the rich darkness and texture of the walnut to the light, airy quality of the hard maple, these two varieties tend to work with almost any color palette or design scheme. And because we opt for real wood, every piece is subtly unique. We do as little to get in the way of the wood's natural beauty as possible and everything we can to elevate it.
We do all of our small-batch production in Crosslake, a small town in Central Minnesota near some of the most popular lakes in the state. Rob took an old barn/ auto garage and turned it into a pristine woodshop capable of the finest cuts. You’ll find him there most days obsessing over quality, and thinking about any way he can upgrade our processes to make the product just that much better. And also what to do with all that sawdust…
Two brothers, Clark and Rich, and a cousin, Rob, started Deep Cut for one simple reason: To make cool stuff from quality stuff that they would want. They all grew up within a two mile radius of each other but went on to lead very different lives, geographically and professionally. When the idea came, they finally saw the opportunity they'd been looking for to work together. (Okay, so, that’s two simple reasons.)
The skilled hands of the operation. Rob is the man behind the design and manufacturing of these quality products. He’s been making stuff with his hands since before he could walk. Professionally, he has spent over a decade doing carpentry, woodworking, framing custom homes, doing hardscape projects, and, well, pretty much anything. He’s one of those guys. Rob does everything from designing prototypes to managing production to handling quality control of any and all what Deep Cut makes. He's the newest to vinyl of the group, but the bug got him good. When he isn't making stuff or spinning records, he's likely with his wife, Kera, fishing, hunting, hiking, camping, smoking meats, or pretty much anything cool you can do outside.
Secret Skill: The guy can dance.
Rob's Deep Cut: The Mexican is Brad Pitt's best movie.
The operations and the numbers man, he’s the practical dreamer who keeps the other two on planet earth. With a background in politics (used to advise on tax legislation in the US Senate), finance (Fortune 50 company), and an MBA (that he was paid to get), he's the real deal. He's here to make Deep Cut run as efficiently and smoothly as possible. He was the first vinyl collector in the group and knows how to sniff out great finds without paying a fortune. When he's not forecasting Wall Cube sales or handling Colorado's sales tax code, he’s probably dragging his wife and daughter to tourist traps like the Shreveport Waterworks museum in Louisiana or the Bonanzaville in North Dakota. He also makes a mean cocktail.
Secret Skill: Voice of an angel (but like...an angel with a mohawk)
Clark's Deep Cut: Broadcasting The Sifl & Olly Show was MTV's main purpose on planet earth. (It can go now).
All things marketing, customer service, keeping the ship on course, and figuring out what that course should be, it's his problem. With over 15 years in marketing, he's worked with one-person startups to Fortune 100's. He's been a part of some weird stuff like creating a virtual tug of war between NZ and Australia or taking a city over with Minions (as in Despicable Me Minions). He's done the "boring" work too, like campaigns for magnet companies and tourism boards. Much of this took place while he and his wife, Cassy, spent 8 years living in NZ. Cassy actually bought Rich his first record player while there and, unknowingly, set this whole thing in motion. When not working on the website or spinning records, he, Cassy, and their son Atlas can be found lake-lifing, hiking, and generally living an urban rural life with their loveable monster Kenneth the Corgi.
Secret Skill: Pretty good 10K run time.
Rich's Deep Cut: Dr. Katz on Comedy Central (back in the 90's) is an important historical, education document of comedy.
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