IF NOT NOW, WHEN?
So many of us want to make a change, to do something meaningful with our lives and be true to ourselves, true to the life we want to live, and not simply do what others expect us to do. To be truly authentic. Many of us want to make that change, but the sad reality is very few of us ever do.
That's not surprising. It's a scary thing to walk out of a safe, conventional job or the boring but manageable life, to throw caution to the wind and start doing something you truly believe in. It's hard, and it's a huge risk. It will never be a reasoned argument; it will always be an emotional one. Even when you repeat to yourself 'if not now, when?', it will probably still feel easier to play it safe; to deal with the known instead of jumping into the void and hoping someone will catch you.
Until one day you'll realize that you have no choice. The consequences of staying safe are much more dangerous than being brave. That's when it is time to defy. To know that if you leap, the net will appear. That is the bedrock on which the DEFY MFG. Co. was founded: defy the risk, let yourself go and don't look back. Ever.
After all, you don't just defy once; you have to defy every single day. It's a commitment. It's relentless. And it will most likely be the most terrifying thing you'll ever do. But did you ever consider it just might be everything you ever dreamed? You're not alone. We did it, we're still doing it and we're still here. And we have found support from other people who have also made that leap. From others who had doubts, but who still jumped anyway. Maybe we won't change the world, but we're determined to inspire the people who just might. Our mission is to encourage those people to defy their doubts, to stand up and work to make their dreams come true.
That's exactly what happened for Chris Tag, DEFY's Founder. He simply got to a point when giving up his “safe” career was no longer a choice: it was an absolute necessity.
“I had to make a break from my job as a creative in advertising. The business had changed and had become something very different from the one I'd joined. I was spiritually bankrupt and I was running on empty; the challenge was gone and I was just punching the clock. It all started to feel like the oft used definition of insanity: sadly, I knew the results would never change. I had to defy the safety of the life I was living. I needed to find a rock hammer and slowly chisel my way out of Shawshank. Then it dawned on me: the advertising business had gifted me that rock hammer; I'd been building and promoting brands for nearly two decades. So why not create my own?
So every day for three years I sketched, I dreamed, and I plotted. I wanted to create the next great American manufacturing company. Then one evening, when my wife and I were brainstorming possible names for what this company could be called, we both stopped in our tracks after I suddenly blurted out, ‘I just want to defy the whole f**king corporate world and make something truly special!’ ‘That's it!’ my wife said. And that was it, the Defy Manufacturing Company was born.”
Deciding to start a company is one thing; building a company is another thing altogether. But it helps to have a strong work ethic, and a clear goal. DEFY's aim is simply to design the best possible products, and then make them with the best materials and attention to detail as possible.
For inspiration we looked to the past, back to a time when “American Made” came to define this country. But we also looked closely at what was happening around us. What we discovered was a new, vibrant generation of “slow manufacturing” companies owned by craftsmen building amazing bikes, brewing small batch whiskey, designing and making bespoke clothes, and curating small boutiques selling direct to passionate customers.
And we shared a lot in common: we were all driven by the desire to make great products, and to build companies founded on the principle of simple authenticity.
DEFY designs and manufactures in the United States, but we sell all over the world. Our customers are as passionate about our products as we are. Yet we're permanently restless; we're constantly pushing ourselves to design more, make more, and of course, sell more. It's a constant struggle, but that's as it should be.
For there's never been a better time to defy, and there's never been a better time to be DEFY. And we're never, ever going to take that for granted.