Tucked in the corner of most peoples’ garage is most likely a dusty old relic of some sort from days gone by.
Back behind a couple of bikes, serving as a shelf for a few boxes of odds and ends, sits the beginning of a business for Clive’s Jeff Bodin.
Fresh out of school with his degree, Bodin — an architect by trade — worked for 15 years as a staff designer in two area firms. Never one to let moss take root, Bodin felt the urge to spend more time out of the office, working to build the designs he’d drawn.
In 1998 he showed his wife, Jennifer, some drawings. Those drawings would become their new home.
“It was a bit of an experiment,” says Bodin. “I wanted to see if I had what it took to build one of my designs. It worked, so I left the firm and started my own design-build company.”
His first major purchase was a large format HP DesignJet printer, needed for printing architectural drawings of buildings, both new and existing.
“I used it until about two years ago, but it’s such old technology, I can’t seem to give it away,” Bodin says. “I thought I’d give it to our school to use (Valley), but when I saw the equipment my son was using in class, I could see they had no need for it.”
After being replaced, it sat in his basement office for several months. A few ads on Craigslist turned up no leads.
“I moved it into the garage for a garage sale and put a ‘make-offer’ sign on it,” he says. “No one knew what it was. I didn’t even get a nibble.”
More than what it is, the printer is special for what it represents.
“This old printer got me off the ground. I would never have been able to start my business without it,” says Bodin. “In the beginning, I really worked that thing hard. We were doing a lot of custom homes. Ninety percent of our work was building the custom homes I designed and printed on that old HP.”
“I’m not sure what I’ll do with it,” he says, knowing it needs to make its way out of his garage. “I’ll probably have to take it to be recycled. I’m sure there is someone who needs spare parts to keep theirs running.”
Still living in the home he built as an experiment, he feels he got most of it right.
“I would do a couple things different,” he says, “but not much.”