Five Questions With David Stober
Who are you?
David Stober, Founder, CEO and Chief Maker at Guided.com.
How long have you been a Thistle Farmer?
Guided has been a Thistle Farmer since June of 2016.
What does #LoveHeals mean to you?
The mantra #LoveHeals has become more relevant to me over the course of Guided's relationship with Thistle Farms. Six days prior to our first dealing with Thistle Farms, my wife and I lost our 7 year old daughter, Chase. Naturally this crushed us. But what most people / customers did not know is that it nearly crushed my business, Guided, too. As a family, we circled the wagons, and continue to have them circled, which is what we also did as a Company. We got though it as a business and continue to get through it as family every day.
When you go through something like this, you do a lot of soul searching. You begin to worry about everything: your wife, your other 8 year old daughter who is still with you, but who is crushed beyond belief, the rest of your family, your business. You also begin to question everything: yourself, purpose, friendships and certainly faith. You think about regrets, past and current priorities and all the time spent away from family in order to build this business (Guided) that you think has the potential to change the world / people's worlds. Quickly all those thoughts and feelings distill down into two things: family health and happiness.
So for me, #LoveHeals is a reminder to give love, even when it doesn't feel like I can or have the energy to, and be where Love is. How this translates is pretty simple. In my family life, it's to give my loved ones what they need: my love and full attention without the distraction of work. And in my professional life, support our customers' love for their businesses and do what I can to help propel them to their best, individually and as a brand. These are my two pillars that will make me happy and Love more.
Love has been healing me (slowly) and Guided's customer's love for what we do as a Company has certainly been a part of that. We are healing as a family and the Company is better stronger then ever. All of this, day by day, is bringing me closer to my little Angel Chase. In the end, #LoveHeals is simply a reminder of what is important.
Where will you be in a year?
Bigger, faster, stronger. Offering more high-value products and services to early-stage and growing brands. Walking the path with more brands like Thistle Farms as they get into their hockey stick growth. Doing so in a fully transparent way where they learn what print and packaging is all about. Coming out the back-end, having them think about Guided as an extended part of their team, knowing we are in the trenches with them fighting the good battle..... and having a bunch of fun doing it.
When are you the most at peace?
The short answer - when I am on a beach having a drink while watching my little girl play on the beach. The more complicated answer, is after a long hard fought day, having experienced a few pains but also some successes (i.e. both combined, growth) heading home and being able to unplug and be fully present with my wife and little girl.
What is your theme song?
Lumineers, "Holdin' Out" - My wife and I took our 8-year-old to see the movie Storks shortly after Chase's passing, and this was one of the songs in that movie. She later went on to learn the song on her guitar and performed it singing at her first recital.