What a ride 2019 has been—thank you, thank you, thank you! 2018 saw us triple our business; and in 2019 we doubled that again. Amid the controlled chaos, our shiny new Cerakote shop came online just as we completed our long-awaited Cerakote Certified Applicator training...
dramatically improving our efficiency, rework rates and turnaround times (not to mention, our personal quality of life—thank you, universe!) In addition to the Cerakote shop, we tripled the gunsmith workspace, doubled the administrative workspace and we expect to open the new public areas early in the year (pending the final rules from the great state of Illinois on our Gun Dealer License security requirements. You voted Pritzker in, people—now we all live with it.) So assuming we're not moving to another state pronto, that should finish up our near-term physical improvements.
On the work side, we had many "firsts" this year: Howard Simon, our engraving partner, devised a means to engrave decoratively on Glock factory slides—previously not an option with their super-hard coating. We should probably get some pics together and let the world know ha! Eh, baby steps :)
This year brought some really fun gun Cerakote projects—purple Kryptek, freehand Grassland camo, snow camo, our WWIA custom set and the Chicago S&W Governor spring to mind. We did our first car parts—gloss black truck bumpers; our first custom putters—nitre bluing, brown bluing & Cerakote; and lots of matte black home accessories (that's a little bit of a secret, stay tuned for more on the subject soon.) Our largest-ever scope Cerakote order left the shop this summer—Burnt Bronze Leupolds for Weatherby Vanguard packages. Lots and lots of them, yay!
But the very best part of 2019 has to be the terrific team that is finally coming together! Helping Jeffrey in the shop, we're lucky to have Ron, a delightfully incongruous combination of sportsman, apprentice, and superintendent who has added immeasurably to GCG. His first contribution was instituting weekly meetings—at the local bar after the shop closes. Yep, a love match from the start. Brenda came next, and has settled in helpfully as our self-appointed Administrative Support Specialist—which roughly translates to much-needed shop Mom (along with occasional much-needed comic relief!) Next we snagged Joan, who has been helping Paula get our office life in such immaculate order you could eat off our files. Imagine our glee to eventually discover Joan is a "closet bad-ass"—I mean, how many retired computer teachers do you know with a hot rod trailered in the garage? Oh yeah, she's a keeper. And this fall, Angela joined us to help as needed, promptly creating and promoting a GCG Instagram page (follow us! @GibbsGuns). We've made a little photo studio and she's off to the races, apparently our new marketing department :) She's currently training on the counter, and we expect she'll dispatch those duties with her characteristic cheerful efficiency when training is done.
We look forward to another milestone year in 2020: our 5th anniversary. We've continually upgraded our systems throughout our growth, and we have high hopes that this infrastructure will carry us efficiently through to the next level. In addition to completing the expansion, we'll have our bluing setup running within the month; we're finalizing a bar-code, cloud based tracking system for work coming through to provide better information and communication as your work goes through the system--definitely an area in need of an upgrade we realize. We expect to add shop staff; we'll be headed back to Oregon for advanced Cerakote training; we'll have an exciting announcement mid-year; and our favorite thing--we have a totally BA new Cerakote thing-a-ma-jigget we'll be testing this year and if all goes well, unveiling for our 5th anniversary in November.
Thanks again for choosing GCG, and we look forward to many good years together! Peace out.