Jeffery chuckles when someone asks him when he is going to quit working for Aberdeen and start his own business.
Our #1 FAQ that is not about gates is, “Where did ‘Aberdeen’ came from?”
Oftentimes this is asked in other ways like, “Do you have some kind of Scottish heritage?” Or, when someone finds out that Jeffery is not from Texas, they ask if he is from Aberdeen, South Dakota? Or … Aberdeen, Washington, Maryland or Mississippi? I was surprised to discover so many cities named Aberdeen in the United States.
With no connection to Aberdeen, why isn’t the name of your business “Presbaugh Custom Gate & Iron”?
For anyone curious, I’m going to tell you Jeffery’s story about starting and naming his business.
BIZ IDEA BORN
After chasing some dreams riding bareback and saddle bronc, Jeffery began looking for the next chapter in his life. Since high school, he’d worked many aspects of the building trades. From selling roofing to building houses to laying brick, he’d done a bit of it all.
Agricultural and horse fence building seemed to marry all his current interests of the time, so the idea of starting his own business was born. He also liked the idea of putting “animal containment specialist” on his business cards, but he needed a business name first.
Jeffery didn’t want to name the business after himself. Partly out of humility. That’s right. You read that correctly. And, partly because he thought he might like to sell the business someday. He didn’t like the idea of selling something with his name on it.
IT WAS IN A DREAM
Jeffery was staying up late most nights at his leather-working bench building saddles or braiding rawhide. When he wasn’t listening to heavy-metal or classical music genres, he had on the “Bill Mack’s All-Night Open Road Country Show” on WBAP. The show catered primarily to truck drivers who traveled during the late-night hours.
When he woke up one morning after one of these nights, “Aberdeen” was on his mind. He couldn’t shake it. He figured a trucker had mentioned it when he’d called in to the show while driving through a city named Aberdeen.
What Jeffery particularly liked was that this dream word started with “A-B”, which put it at the first of the phone book. This was very important back then. I suppose that millennials can read about this in their marketing history books.
So, after checking in all the directories and not finding any businesses with that name, he decided this revelation had to be a sign from the universe to call his fledgling business “Aberdeen Contracting.”
PHONE NUMBER & FONT
You know what else was popular at the time? Phone numbers that spelled something with the corresponding letters on the keypad. It made the number easier to remember when smart phones that stored all your contacts didn’t exist. That is why Jeffery’s business line is 817-596-7678. The 7678 on those old-timey phones spelled POST.
He had the graphic artist use the font from a Shiner Bock bottle since that was his beer of choice at the time. With his new name, 817-596-POST, and the tagline (animal containment specialist) – he was ready to be open for business. He printed business cards and had ball caps made.
BONUS – WHY JUST GATES NOW?
After 10 years of specializing in animal containment, Jeffery was ready for a change. He wasn’t able to show off his artistic skills.
His grandmother had instilled a love of the arts in him as a child by supplying him with colored pencils and paint. Later, he used those skills when he worked with leather and rawhide. Many encouraged him to make a career in saddle making and braiding, but he never did.
As he approached his 35th birthday, he started making a lot of changes in his life. One being that he taught himself to weld. He found welding and fabricating metal was the creative outlet he needed to be more fulfilled in his work.
He built his first gate for Skip Kongable. It was modest by today’s standards, but he took pride in every weld.
So, in 2008, Jeffery decided to rename his business to indicate his shift in focus. Henceforth he’s operated as “Aberdeen Custom Gate and Iron”.
If you made it to the end of this story, please let us know if you think he was he right to name it “Aberdeen” vs “Presbaugh”?