My phone buzzed. It displayed a message - I had just collected $40 minus a 3% processing fee. The first sale had come through. I had just devoted months of effort on an industrial design project that I wasn't sure would yield any sort of payoff.

I labored many hours after college classes sketching, designing, researching, sourcing material, and crafting a small batch of titanium kitchen spatulas.

Many of my relatives are practicing artists. You might say the inclination and compulsion to craft was coded in me since birth. When my father showed me how to use a heat source to form metals, I quickly learned how to control my hands and coax hot metal to soften, flow, and re-form in the form I wanted. I had always been a curious child fascinated by the sciences. Soldering sterling silver into simple sleek rings was the beginning of my love affair with industrial metals.

My mother taught me how to manage inventory, track stock, and make boxes for retail. She was crafty like my father, but moreso in the overhead side of the business. She made sure there was money in the bank to cover the next month's bills. Fortunately I could watch my multitalented parents every day and subconsciously absorb the entrepreneurship first hand.

It seems that my life is a long timeline of foot races, each beginning with a false start. One of the only pieces of advice I am comfortable professing to anyone is this: know yourself. If you don't, then learn. Instrospect. I bounced from engineering to economics to finance during my time in college.

Yet nothing quite scratched the itch like watching the thought theater in my mind cast out designs I could craft in reality, with real materials. With my own two hands.

So here we are - so far you've taken the first few steps down the Apollo Road. I'm as uncertain about the route as you may be at the moment, but at a minimum I hope to bring more light to the world through design and discussion.

-AV