DIY Done Right – Creative Fuel

Posted on September 13, 2016


We’re always cooking up exciting DIY projects and easy-to-follow instructions and lumber cut sheets that show you how to use Simpson Strong-Tie® connectors and fasteners, but allow us to take a moment to ruminate on what’s special about the world of DIY.

Now that the kids are back in school and most of my summer DIY projects are finished up, my thoughts naturally turn toward Halloween. (Or were unnaturally forced by CVS and Walgreens putting their Halloween decorations out before school even started – either way, the holiday isn’t far away). I love making unique handmade costumes, so on Labor Day weekend, my daughter and I went to the first Halloween store that opened to get ideas. Nothing really jumped out at us, well except for the animatronic zombies and werewolves on display. Eventually my daughter settled on the concept of a female mad-hatter. Then today, while researching recycled DIY home projects, I came across the cutest costume idea using recycled plastic bottles by Doodle Craft.

In addition to being a great way to recycle bottles, it got me thinking about the importance of imagination and being creative at work. Dressing up and costumes are sometimes an early window into the passions of a person and can develop into lifelong pursuits for some. This simple costume might ignite an idea in that little guy pictured (or any kid who wears it) to become the next astronaut or engineer who creates something that changes the world. He may grow up curious about transportation and become the inventor of a new way to travel through space or time! Being creative allows us to think beyond the confines of logical, linear thinking into the unknown and the discoverable. When both sides of the brain are used together, we begin to stretch the limitations of design, function and purpose. Essential for inventors!

Connector Dinos created by Simpson Strong-Tie employees.

Connector Dinos created by Simpson Strong-Tie employees.

As a new employee at Simpson Strong-Tie, I sometimes feel like the people who work here are adult versions of that little guy, continuously using their imagination to create, test and build new products to keep homes and buildings safe and strong. Most homeowners don’t know what’s behind their perfectly painted walls. But whether the beneficiaries know about Simpson Strong-Tie or not, the imagination junkies who work here are constantly using the inspiration of our corporate environment and resources to develop construction-industry products that keep changing the standards of homebuilding.

Steve Ziagos building a DIY Chicken Coup in the Simpson Strong-Tie Pleasanton Lab.

Steve Ziagos building a DIY Chicken Coop in the Simpson Strong-Tie Pleasanton Lab.

Perhaps one day my daughter will be inspired by her costume to figure out a way to stop time or make virtual reality real life, or perhaps it will just be a fun way to go trick-or-treating. Either way, I will always encourage her to use her imagination to discover new ways to perceive the world and what’s possible in it – just as Barc Simpson did when he invented the first connector 60 years ago.