What’s in a name? For Robert and Beth Simmons, the owner/artists of Invictus Steelworks, a name says it all.
When they opened their doors in early 2015, Robert and Beth Simmons were close, but not quite, on the path to fulfilling the lifelong ambition for most of us: doing what you love and getting paid for it.
“We actually ended up in this business by accident! We started out doing light structural work, and we thought Robert would be doing some artistic work on the side for fun.”
Robert Simmons had been working with, on, and around metal for thirty years. His career as a certified welder had taken him from his uncle’s shop in Sandy, Utah through Nevada, Wyoming, and to the ships fishing the Bering Sea off the Alaskan coast. Beth, a New Jersey native, had spent her career traveling as a contracts manager in the defense industry. Road weary and not wanting to be apart because of work, the couple settled in Utah and went into business together.
That first year began promising enough, but by autumn business had started to slow. Though things were looking a little bleak, the couple was not ready to throw in the towel just yet.
“As a last-ditch effort, Robert cut the support frame apart for a gazebo he had built and made a few very simple parson style table bases that we listed on Etsy,” Beth remembered. “We had hoped the tables would tide us over until the construction industry picked back up in the Spring. We had no idea that the furniture business would take off. Within two months, we sold all of our structural welding equipment.”
It is no mystery why the furniture business took off. There is no stock, “off the shelf” product here. Robert designs and handcrafts each piece of custom furniture, fine art, lighting, and gazebo from pen to paper to finished product. His inspiration comes from every direction: his time at sea, a passing airplane, the angles found in the architecture surrounding us.
Beth is not standing idly by for all of this. On top of handling the business and marketing side of things, she is right in there making table tops and helping with the finishing work on various projects. Their pieces have been featured in the Kimball Park City Arts Festival, the Utah Arts Festival, and have been accepted into NY Now: The Market for Home & Lifestyle trade-show (the largest wholesale show in the country), to feature this coming February in New York.
However, it is not just stunning design that keeps people coming back to the workshop in Farr West. Yes, it’s all handmade. Yes, they deliver on-time, but what business doesn’t offer that nowadays? No, when you are shopping around for a custom luxury item or functional art piece, you want to know that your time and your vision get taken into account. You’re the one paying for it, right? Well, you’ve come to the right place.
“The easiest way to understand [the customers] needs is to take the time to get to know them, to listen. We listen to what they want to accomplish, learn what they like and dislike, and make appropriate suggestions relative to design or finish. People will never feel like they were just a number with Invictus.”
With hard work, determination, and faith in themselves and each other, Robert and Beth Simmons have turned uncertain beginnings into a business that is not only on the cutting edge of design but is redefining an industry.
Inspired vision and decades of practical experience come together in a commitment to craftsmanship that is undeniable, and uniquely, Invictus.
“It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.”
-Invictus by William Ernest Henley