Matthew Hoffman was born in Ohio, and gradually went further west, attending college in Indiana then taking his first job in Chicago. We kind of got “stuck” on his work with the encouraging sticker project. The positive movement featuring the phrase “You Are Beautiful” was contagious as it spread all over streets and hillsides, and it eventually found its way stuck to our tee shirts, laptops, and bumpers. We weren’t too surprised to learn his greatest take-away from his dad was founded on a world of affirmation.
It’s all about the thumbs up, the ‘adda boy’, all we ever wanted was his seal of approval. Dad’s wink followed by an affirming nod lets us know we are on the right track. He’s there for guidance, not to force his opinions but to season our life with his wisdom. Whether two or thirty two we still tend to ask: Did you see what I did? Are you proud of me dad?
His father, Duane Hoffman, was straight laced and practical. His wardrobe was about as predictable as they get, white dress shirt, gray or navy slacks, black wing tip shoes. It was the look that always seemed to get the job done, whatever the occasion weddings, mowing the yard… yeah, for everything. Matthew even remembers, “He has a closet full of other types of clothes we’ve given him for past fathers days, that will never see the light of day.”
Dad always believed Matthew’s artistic aspirations with his nudging advice not far behind, “My dad has always been supportive in me doing whatever I believe in, at every point in life, with one cavat: I support myself by doing it. Both my parents have always been behind all my crazy ideas, even if they don’t always get them. Truly a tremendous support every step of the way.
He got me into woodworking, into making things. We would always go to farm auctions on the weekends, and buy the rustiest bucket of old tools, and spend the weekend cleaning them up, figuring out what they did.
I had a small work bench in the garage, one day my dad said “think bigger” and soon took over the basement. (He later told me he was concerned about the cars getting scratched). Soon I had taken over the 3 rooms of an old farm house basement, creating every night. Since then, there has been no turning back. Now I work in my own garage. But I keep the cars out of it. They can sit outside, there is work to be done in here”.
The point of the matter brings us back to the matters of the heart. A good intentioned father, loves, says his piece, loves some more, lets go, loves again, hopes for the best, and empowers his children to kill it. This one’s for you dad, thanks for everything.