We had the good fortune of connecting with Ameer Navidi and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ameer, is there something you believe many others might not?
I’ve always had a problem with the phrase “Fake it till you make it”. I have never had success faking anything! My mantra, that I often repeat to myself is: “Consideration & Communication”. The weakest part of this advice is that it doesn’t have the rhyme that most famous sayings often come with, but it has helped me out of a jam more than one time. This doesn’t just go for business, I follow C&C in all relationships. I’ve found that when I use empathy to help understand somebody’s possible perspective, and then I communicate to that person what I know, how I’m feeling, and what I think they may be feeling, the outcome is almost always positive for both parties. C&C is a way to build trust, do a quality job the right way, and to feel good at the end of the day that you’ve done things the way you want them to be done, the right way.
What should our readers know about your business?
Business has never been easy for me. In fact school wasn’t easy for me either. I got mediocre grades in high school and then in college. Afterwards I got mediocre jobs when I graduated. It seemed as though everyone else just got better test scores, and better jobs at better companies than me even though I felt I was working just as hard. I have always been good working with tools and with my hands. When it came to building something, or to design a plan I felt that the tables were turned -and wow that felt amazing! I graduated with a degree in Mechanical Engineering, and worked as an engineer for a few years. Then I moved to San Francisco and worked for a large financial institution for 12 years. Most of that time I was trying to land a job at a tech startup or one of the big tech companies like Google or Facebook, with no success. My dad built a little woodworking shop and I started woodworking in 2006 and immediately fell in love with the art of designing and building something myself. Soon requests for commissioned pieces started coming my way, and in 2014 I started Look & Feel, LLC with my dad. It was not an easy decision to leave a steady paycheck at a job that I was relatively good at, but greatly disliked. I needed to do it for myself. I couldn’t get someone to give me a job that I liked, so I would need to give it to myself. I love what I do and I am good at it, which is a first for me! However there are many aspects to running a business that neither school nor being employed in the workforce has prepared me for. These things I am still learning and will probably always be learning. This business/career brings me great joy, and I do everything in my power to bring my clients great joy as well. The company is just a title for the journey that me and every client I’m able to work with is on. If I hadn’t struggled in the past then I wouldn’t have the gratitude and perseverance to understand just how lucky I am to be doing what I do every single day.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Assuming that “all the germs are gone” which is what my toddlers refer to as COVID-19, the first stop is usually a burrito from Vallarta Express, make sure to ask for the orange sauce. I love visiting some of the local coffee shop/roasters in the north county area like Manzanita, The King’s Craft, or Mostra. Poway lake is another great place to hang for fishing, hiking, picnicking, and even archery (I’ve got a membership card) I love the beers at Abnormal & the food next door at Cork & Craft. If we’re staying in then maybe a huge 28″ pizza from my favorite pizza joint Giant New York Pizza or some Poke and Ramen from 369 Ramen.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I’ll be the first to say that my success is large in part by those that have helped, and continue to help me. My amazing wife has been extremely supportive of me and the business. She is always so encouraging, and I’m inspired by her own extremely strong work ethic. My parents continue to be a huge help! My dad is in the shop with me almost every day, he’s retired from his career as an engineer and now he’s really put to work. My mother helps in every way from helping with finishing a piece to watching the kids. My friends are also big help and deserve a shoutout. I’m so grateful that I have all of the supportive and loving people in my life or my little business would not exist. I’m very suspect of anyone who says they accomplished something all by themselves.