We had the good fortune of connecting with Michael Schoonover and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Michael, what makes you most proud of the business you’ve built?
In preserving and framing vintage maps, I am most proud that people display them prominently in their homes and offices. I am proud that people admire the maps that I’ve prepared just as much as I love the process.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
First of all, I am a high school history teacher and dad to two young children, so my business isn’t my profession. Keeping up with my four and two year olds and trying my best to teach America’s future is very much full-time. I wish I could do more with my business, but I have deep sincere respect for those artists that have pursued their art full-time. To clarify, I don’t consider the preserving and framing vintage maps really an art but more of a process. There are so many other small businesses that are truly artists, but without them The appreciation for vintage maps would not exist in Phoenix. Secondly, there’s always the challenge of getting your business out there, but I cannot emphasize enough the wonderful community of small businesses and markets that have fostered the desire for vintage products in Phoenix. Newton once said, “I have seen farther than most by standing on the shoulders of giants.” Michael’s Maps only exists because of the community support of small businesses and artists that is unique to metro Phoenix. Finally, I’ve learned that is it okay to slow down and not force my business to grow.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I wish I was hip and knew all the best spots in town; but at this point in life, I’m a boring dad who barely keeps up with his children. What I do know is that you can always find amazing pizza in Phoenix!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
In my story, I have to give much credit to my wife who has been encouraging and supportive and patient. Along this journey including two children, my wife Jessica has been understanding of my need to have a creative outlet. My father also deserves significant credit in teaching me woodworking skills and techniques. He has also been financially supportive in building a shop with the right tools for both of us. My dad has been my go to for most of my problem-solving. Big thanks also goes out to Mark and Jill of Twigs & Twine for being the first to give my maps a chance in their shop. Without them, I would not have the opportunities that I have today. Even though I am no longer selling vintage maps at Woods and Whites, my time at Deanna’s shop was very formative in terms of understanding small business.