Somewhere Joseph Schumpeter is smiling. The reason, Dave Jones.
Schumpeter, an Austrian-American economist, popularized the term creative destruction to describe how economies reinvent themselves through the ups and downs of the market cycle. The old order is burned up, from its ashes rises a new order -- more in tune to the times, its people and their wants and needs.
In short, it is the story of Jones.
When the housing markets tipped and tumbled in 2008, Jones' business evaporated as quickly as the value of the sub-prime mortgages of the high-end houses he was finishing. But what could have been a tragedy turned out to be an opportunity for the lifelong craftsman. The market forces that destroyed his carpentry business led him to follow his dreams and create Davy Jones Custom Baseball Bats.
Since then, nothing has been the same for Broomfield's one and only commercial baseball bat manufacturer.
"I didn't know what I expected when I started," Jones said. "I knew life was not a Hollywood movie, where you're scraping for change one day and living high on the hog the next. I knew this was going to be work. But I am happy with where I'm at."
The road Jones has traveled has been tough, but rewarding.
Money has yet to flow in hand over fist for the company named after the founder's great-grandfather, a former major league player. The bat manufacturer is still in its infancy and it has required plenty of patience on the part of Jones' wife and three sons, who deal with his 80- to 100-hour work weeks. But through some recent moves, the company is proving it is maturing quickly.
Jones' Broomfield factory is filled with $200,000 worth of capital investments, with industrial-grade lathes, duplicators and other shop equipment adding a ton of efficiency. It now takes Jones 55 minutes to turn a bat, instead of the 21/2 hours it required when he was working in his garage.
At the start of this year, Jones partnered with local businessmen Todd and Treff Trombley. The Trombleys use their background from the restaurant and construction industries to run much of the company's day-to-day operations. That frees Jones to focus on what he does best, dreaming up and making new and better bats.
The match was born out of serendipity, when Todd Trombley became interested in Davy Jones after ordering a custom bat for his son.
"I realized what Dave had and wanted to be a part of it," Trombley said. "I offered to help him take the company to the next level."
Davy Jones Bats has done well in carving out its niche in the world of baseball. The high-end composite and solid wood bats are building a strong following in high schools, colleges and the minor leagues.
The company has contracts with a handful of minor league players who swing nothing but Davy Jones and has test bats working their way through the Colorado Rockies organization. And the company has made its way into the retail sector; the bats are already on the shelves of Texas sporting goods chain Kelley Athletic and might be in Dick's Sporting Good outlets as soon as next summer.
And it even has the bragging right that its most popular bat -- the Veritas -- has performed so reliably it has a return rate of less than 2 percent.
Impressive as that list is, what is on the drawing board for 2012 is one of the most ambitious projects.
"We're working to get the bats certified by Major League Baseball," Trombley said.
That is easier said than done. Turns out the "Bigs" are particular about the bats allowed in the league and there are a slew of hoops Davy Jones must jump through before becoming MLB-grade lumber.
"We have to send two dozen bats, with letters of recommendation from three minor league clubs or players and pass all of the certification tests," Jones said. "And, of course, pay a whole bunch of money to go through the process."
For Jones, the reward is not just seeing his company grow. The craftsman's payback is much simpler and as American as the game for which he produces equipment.
"I get to come to work every day and do what I want to do," Jones said.