Spotlight: Will Straughn

By Will Straughn

—Now, this is the story all about how, my life got flipped-turned upside down ,and I’d like to take a minute, just sit right there, I’ll tell you how I became the new business dude at a chill place: Focus Lab (Sorry, Focus Lab is insanely hard to rhyme.)—

In Richmond, VA, born and raised
On the playground is where I spent most of my days
Chillin’ out, maxin’, relaxin’ all cool
Shredding on mah axe outside of the school

Okay so we're going to pause that gem right there and dive in a little deeper. Not sure if you picked it up, but I originally hail from Richmond, Virginia. Growing up, I felt I lived a pretty normal 90s childhood. I loved the Ninja Turtles and Street Sharks. Basically if you made a cartoon about mutants, aliens or atomic animals, I was game.

Jump forward, say, fifteen years and you will find me standing outside a pretty sketchy 7-11 with my friends on a Friday night in downtown Richmond. Where am I going with this? Well, this was the night that set in motion who and where I am today. I saw the cutest girl ever and, me being a little courageous, I decided to "holla." (By "holla" I mean wave at her through the window like a shy six year-old.) The good news is, it worked! Nine years later, we are happily married, the owners of two drooly Basset Hounds, Buster and Lola, and brewing our first child as we speak. Is it a little wild that I went from Street Sharks to being a father...?

I whistled for a cab and when it came near
The license plate said Fresh and it had dice in the mirror
If anything, I could say that this cab was rare
But I thought, nah forget it, yo home to Focus Lab
(Once again, Focus Lab just doesn’t rhyme very well.)

This is a very important part of the song. So, how did I end up here? My wife had an amazing opportunity in 2012 to relocate with her company to Savannah. I wanted nothing more than to support her aspirations so we packed up the hounds and made our way down south. It's been an interesting couple years getting used to a new city. Especially since I otherwise lived in one place my entire life but, you know what, we are starting to really settle in.

Before joining Focus Lab, I spent ten years navigating the musical instrument industry and had a tremendous time. I met a lot of great people along the way and learned a lot. The hardest part about my past career was being on the road two to three weeks a month. Leaving my best friend at home was getting harder and harder as time went on, but we both knew change was on the horizon. By chance I came across the Focus Lab website and fell in love. I was blown away by the culture and inspiring work that was being created, and decided to reach out. Not having a background in design or development, I wasn’t sure how I would fit in, but with a background and passion for sales there was an opportunity. Now I've been here for two months and I am extremely thankful. I have seen the light at the other end of the tunnel and love being able to contribute to Focus Lab's growth.

I pulled up to the house about seven or eight
And I yelled to the cabby, “Yo homes, smell you later”
Looked at Focus Lab, I was finally there
To sit on my ball as the New Business dude.

And to close this out I want to thank Erik and Bill! You guys are amazing!

XOXO Will Straughn

PS: Is Bill Kenney's beard fake?