The Story

An endless Pursuit.

The Glease Manufacturing story is more of my personal journey.

A few years after completing high school by the skin of my teeth, still not knowing my true self, or what I wanted to do for a “living”… I took an apprenticeship opportunity to become a Diesel Mechanic. Young, blissfully ignorant, and deeply passionate about modding and wrenching on my vehicles at the time; the idea of getting paid to work with my hands excited me. The intermittent and laid back evening classes were enticing as well.

I thrived in my position – armed with the new skills I acquired in my years there. But, in a way I couldn’t understand at the time, I wasn’t fulfilled just from working with my hands. I increasingly felt like nothing more than an efficient parts-replacer. I became more interested in fixing what I saw as perpetual design flaws on the trucks I worked on. (I now know many of these flaws as ‘planned obsolescence;’ the act of engineering design flaws into products to secure future-business for the manufacturer. Which, is not only a shameful and integrity lacking practice.. but also a bloody crime to humanity and the mother who birthed you… just in case you wanted my opinion)

Shortly after, I was approached with the opportunity be a machinist by the owner of a small local company. I was always fond of this company that problem-solved for industry by developing and building the needed solutions themselves. He looked past the fact that my only experience with metalwork was the one shop class I took in high school because it looked easy. “We hire for character, and train for skill” he said.

I remember vividly standing next to the milling machine, holding the first part I machined with my mentor, UJ. A little surprised with myself, considering I had only secretly learned to read a micrometer thanks to Google on an ambiguous bathroom break less than an hour before (I remember thinking that learning to read a micrometer in my high school shop class went against my ‘easy credit’ core-values). But I also remember something in my brain clearly clicking in that moment. He told me, “Building stuff is a lot of fun. If you can’t afford it, or it doesn’t exist – you can just build it yourself!” I’ll hold this memory forever – it was truly the beginning of my current path.

For three years I worked as a part of that small but highly skilled team. I remember feelings of freedom and satisfaction as I’d develop new skills and work ethic as we built incredible technology. Akin to adding a new tool to your toolbox; learning to create and problem-solve makes you well-prepared in confidently handling the unknown problems your future may hold. This is where I really developed an understanding for what quality is.

My time there was stunted as I battled my severely worsening symptoms of Crohn’s disease. Near the end, I was only able to work a few hours each week, and the shame of it all was building up… along with my bills. I didn’t see any other option for myself other than to leave what I believed was my dream job, and do whatever work I could, when I could, out of the garage behind our house.

Glease Manufacturing was born! A few weeks later, I’d have a used tig welder, a grinder, a workbench, and a desire to use those simple tools to help people in any way I could. Since 2013, I’ve failed in every way imaginable (I’m still inventing clever new ways to fail to this day), been in the middle of the shop on my knees crying out to God to allow me to provide for my family, and learned many challenging lessons in resilience and patience.

But, I’ve also seen a lot of ‘wins,’ too. I didn’t just gain control of my Crohn’s Disease, I gained control of who I am, and I continually strive to be better than the day before. I quickly became one of the highest quality exhaust manifold / turbo kit builders for the chassis I’ve chosen to work with – selling those parts around the entire world from my little shop in Canada. I’ve patented ideas and sold them in mass markets. I take on challenging work from a small group of clients who require a very keen eye for details.

More recently, I decided to transition a portion of my efforts to taking ideas from my head, no matter what they are, and doing small production runs of them, and then offering them to the world. I’m not simply ‘working in my career,’ I’m actively living my dream.

The work I do now is simply the result of the way I’m wired. I believe in doing the best possible job I’m capable of, on everything I touch. I believe firmly in being a life-long learner. If there’s something I can’t do, I’ll either learn how to do it, or who to bring in to get it done well. My goal is not profit, my goal is to keep writing this story with as many new people and experiences as possible.

-John Gleason

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