The Argosy clan
In 1993, Argosy (www.argosyconsole.com) founder David Atkins was the third-generation manager of his family’s chain of retail fashion stores. He had recently returned home (Osage Beach, Mo.) after five years as a touring rock guitarist and was settling down to raise a family. That year, when Mackie introduced its 8-bus mixer, Atkins decided to build a home studio around the new board. Concerned with aesthetics and performance, he was determined that the desk be attractive and serviceable.
Soon, he had researched and drafted a business plan to manufacture consoles for the Mackie board. He then called Recording Magazine to inquire about a classified ad and was asked for a photo of the prototype. Needing to quickly come up with a company name, Atkins mind raced around the idea of a nest of cables endemic to recording studios and turned to Greek mythology: Argos, who had defeated snake-haired Medusa. Soon, the switchboard at Atkins’ clothing store was receiving calls for Argosy consoles. One such call was from Tim Thompson, his new son-in-law, who was looking for a job. Ten years later, Thompson is the company’s VP/CFO.
According to Atkins, when the company began building consoles, the focus was on aesthetics and be accessible for pieces of gear from different manufacturers. Today, with the trend toward computer-based recording, the company’s designs are focused on the “cockpit feeling,” allowing the user to have all gear accessible at an arm’s length. The company is also finding its products pop up in non-audio environments, such as dispatch centers, hospitals, nuclear power plants — “anything that requires an operator,” according to Atkins. “We realize that we’re a specialty technical furniture manufacturer that offers our clients customized products and a one-to-one working relationship. Our clients are buying a service, not just a product.”