MiVT: Davis Toy Co.
When Jonnie "Most" Davis creates something, it stands the test of time.
"To get a finished product-- hours. It takes hours," he said.
It's been that way ever since he was in his mid-20s working as a songwriter and producer. His first number one record was Keith Sweat's '90s hit, "Make You Sweat."
"'Girl, I bet I can make you sweat, and you know I remember that like it was yesterday, man," he said.
Davis went on to work with other major artists such as Roger Daltrey, Outkast, Mary J Blige, Biggie Smalls, P. Diddy and American Authors, the group behind the award-winning song, "Best Day of My Life."
"I've had a lot of big success and it was elation, but the lows are cavernous," Davis said.
Personal tragedy led him down a road to addiction and eventually rehab. He bought and eventually fixed up an old little red schoolhouse in Wallingford, three hours from where he was living in New York.
"I created everything myself. I made everything and then I realized I had a knack for making stuff," Davis said.
That led to him building toy cars. The same types of toys Davis had when he was a kid.
"The thing about the toys back then is you can still buy them today. They're heirlooms and they were made with quality and I wanted to do the same thing," he explained.
Davis says the horizon a Smugglers' Notch inspired the body shape for his cars. He took a trip up there and then traced the horizon.
"I chart everything as if it was a song. I write it down," he said.
The first business to take a chance on the Davis Toy Co. was Hand Made in Vermont in Wallingford.
"When he showed up with these, I was as astounded as he was and here we are," said Christopher Dunigan of Hand Made in Vermont.
The Davis Toy Company can be found at the Rutland Farmers Market and on Etsy. Most of the cars range from $100 to $120. He has an exclusive line of cars coming to Noble Ace in Rutland, the store where he buys most of his hardware.
"I played music my whole life and now I play with toys. It keeps me young," Davis said. "Like my grandmother used to say, where there's life, there's hope and there's people who believed in me and really helped give me the strength to see a better way. To see my way out of some deep water, man."
Davis has had to endure all that life has clamped him down, which is probably the reason why his music and these cars are also built to last.