Miguel Vega: A Passion for Craftsmanship
By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter
SANTA CLARA — After 30 years of creating custom window treatments, Miguel Vega still has a passion for the craftsmanship he was taught as a young man. “I attended a Mexican-Italian trade school where I learned about all sorts of trades, from plumbing and electrical to welding and carpentry,” he recounts. “It was quite an experience—six years of intensive training under Italian craftspeople with extremely high expectations. The field that intrigued me most was fine carpentry, especially designing and fabricating plantation shutters, which requires a lot of skill and precision.”
After graduating from trade school in 1991, Miguel continued to design and manufacture plantation shutters and other window treatments. Eventually, he decided to take his skills to a new locale. “In 1999, I moved from Mexico to the United States,” he says. “I was already a citizen—I was born in the U.S.—but until then I’d spent most of my time in Mexico. I took a job manufacturing and installing shutters for Home Depot. It was a good job and I did well, but I also longed for a chance to do more customized, artisan-style work. Eventually, I started my own business, which enabled me to do that.”
Today, as owner of Magna Shutters, Miguel says his favorite part of his job is creating unique and occasionally challenging designs. “I love to design and create amazing results for my clients. Every project is different, so there’s a lot of room for creativity and innovation. A lot of companies will walk away from a project that seems too difficult, but I always welcome a challenge.”
A resident of Santa Clara (where he lives with his wife and business partner, Sandra), Miguel likes to spend his free time staying active. “The only time I really relax is when I’m sleeping,” he laughs. “I do a lot of road biking and jogging. I also enjoy traveling. Sandra and I both love history, so we usually plan our trips around visiting historical sites.” Miguel also likes tinkering and creating in his shop. “Building is my passion, so when I’m not making shutters, I’m usually working on some other project. Just give me some tools—I’ll build anything!” Additionally, Miguel likes keeping up with his four grown children, all of whom are pursuing their own professional goals.
In regard to a professional philosophy, Miguel embraces the ethos of old world craftsmanship. “As the older generations pass away, the art of making shutters by hand is dying and being replaced by machine manufacturing,” he says. “While there’s nothing wrong with manufactured shutters, you miss out on the care and detail that comes with a human touch. That’s why I’m committed to preserving that old-world, craftsman approach, and I’ve built my business by serving customers who have high standards for quality and service.”
When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Miguel says he would ensure his business is left in good hands. “I have so many things I still want to do, including more traveling and building my dream house. But my business is very important to me, so if I retired, I’d make certain it would continue to run with the same philosophy and practices I founded it upon.”
Ask Me Anything!
Q: What’s your favorite holiday?
A: The ones at the end of the year because they bring the whole family together.
Q: Do you collect anything?
A: Souvenirs from traveling.
Q: If you could travel to any country you haven’t yet visited, where would you go?
Q: Music or talk radio?
Q: Do you play any musical instruments?
A: I play the guitar.Read more