How I Remade My Career, Again
My successful transition from custom home designer-builder to a successful home remodeler is a story of adapting to change. As you may know this isn’t the first career transformation I’ve undergone. In fact, it’s not even the second.
Every summer when I was a kid, my family would take a vacation. I think we camped at every lake this side of the Mississippi. Each time we would find the perfect piece of property and design a house for it. Each fall life got in the way of us moving forward. It wasn’t until I was 16 that we actually bought and built. It was the perfect training ground for a budding designer.
I’ve always been a bit forward thinking-some say unique-in my approach to business. After graduating from college with a degree in theatrical design I took to the road as a freelance roadie. I worked for a few famous bands: The Commodores, Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, and The Emotions, to name a few. Between tours I would buy a house, remodel it and sell. This was long before the term “flip” was invented.
I transitioned the roadie and home flipping experience into a successful theatrical production company. We built sets for the ballet and opera. Staged rock concerts and designed, built and managed huge corporate productions for Nike around the world. After nearly two decades in theatrical production I transitioned my well-honed project management, production, carpentry and trouble shooting skills into another successful career designing and building custom hillside homes from design through construction.
My business model and approach was again unique. I found the property. Then designed a custom home specifically suited for it. I also project managed the build through rough construction, then strapped on my tool belt and completed the finish carpentry myself. After designing and building 20 homes came the collapse of the housing market. My industry ceased to exist. In addition, banks no longer offered financing for new construction projects. Happily more families decided remodeling was the path to their dream home. I feel lucky to have all the skills needed to move easily into this new phase of my career. I have exceptional project management skills, creative and practical design techniques, a well-connected network of highly skilled sub-contractors, and of course the detailed finish carpentry skills every homeowner wants to have at the end of a project.
I love working with homeowners to make their remodeling project both successful and enjoyable. It’s a challenge and joy to uncover their lifestyle and day-to-day living needs.I get to use my creativity and design skills to remake their house into the dream home they really want.
No project is too small – the challenge and satisfaction I get in delivering results beyond what my clients could imagine is tremendous. I’m lucky, I get to do what I love and I see the tangible results of the creative and challenging work at the end of each project.
Thanks for reading my first Urban Renaissance blog article. I hope you enjoyed learning a bit about what I’ve done and how I remade my career again. I look forward to sharing project stories and pictures with you every Quarter or so. I hope you’ll share them with your friends & colleagues. I’d love to work on a remodel for you or someone you know.