I’m often asked how or where I learned the many skill sets that I have. Looking back several decades, I guess it really began when I was about 10 or 11. My grandfather had accumulated 11-12 rentals in Seattle. Everything from single houses to 4 plex units. Each requiring cleaning, patching and painting, etc. in between tenants. Also, ongoing maintenance and upkeep, like exterior painting, roofing, broken windows, landscaping to name a few. This was often done 1-3 weekends a month. After doing this for a few years I swore I would never have any rentals when I was an adult.
At 16 years of age I started work after school and on weekends at an antique auction house. The owner would make a few trips a year to various locations in Europe and acquire real antiques, like armoires, carved wall units, formal dining sets, complete bedroom sets, and many other furniture items. He would also purchase other smaller items like antique clocks, chandeliers, and other smalls. We would carefully unload the 40-foot container, as items were packed into every nook and cranny. Each item was assessed to determine what it required to bring it to optimal condition for the next upcoming auction. Items often required structural repairs, partial refinishing, and most often a thorough cleaning and top coat of new finish.
After that I went to work at a furniture rental warehouse. The furniture would come back after being in someone’s home for different amounts of time, all of it required cleaning/sanitizing, refurbishing and often repairs to torn fabric or vinyl, damage wood or simulated wood finish on tables or bedroom furniture.
Following that I went into furniture retail, were they sold high end modern and classic style furniture. Many items would have freight damaged when they arrived from the manufacturer. This type of damage required a higher-level skillset as a client would not except an expensive piece of furniture with any visible flaws.
Next, I accepted a job from a company that did moving claims. This opened a whole new challenge to my growing knowledge and repair techniques that I had accomplished thus far. Anything that is put on a truck and moved across town, across the state, across the country, or internationally, could sustain damage and require repairs or service. This also includes the inside of homes and offices, along with the exterior. After 4 ½ years at this company I was asked to become an independent contractor and start my own business, so in 1993 I did just that. At that time I had to get out and find new business and generate income to support my wife and I. Almost all of the accounts I started out with are still with us today, a few went out of business because of fluctuations in the economy, many new accounts have been added once they hear about us or see firsthand what we can do for them.
Throughout the years we have been fortunate to have worked with many great companies and people. We have worked on cruise ships, the Spaceneedle, Bellevue Nordstrom’s, various office buildings, yachts, hotels, and most recently the SLS/The Mark Hotel in downtown Seattle. We have provided our services to CEO’s, CFO’s, COO’s, presidents and vice presidents for many local company’s like Boeing, Amazon, Microsoft, Starbucks, REI, and others. We have done work for Paul Allen, Mariners Diamond Club, professional and college football coaches, players and other executive accounts. One of my most memorable endorsements came from the wife of a Starbucks CFO, she said “if you were a cosmetic surgeon, I would let you work on my face”.