Celebrating Women-Owned Painting Businesses
03/18/2019 | dunnedwards |
It’s no secret that the paint contracting industry is primarily male-dominated but that doesn’t mean women aren’t in the business. They are — and they are thriving! In celebration of Women’s History Month, we spoke with a number of our women-owned painting partners to learn more about their business, what inspires them, as well as and the advantages and challenges of working in the industry.
Ivoneth Mendez — Diesel Painting and Drywall
Ivoneth Mendez owned her own company while attending California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, and continued building her career with roles focused on business development for companies such as Bank of America and Pepsi Co. She took that experience and partnered with her husband, Victor Garcia, to form Las Vegas-based Diesel Painting and Drywall, LLC in 2006.
“In an effort to balance career with family life, I left my corporate position and utilized my financial background and education to join my husband and build this company” Mendez said. As a licensed contractor, she runs all aspects of finance and marketing for the company.
Motivated by “personal and professional growth and creating something and seeing it grow,” Mendez enjoys being a business owner. “Being a leader comes naturally to me. I love to plan, guide and teach. Being an entrepreneur is respected and rewarding both emotionally and financially. Mentoring others and seeing them grow is gratifying,” she added.
Mendez added that there are some distinct advantages to being a woman business owner, such as a good work/family life balance and the lack of a glass ceiling. On the other hand, there are also challenges, including the male dominance in the industry — noting that, “it has been hard to gain respect” — and the fact that it can be tricky being a business partner with one’s spouse.
For women thinking about starting their own painting business, Mendez advises, “Pick your target market. Set your rules of the road. Don’t deviate. Have boundaries. It is OK to turn down work.”
Reflecting on her years as a small-business owner, Mendez has learned a number of things: Be honest and be direct. Don’t make promises you can’t keep. Get it in writing. Get it signed.
For more information about Diesel Painting and Drywall, visit http://dieselpainting.com.
Jennifer Gooch — Painted by Jennifer
Jennifer Gooch started Painted by Jennifer, a company based in Tucson, Ariz., specializing in custom, designer finishes for interior spaces, furniture and cabinetry, in 2017.
After working in Insurance for a number of years, Gooch began thinking that she wanted something different. “I’ve always enjoyed painting — I find it relaxing — and had been doing it for friends and family”, Gooch said. “I put the idea out there to a few trusted people and they encouraged me to go for it. Here I am, almost two years later, running my business full time.”
“Over my career, I’ve worked in just about every aspect of business — HR, sales, bookkeeping, insurance, marketing, management. All of those years of experience have taught me much of what I need to be successful, but I still meet with my business coach Tabitha Danloe on a regular basis,” Gooch said. “She keeps me focused and helps guide me past the obstacles.”
Gooch added that being a woman is an advantage in her line of work since most of her clients are female, and they are often focused on interior design and home decorating. These clients trust having her in their homes because of the connection and comfort level they develop. Gooch finds that word-of-mouth marketing, building relationships and working through referrals has been a large part of her growth and success.
That said, she believes women can feel intimidated in the painting industry. “When I first started, I was nervous about asking questions if I wasn’t sure which product or technique to use. I worried I wouldn’t be taken seriously.” To women who are interested in starting their own business, she says “don’t be afraid to ask questions and seek advice. Also, find a really good business coach you trust. They’re worth every penny.”
Gooch says that being a female business owner has its challenges — particularly creating a work-life balance. “I’m fortunate to have a very supportive husband and a self-sufficient teenager. I often have work to do in the evenings or on weekends, but I try to carve out and cherish specific times to spend with family or on self-care.”
For more information on Painted by Jennifer, visit her Facebook page or her Instagram account.
Diana Meyer — Meyer Construction Services
Diana Meyer was a property manager with CBRE when she met and then married Scott Meyer who had a small paint contracting business specializing in insurance restoration and custom homes. Diana’s years of experience of meeting her client’s needs by working with contractors would be invaluable in helping grow Meyer Coating’s Inc. business. The business soon grew into a midsize commercial painting contractor and Diana joined the business full time as CEO.
With their success, Meyer’s clients asked them to bring their excellence into other areas of construction and in 2015 became general contractors and changed their name to Meyer Construction Services and grew from 30 employees to the 117 employees they now employee. Diana’s experience and her ability to target industries that place a high value on Women-Owned Businesses were instrumental in their growth.
As a female business owner, Meyer finds motivation in making a difference in a male-dominated industry. Having her company exceed means her clients' needs are met as well, and Meyer hopes she is an example to other women because of this.
Meyer said that building strong relationships with their clients — by calling, meeting and following through — has been key to their success.
When asked how she felt working in a male-dominated field, Meyer said “There’s a feeling in the paint industry that men are more knowledgeable but – because we are a woman and minority-owned business – we also have an advantage, as many projects, such as schools, financial institutions, and hospitals have quotas for using us. In the end, it’s about getting the job done. As long as we do that, we never feel challenged”.
When they first started the business, Meyer had children at home which made a work-life balance tough. “It was critical to dedicate time but we managed by staying organized and knowing when to ask for help.”
Now, after many years in the business, Meyer is looking forward to retirement. “We want the business to go on so we have been bringing in younger people who we can train to take the company to the next level. We make our employees a top priority by giving them a good place to work and a future” she said. “To create an environment employees enjoy has been really gratifying.”
As a female business owner, the philosophy that has served her well is to “treat our employees with the same respect and care as our clients.”
For more information, visit http://www.meyerconstructionservices.com or check out their Facebook page.