Posted on October 24, 2022
Taking a business to success is all about teamwork. And who can doubt the bond of a family when it comes to that? This episode’s guest, Garret Henry, is a great proof of that. Garret opened his own flooring and countertops business after years of sales and service. GWH Flooring is located in Wimberley, Texas and serves surrounding towns, including San Marcos, Dripping Springs, and Fredericksburg. GWH has grown quickly and continues to thrive because Garret, his family, and his team are passionate about providing superior quality, service, and craftsmanship. In this conversation, he joins Steph Silver to share his journey—from being a fireman to learning the sales process to eventually growing his own world-class family flooring business. Join him as he shares more of his wisdom and experience in taking care of his family, his team, his clients, and his business.
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How To Grow A World-Class Family Flooring Business With Garret Henry
In this episode, our guest is Garret Henry, Owner of GWH Flooring, a family-owned and operated flooring, countertop, shower store and installation team dedicated to crafting the experience you deserve when building and renovating in Wimberley, New Braunfels, Dripping Springs and all the surrounding areas that are growing so fast. First, I want to take a moment to thank you, Garret, for joining me.
No problem at all. I appreciate that, Steph. I’m glad to be here.
You grew up in Wimberley, so tell us a little bit about Garret Henry before GWH.
My family moved to Wimberley at a very young age. It was to get us into a better school district or a better situation. We moved from Houston to Wimberley. We loved it. I have a twin sister, Lindsey and then a younger sister, Hailey. We got into the Wimberley area right around junior high and went to high school. It’s a classic stage of you coming into a small town and can’t wait to get out of it. Revelations come and we have children. My wife and I immediately decided when Ryder was born, our first son, “We got to get it back to Wimberley as soon as possible.”
We landed outside of Wimberley in Driftwood but very enjoyable. It’s very gratifying to be able to have family and a family-owned business in Wimberley, where you grew up to see the people. A lot has changed with the growth in Central Texas and Wimberley itself but a lot of the core roots and values still hold. We’re very proud to be here.
Your wife, Brittany, grew up here as well?
She did. Brittany and I met. I was in the eighth grade and she was going into her freshman year of high school. They made a move with their family from North Texas to Wimberley and the rest is history. We dated all through high school and as soon as I was able to make the commitment and financially be able to support myself, I asked her to marry me. Classic small-town story.
You have two children.
We do. We have Ryder and Reese. Ryder is going to be 13 and Reese turned 10.
You’re going into the danger zone.
That’s it. We are very busy. My day starts at about 6:00 AM and then starts again at about 5:00 PM with sports and all the activities that we have going on afterwards. It’s a lot of fun but it keeps us on our toes.
I love your kids. They’re so much fun. They share a passion for this community and all their friends. Brittany’s family is involved in the school district.
Yes. Dwayne, my father-in-law retired. He was the superintendent of the school district for a long time. Theresa still works at Danforth. Everybody on my wife’s side of the family is in education but her and I. We get all the stories and the fun stuff during all the holidays of what’s going on and get to keep up with it all. We also carry a sense of pride because it’s a school district that we grew up in. It’s an awesome place to be and to raise your children. Even with Dwayne’s retirement, Greg Bonewald came in. Seeing what he’s doing already as well and continuing is amazing. We’re very happy to be here.
When did you get into flooring? What role were you in when you first started?
This is a funny story. Right out of high school, I decided to go into the fire academy to become a fireman and got hired before my 18th birthday with the first fire department, which was Lockhart Fire Department at the time. It was a sense of having a career. College, at the time, was not for me. my alternate path was the fire department.
I got hired but at the same time, I was working at a fitness center here in Wimberley on my days off and opening a gym every morning at about 4:30 AM for the people to come in and start their day off with exercise. One of the gentlemen that would come in every day at 4:30 his name was Ted Gray. He saw something in me.
I had no experience in construction and flooring. When he proposed this to me, I thought, “I’m going to go install carpet for a living. What am I doing?” He offered me a job. The job was outside sales but I come into it. I went to him and one other gentleman and shadow them for a period of 18 months to 2 years to learn the industry and the business. That’s how it all started.
That store was located in San Marcos. It had been in business at that time for over 30 years. Ted and Sean had bought it. I was the first employee that they hired after they signed the contract. I spent the next probably 8 to 9 months, the 18-month period got short and very fast. I was able to pick it up. In their truck with them following them, learning to measure, the ins and outs of what we were doing at the time, which has changed drastically from then to now. That’s how it started. Every fireman typically has a second job to make extra income to supplement but also to handle their free time. They’re very energetic individuals. They want something to do rather than sit for a couple of days at a time. They have part-time jobs and that was mine.
Was that commission only or did they pay you hourly?
During the learning process and going through that, I got paid hourly for up to eight months and then it went to commission only. It’s all based on performance.
It is so scary. I’ve been in that position before and you’re like, “What am I doing? It’s 100% on me.”
I had that base income through the fire department, so this was extra and it was like, “Let’s see where Garret’s going to go with this or what he’s going to do.” They didn’t have that burden or weight on their shoulders that this young man was 20 or 21 years old and had a family already. “We have to support him or take him on as an additional.” It gave me the opportunity to learn it but learn it at a slower pace to where it’s like I wasn’t thrown into the fire the first day. It was a good relationship and a good fit at the time.
How long did you work there?
I was with, at the time, McGlothlin’s, then changed its name to Abbey Flooring. I was there with them for a period of 10 to 11 years prior to moving along to another business as well.
You stayed in sales, especially commission-only sales, which I feel is training for running a business but it’s like you’re scratching the surface and getting the confidence but you don’t know what it’s like to jump in. Is that how you felt?
Yes. In that position of sales with commission only, it adds that additional burden or weight because it’s personal and based on performance. It gives you the incentive. Not everyone is cut for that because of the pressure that’s involved in it to close, keep clients happy and make sure that their needs are met. You’re meeting expectations throughout the process of the job because, in the end, we’re all here to make money to bring home to our families. It gives the opportunity for younger people, especially to understand and learn what it’s to be like later on if they make that step to be a business owner or start their business. At the end of the day, the effort that you put in is what you get out.The sales position with commission only adds that additional burden or weight because it's personal and based on performance. Click To Tweet
When they were teaching you the sales process, did they teach you the follow-through of the after-sales service or was that innate in your nature?
I am very much so, “Yes, ma’am. Yes, sir,” and have the desire in my heart from a young age to make people, in general, happy and have successful relationships. That, for me, came naturally.
I feel, after being in sales and watching people in sales for a long time, that the ones who do care about the follow-through after they close are the ones that stick around with the same company once they find the one that delivers what they’re promising and they’re more consistent with their sales. Did you find the same thing?
Yes. For me, it was the first try and I’ve been given other opportunities with other positions within companies. This was the one that I got on the first strike, so it was a good fit but in looking at other business models and other venues, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Part of that is the transformation of someone’s home in flooring and finish out. When we’re going in and taking carpet that’s 8 or 9 years old and then reinstalling wood floors, that transformation is so dramatic that you get to see the expressions and for the clients, see how excited they are about the process.
For me, that’s a lot more intriguing than being in sales for another company to where it’s a lot shorter of a process or it’s not so significant because in flooring, most of the time, they’re huge transformations within somebody’s home. That’s their foundation and where they start their day, that’s where their family’s at. To be a part of that is very gratifying.
That’s a lesson in sales, in general. It’s like when you’re the cold caller and all you do is set appointments. There’s no passion and excitement. No matter what you’re selling, you don’t get to see the result of somebody being happy with what you’ve done. If you are able to have the follow-through, then once you’re done going to the next customer, you go with that excitement.
In every job, seeing the result fires me up for the next project. Where can we improve? If we did, where did we fall short? What are we going to do differently? That’s also with the new and upcoming. You get excited about new products and what you’re seeing. Even if it’s a shower layout or something insignificant that it doesn’t mean much but then it’s a new and upcoming, you see it ahead of time and you’re able to do that for the first client and see what their reaction is, it fires me up for the next one. It’s like, “How can we make it better? How can we make the next step to make this much more accommodating for the client?” It’s neat watching transformations within clients’ homes.
When did you start GWH Flooring?
We started GWH Flooring a few years ago. It goes so fast. We’re busy as it is with kiddos and everything that goes on but to add a business into it and the growth that we’re having in Central Texas as a business owner, you want to take advantage of it in the most ways possible. Our sales team has grown significantly. Marketing and development go so fast. You blink and another week’s gone by. Days are a snap of a finger and it’s over with and you’re trying to focus on tomorrow. We’re a few years into it and very excited about what’s up and coming.
Your wife, Brittany, works with you there at GWH.
Every day we get to spend all day with each other, which is great. That’s a dynamic that was never brought in before but I truly enjoy it. It’s a blessing to have her involved in the company.
Have there been any unexpected either blessings or challenges with having your wife in the office that you’re willing to share with us?
Yes. Prior to Brittany was able to stay, which was a huge blessing for our family, at a certain point, I was able to let go of the fire service and take on flooring full-time. When that decision was made, she was working in South Austin full-time and I was at the fire department and on my days off at the flooring company and it just got too much.
Our end desire was how can we afford or make this to that Brittany is able to stay home with the kids for this period, from birth to when they’re in school and they’re on their way and they have a set schedule. We were able to make that happen. Once the kids went to school, Brittany was at home and her day is full. They say being a stay-at-home mom is not an easy street. They work full-time.Being a stay-at-home mom is not an easy street. They work full-time. Click To Tweet
Making the adjustment to bringing her into the office, the challenges are beforehand you come home and all the laundries in its place and the dinners and everything’s set and there’s that schedule, now we throw in an 8:00 to 5:00 job that she’s very busy at helping everybody on the team. For me, my selfish reasoning, we get home and it’s teamwork to get everything prepared to go to sports scheduling and they’re on after. What’s been the most difficult is time management because we’re both so busy with the business and then what goes on afterwards.
Other than that, it’s great. I didn’t know what to expect going into it with Brittany but it fell into place. It’s like, “I need somebody,” and she’s like, “Here I am. Let’s go.” To have that and be able to talk through certain circumstances and situations daily or at the end of each day, that’s a huge blessing for me because I’m the type that will sit there and think about it until 9:30 or 10:00 PM but now it’s an open table to where I discuss it and it’s off my brain until the next morning. In so many different ways, I’m blessed to have her by my side.
I love how you describe coming home and realizing that your partners are in the business when you’re at the office and then when you get home, since she’s with you all day, you’re seeing like, “She’s busy. I’m busy. We both have to be busy at home.” You can’t sit on the couch, drink a beer and watch football.
There are way too many items that have to be taken care of and adjusted for the following day to keep up with everything. It is a team effort that we’re trying to incorporate our children into.
Your children are so busy and I can confirm, even when they’re not like actively in a sport. You’re all very busy.
We try to stay that way. My son, Ryder, is always been driven and he doesn’t like sitting still, as you know. We’re always on our toes doing something, whether it’s chasing him around the yard. He and Reese both but he sets the tone and Reese follows suit. We’re very active which I wouldn’t have it any other way.
It sounds like the partnership is working well. Are there any challenges with that? Do you have a hard time stopping and talking about business or do you naturally shift to and from personal and business?
During dinner prep and cooking dinner is normally the time that Brittany and I have to sit and talk or stand and talk while we’re cooking dinner. After that point in time, when dinner is served, it’s shut off. From then on, it’s the family schedule. “What are we doing tomorrow as far as with the kiddos?” We’re running to and from baseball or football practice to try to make stuff happen. For the most part, we’ll have our short discussions, get everything out on the table, see where both of us are and how we feel about certain things and then put it to bed for the evening.
It’s like you have a debrief time while you’re still moving around and then you can be with the family and the kids. That’s the family side. What have you been most surprised by? It’s been a few years that you were in sales and then you took the leap. First of all, what made you decide you could do it?
It’s a combination of different circumstances and situations but the main thing is we have been a part of other companies in their growth. I wanted to see it for ourselves. At that point in time, the company that I was with was going in one direction and I in another, so it was time to make the move. It had always intrigued me, even to the prior company, which was McGothlin’s or Abbey Flooring to, “What would it look like if I did this on my own?” That question became larger over the years to where it’s finally time.
When I did it, it was midway through COVID or the pandemic. A lot of people questioned where we were at because there’s a question within the economy. Both sides were asking what was going to come and what was going on. I don’t think anybody anticipated the surging growth in materials cost and everything that was going to happen over the last few years. In the back of my mind, that question got larger to where finally, I was like, “This needs to happen and it needs to happen now.” From then, it’s been a whirlwind. It’s happened very fast.
What was the beginning like? Most people were still on lockdown when you started the business. You live in the community that you grew up in, so you have relationships that you’ve established over years. How did you go about not only getting the team but then going out and selling when everyone was in their biggest fear mode of history other than wartime?
At first, setting things up was a God thing, to be honest. I couldn’t have done it without the help of friends and family in Wimberley. Some individuals stepped forward to help set things up. Installers that have worked with me for many years stepped up and said, “We’re here to help.” That goes to setting up the warehouse and the showroom, facilitating and putting things into place. I had friends and family on the weekends painting the office to get everything prepped. We started in a modest warehouse. We enclosed and climatized everything. We put in new AC and heat. All of this was done after 5:00 PM because from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, we were out running job sites.
At first, it started with a fold-out picnic table and two plastic chairs and my laptop. It developed into a very modest nice showroom. Our warehouse space is very efficient. It took work and team effort from all parties involved. Certain key employees came into play in the very beginning that were very good at what they do to help take different loads off of my shoulders. Brittany as well, working together as a team to take a little chip or a little piece off of my shoulders to where it allowed me to focus on the things that needed to be focused on. It all has its timing and it was very well supervised by others much higher than me.
It all worked out the way that it was supposed to but most of the work or setting up shop was done after hours or on the weekends because I didn’t have the time allowed during the day to do it. As far as business, word of mouth, I always say, is the best form of advertisement and marketing. Some individuals stepped up that needed projects that I hadn’t heard from them in a few years. The phone kept ringing with different things. There were small projects to very large projects that helped us gain ground on what we were doing.Word of mouth is the best form of advertisement and marketing. Click To Tweet
Tell us about what a typical project was then and what a typical project is now. Has it changed?
It’s changed. We do retail, residential, new construction and a little bit of light commercial. We went into it in the middle of it or the end of what I feel is an era and then into the new of what is now. With all the growth in Central Texas, it’s not only the project volume but the size of the projects that we’re involved in. We do flooring and countertops. When I say flooring, wood, tile, LVT, laminate and carpet, we’re very well known for our tile work in our showers, countertops and backsplashes.
In the beginning, our retail jobs might be new flooring throughout a home. Now, most of our jobs are where everything is being torn out, showers, countertops and floors. It’s from start to finish. We’re doing the demo through the completion with the exception of plumbing and a couple of other trays that need to be facilitated. We handle all of it. In residential new construction, the size and capacity of the projects in Wimberley, Central Texas and surrounding areas are 30% higher than it was a few years just for the size of each job.
It’s been quite interesting to watch the whole thing unfold. Whether COVID was a challenge or not, it was a huge shift for everybody’s world and business. You being in construction or that world, how did it affect you as a business or as an individual?
What it allowed me to learn as an individual is it slowed everything down as far as scheduling and installation schedules. It allowed me to understand and learn better that it’s okay to slow things down and that it’s not always going to be as wanted or needed. With the installers and the homes that we were exposed to, that never slowed but what did happen is I watched every one of my installers and crews go through that sickness or have COVID and then getting back and watching them how slow they were coming back into it.
At one point in time, I realized it’s not always going to be Monday or the day that we expect but it’s being upfront and diligent and letting clients know where we’re at and what we’re doing to try to fix circumstances and situations. Prior to it was push and push but I truly believe that even with a given, we still push and we want to be efficient on job sites but I also want the right crew placement and the right people to fit the right client and customer.
I want a good fit between installers and the client. Our company is only as good as our installers. They’re in their home Monday through Fridays or Saturdays, 8:00 to 5:00. They are the guys that make the difference. What we learned is to slow down and be systematic in the way that we are approaching and schedule jobs and make sure that it’s a good fit from start to finish between the client and installers.
I had the pleasure of working with you and your installers during that time or toward the beginning. My father was a carpet installer when I was growing up, so I have a lot of experience not just hearing him but being on job sites. I was his little assistant. I loved it. It gave me the confidence to be the little girl with the power tools.
All of the folks that came into our home were so friendly, even the super quiet ones that didn’t want us to talk to them. They’re wanting and willing to go out of the way. The other thing that blew me away at the time and now that I’ve seen your work even beyond that, was your dedication to the full project because when people are redoing their homes, it’s very rare that it’s just flooring or countertops. They’re like, “Let’s knock all this crazy stuff out and do crazy things.”
Here in the Wimberley Valley, we have the ability to tackle more creative and bigger projects. In my home, we had carpet that had been in there for who knows how long. It was not good and it was white so you could tell that it was old. We were waiting until we had the budget. We talked to you about it when you moved in. You were so patient and didn’t poke us about it but every time we say, “We think we’re almost ready,” you’re like, “Whenever you’re ready.” When we did, you came, consulted us through that process and helped us to make design choices.
The other thing that you did that was surprising was we asked if you knew someone who could do stone work for refacing our fireplace area and then a new mantle. Shelving around it, we didn’t realize that it was such a big job. You’re like, “Yes, ma’am. No problem. I got someone for you.” Kevin Holcomb is whom you connected us to. Shout-out to Kevin. He was not a contractor that you connected us to but he’s an artist. He was excited and wanted to see how he could make it a beautiful job. The same thing with your installers and contractors, they were craftsmen.
That’s how my dad looked at it as well. He has attention to detail. I don’t know how he was about customer service. He was understanding of the concept. You’re not just putting in a product and walking away. You’re creating an atmosphere for people to be excited to come into their homes. When you’re remodeling, it’s always a process. There’s crazy draping and things for removal of stonework or tile but everyone was very communicative.
Schedules are inevitably going to change, things are going to happen, especially in old homes, you’re going to notice something that you didn’t expect before but not only were you and your team dedicated to making sure that our flooring was beautiful and installed correctly but you checked up on Kevin and me the entire time.
He did amazing woodwork and stonework. The stonework ended up not being what we expected. I wasn’t quite sure if I liked it or not and you said, “I’ll call him. We’ll redo it.” I’m like, “Wait a second. Let me live with it for a minute.” It ended up being better the way that he did it but it surprised me that it’s not your contractor, not your job and you’re not getting any commission or funds. It could have been a handoff referral but you checked in on the whole process because you referred him in. That level of attention through and through impressed me.
Thank you. We appreciate that. Kevin and I work very closely on many different projects but in general, I feel like in Wimberley, we have some of the best. I stand by that. When we make those referrals and have confidence in our ability, there’s a large group of contractors that work together on a lot of these different projects.
When you’re able to bring somebody in on something, that goes down to my installers or personnel, it’s our job to make sure that the client is satisfied and happy with the entire process. You were talking about the demo. Brittany and I were speaking on this right when I first opened the business. She said, “That’s probably the day of gloom when they come home and say what have I done?” I said, “No, that’s the most exciting because it’s the first day and its progress. They said they wanted to see what had happened. It’s always the 2nd or 3rd day to where they start questioning what they were thinking.”
I try to tell the installers and everybody that works within the company that we’re in somebody’s home. It’s the attention to detail, even if it’s picking up, vacuuming or doing something before you leave at the end of the day because that’s where their family is. That’s their place of comfort. We try to strive daily to make sure that even though it’s in the midst of a remodel, confusion, clutter and everything else. We try to make it as comfortable as possible for that client.
That includes us following up and asking, “Are you okay? Do we need to do something different? Was water cut back onto the house?” The simple things daily are a nuance for somebody that’s already had a full day at their job or their job and with kiddos. It’s making sure they come home to what we can try to have the most comfortable situation possible through that process. That’s a big part of it that gets overlooked a lot.
It seemed to me that throughout our process, it’s easy for the installers to get in the zone and process what they’re working on because it’s a craft but it’s also very direct. I was working from home the entire time that they were working. They were so kind and communicative, “I’m about to do this. Do you have any meetings because I need to make some noise? What’s the best time to do that?” They’re much more thoughtful. It’s hard for them to be flexible because they know that they have a certain amount of time and then they have to get to the next job. They also are dependent on that one job finishing and completing to make enough money to move on and make it all work.
Their flexibility, understanding and communication mirror yours well. Every day when you got home, you would take stuff, “How was it? What’s going on? Tell me if there is anything we can do differently or better.” Also communicating about the product because that’s not something you have a lot of control over.
No. We can give the information that’s given but that goes into the follow-up of how to clean, how to maintain and what to do with the floors afterwards. That’s always good information to be able to give to the client when we’re done and a follow-through. A lot of times, the first question that’s asked is, “What do we use to clean it? How do we care for these floors or countertops that we have them?” For every client, we’ve got a little care kit that we give out to them to use to clean daily and then periodically as well but the follow through on that is also very big and informing the client as to what they’re getting and how to properly care for it.
We were talking about how being the last part of a new construction or remodel project has its plus sides and downsides. Tell us about that.
The career path that I chose is at the end of construction on new construction or remodeling. The variance in the timelines is always crushed to the very end and it’s a snowball effect. I chose a profession that’s at the very end to where we’re trying to dress everything up and make everything look as perfect as it can for the client and their home.
Timelines are very sensitive at that as well as budgets, because it’s at the end of a project. Most of the time, whatever’s been allowed or budgeted, if there are changes throughout that dwindles but as a company, we’re still there at the end of the day to make it right and make it look right. I don’t want to sacrifice the quality of what’s going in for anything else because that’s what we have to stand by.
It can be a tedious and stressful situation and circumstance, especially in new construction, because they’re meeting timelines. It’s not just us, the builder or the client. Most of the time the clients are renting a home at that point in time. At that point, the rent is up at the end of the month and they’re trying to get moved into their new home so they’re not in it for another month or there’s a bank that needs to close on the loan or inspections that have to happen. We’re pushed very hard to be very efficient in what we do.
I don’t want to do it in sacrifice speed for quality to where when I walk out of that home or commercial building. I look at it and say, “We could have done better. We could have done something different for the result,” or have a client feel like six months later, “I wish I would’ve done this, slowed down a little bit and taken the right steps or waited for this material to come in because I like this but I substituted for a timeline.”
I juggle those conversations prior to having them. I always look at it like, “Are they going to be happy with this six months from now?” We stand by that. I let everybody else within the company knows that as well. We want to make sure that the result is satisfaction and that they are where they need to be because they’re the ones that wake up and walk on it every morning or get up and take that shower. We want them to look at it and be proud of what we did as well as what they’ve helped create.
You have all the pressure of the timelines. You have the frustration built up of whatever happened throughout the entire process. You’re blessed that you’re a pretty patient guy and you communicate well. You have team members that have sold and managing the project. You have two things. You have all that pressure but then you also have the blessing of putting the finishing touch and then they can see that like, “I see how it comes together. It’s not just an architectural drawing.” How does that feel?
It’s great. We always say, “What’s drawn on paper is not a result of what it is in the field.” There are always grand ideas and drawings. Sometimes we’re able to create that and get close to it but a large majority of the time we have to help with that vision and bring it close because what’s drawn is not what is reflected in the field.What's drawn on paper is not a result of what it is in the field. Click To Tweet
That’s the fun part of my job. I love that. I like solving problems. It’s getting on-site and doing tile layouts or layouts of wood floors or whatever it may be to make it most efficient but then to make the lines in what’s supposed to look best when you walk into each room of that home. Some people think it’s the most tedious and the hardest part of the process that they least like but that’s what I gravitate to. I would much rather be in the field solving problems than be behind my computer. I like being out with the guys and creating those spaces in the client’s home that are efficient but also aesthetically look as pleasing as we can make them.
Your business has grown and it is a full-functioning organism. You have salespeople, marketing people, stable of contractors and I’m sure you have a lot of unique jobs being out here. There are always different contractors that you pull on that aren’t necessarily your everyday guys that are for specialty stuff. What has been most surprising? How do you feel like you go about maintaining your quality of service and product and all the things when it’s not at your fingertips?
That has happened over the last couple of years, especially with vendors and supply chain issues but also the uniqueness, as you stated of these projects, a lot of the materials that we’re putting in homes are 6, 8 to 12 weeks out and that’s just a starting point. We pre-plan early and try to get selections as early as possible but not only that with the vendors and the new vendors that are being brought in daily because of the uniqueness of the projects.
I learn every day. I learn something new, whether it be through a new vendor installation process or what we’re doing but there’s a lot of further education that has to take place on each project to make it what it’s supposed to be. It’s not just a 12×12 ceramic or porcelain tile anymore that’s getting laid straight. That’s nonexistent.
For the sales staff and myself involved, every project is unique. We have to establish timelines early, manage expectations early and know that they have to be ordered early. Otherwise, you sacrifice what you didn’t want before, not getting the product that you wanted ahead of time so planning is key. I’m pre-planning everything.
A lot of the builders that I work with are very much so on board because they see it in windows and doors. They don’t want it with tile or finish-out wood because it’s a finished product of what the client comes in. They don’t come in and look at Sheetrock. They’re coming in and looking at the tile, floors, showers, countertops, backsplash, lighting and all that stuff.
I feel like every party involved has recognized that. Everybody mostly has come to the reason of we have to order early to get the client what they want. On our part, it’s educating ourselves because there are such a wide array of providers and vendors and different types of products that if we haven’t done it before, it’s like, “We need to figure it out now.” It’s fun. I enjoy that part of it as well.
Your sales team and everyone that you’ve hired, are they excited about that process or do they go like, “I wish we settled down on all these new creative projects?”
We all help each other through that because some of these projects are so unique. We have 1 home that has 25 to 30 vendors within the flooring process. It’s very hard to manage as an individual. It’s more of a team. We get the project and look at it together. There are 2 at minimum, to 3 of us looking at it at one time, trying to figure out the missing components or how we piece it together to achieve what they want. I’m sure it’s tedious for some but we pressure through it and move through until we have all the answers.
One thing that a lot of people don’t think about is it used to be that it was the same carpet or tiles throughout the house, except maybe something special in the master bathroom. Now, it’s something different in every room, the entry has something special, each bathroom has its little details and the laundry room has fancy tile. Everything is so custom and unique.
We have design packages. The ladies and gentlemen that are putting these together for us are so throughout with the client prior to us getting the packages. A typical selection package might be anywhere from 50 pages to 150 pages and that involves lighting and other things but our portion of it is a large portion of where we’re going through page for page, each area of a home. A lot of times, if it’s a wood floor, it might be consistent throughout the common areas but then when you get into individual bedrooms, bathrooms or closets, everything is going to be, for the most part, different.
It’s the fancy closets that people are doing. I’m not that fancy. I’m picturing what I see other people do around here but it gets pretty amazing.
The fun part for me is having those designated room areas. We did one in Driftwood Valley. For the young man’s room, it was something I’d never done before. It was an educational carpet but it was a football field with hashtags, sidelines and everything. The builder did the added touch with some additional wallpaper for the young man and a custom-made bed that was like a field goalpost.
It was over the top and a beautiful space. It was created for this young man that’s very interested in football. When I saw it, I’m like, “Football carpet.” I wasn’t there when it was revealed to him but I can only imagine his excitement when he saw that given space or that bedroom. It was pretty neat to watch it happen.
What are you most proud of in life or business?
It would be first for what we’re doing as a family for our kids. Having a business in Wimberley is what I’m very proud of and to be able to raise my children here. What I’m most proud of are the circumstances and situations. We’re so blessed to be in this area. To have an area where our kids are growing up in this community and environment and to be able to do it where I grew up is awesome.
To me, it says a lot about who you are because if you grow up somewhere and you’re still able to do business, you must be well-liked. Is there anything new or different on the horizon or are you trying to continue to breathe?
We’ve got a lot of new and up and coming and new areas of Central Texas that we’re very excited about. The growth changes and the market changes of what we’re doing, whether it’s retail versus remodels or new construction. Outside the Wimberley area and even in Wimberley itself, there are lots of new, fun upcoming projects that we’re excited about. That’ll be kicking off towards the latter part of 2022 and the first of 2023. I will be more than happy to share photos with everybody as they come together but it’s neat stuff. Most of the products are new, so it’s going to be fun. It’s going to be a lot of different things that we haven’t seen around Wimberley in a while or ever. I’m excited to be a part of them.
Yes, it is. We have a young lady that’s working in conjunction with you to capture all these scenes and different projects and we’re very excited. It’s very neat to see it all come together. I get to look at everything when it’s all done and I’m like, “Which project is that? Where are we at?” Looking at it and knowing that Avery’s involved in that process makes me happy. She’s doing a great job as well as you.
Thank you. She’s doing a fantastic job. What advice would you have for someone who is thinking about starting a business for the first time, something they’re passionate about and they haven’t run their own business before?
What you get out of is what you put into it. The best advice I can give is every day is not going to go your way or the way that you intended it. A lot of times, I wake up in the morning and my plan by 6:00 AM has changed by 7:00 and by 8:00 it’s out the window. My advice is to put your head down, continue to work hard for what you believe in and don’t let that daily mission or the mission statement of what you started with as a company change. Don’t let your intent with that change over time.
I have a good friend of mine that owns a business out of Houston. He said, “Garret, don’t ever give up your core values. If you started with something and you’re willing to change it, you go back to the ten values or core lessons of what you started with and ask yourself that those are going to be altered in the process of what you’re thinking of changing.” My biggest bit of advice is to work hard. You get out what you put in and then, at the end of it, question every decision that you make for growth to make sure that it stays within your core values.
That’s perfect. That’s the best advice I would give as well. Thank you for sharing that. Is there anything else you want to share with our readers?
We’re excited about what’s up and coming. I’m very thankful for you allowing this time for me to come and express my words and everything else. It’s been great.
Thank you for coming. Thank you for the awesome job that you do in your business with your contractors and employees and for the involvement that you have in the community, with the kids, the schools and all of those things. It’s been a fun journey to watch.
We love it. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Thank you, Garret. Thank you for reading. If you liked it, tell your friends and follow us on Instagram or LinkedIn. The mission of our show is to dig deep into the lives of true leaders so that others can follow, knowing that the path isn’t always easy but the journey is worth it. Enjoy the day and live with passion.