Megan: I am so excited to be here with Lauren Marsh and Ridgeline Construction. We’re gonna hear all about your background today. But I’m always just impressed to see a woman working in what is predominately known as a man’s world. Yeah. And I know we didn’t talk about that before, but you don’t necessarily think about women doing amazing things in the world of construction. I am really eager to dive in. But thank you — thank you so much for being here! So excited. And we just found out before we started shooting that we share a very deep connection with both of us, which is Logan Kate, who was one of Flourish’s OG hires. Yeah. Shout out to Logan. So I know both, you know, they go to the same church. Lauren, which is great.
Lauren: Yeah. So yeah, we love Logan so much.
Megan: She’s amazing! Thank you so much for being here. I really do appreciate it.
Lauren: Thank you for inviting me! I’m so glad to be here.
Megan: So yes. So let’s just start with a little bit of background. So you are currently president of Ridgeline Construction, which does a variety of different things. We have learned all about your company the past couple of days. So…but tell us a little bit about kind of how you got to where you are now.
Lauren: Yes. So I will say, you know, like, every little girl doesn’t dream about being a roofer.
Lauren: Not my dream, you know, necessarily growing up, but but I very much enjoy it. I very much enjoy being in this space where it’s predominantly male and trying to just grow the women side of these businesses, because women are needed very much. So in the construction field and everything but, so I was born and raised here in Madison, and went to Bob Jones. And so my roots are here. And, you know, a lot of my family worked on the Arsenal. So it’s always kind of been, you know, a lot of engineers in the family. But my stepdad had always been in the building side of things. And so one summer when I turned 16 they were like, you’re gonna get a job. And I was like, doing what? I danced– I grew up dancing. I danced at the Dance Company, and that was all that I did and the dance team.
And so I was like, okay, job. All right. So he got me a job with the homebuilder that he worked for. He was an estimator, and worked on plans and stuff. And so I was an intern there. And I guess really, like when I was really thinking about where did this all start? That would be where it started.
Megan: So that’s how you started.
Lauren: So he got me a job there. And then, um, actually my oldest daughter was born when I was like a month before I graduated high school. So I was a teen mom. And so one of the… my boss there before moved on to another builder and remembered me. And so right after I graduated, she called and was like, Would you like a job? And I was like, well, I need a job. So yes, I would love a job. And so I was an administrative assistant and just got to kind of see all aspects like the homebuilding side of things, the management side of homebuilding, the sales side of homebuilding. So that’s kind of where that all started and then actually met my husband there. Um, so he worked for the home builder. And then, you know, one thing led to another, and he, we ended up deciding to start this company. There was just a need in the marketplace for it. Yeah.
Megan: So you’ve talked about that. So, like I’ve just been learning a little bit about you and your background. You guys definitely saw an opportunity. Yeah, growth? Well, yeah, there was a big gap. So talk a bit about that.
Lauren: Yeah, so it was a big gap. And, and just as far as even for new construction, working for new construction, they were having a hard time finding good dependable roofers. And so we kind of came up with this model of offering the material as well as the labor. So you know, it’s a turnkey package, it’s one less thing for, you know, the contractors to have to worry about, because we’re going to take care of the material and take care of the labor. So and then from there, we grew into siding. So we do a lot of siding and exterior work, which is a little more, you know, fun and exciting to you know, people that need a roof need to worry if you know, it’s not just like you wake up one day, you’re like, Oh, I think I want a roof. You know, siding really changes the the look of your home. So that part is kind of more the fun side, I guess you could say we could really kind of design but we also do gutters and soffits. And so all kinds of exterior work on new construction existing. We’ve really, really pushed into the commercial market as well.
Megan: I was going to ask about that, like commercial as well.
Lauren: Oh, yeah. So in all the places that we’re located, so we have four offices with this being our main one here in the Huntsville area. And then we have one in South Alabama in the Mobile area. And then Pensacola in Tampa is our newest which is talking about.
Lauren: So of course commercial is huge everywhere we’re at but we mainly do commercial here. We’re kind of growing in other markets with commercial as well. But this is our 11th year being in business, which is crazy.
Lauren: Thank you. And I used to say if you had asked me 10 years ago, but now I have to say longer than that. You know if you would have told me 12 years ago that I’d be working with my husband I would probably We told you you’re crazy, because you know, it hasn’t wide dynamic can sometimes be hard. But we, we’ve really learned to have a good balance. He has the things he handles, and I have the things that I handle and we can meet back in the middle, you know, on the big things. So it’s worked out really well that has formed.
Megan: Yeah, yeah. So let me ask you this. I wonder there’s a couple of things that you brought up. So I love how, number one the opportunity that you had, as an intern kind of opened your eyes to an industry that you probably never thought going from dance right? Roofing.
Lauren: Like you said, I always thought I was gonna go to the studio, you know, like, that was what I always thought so yeah.
Megan: Fascinating. So kudos to companies who offer internships. Yeah. And allows you to kind of get that. Yeah, gives you exposure to an industry that you wouldn’t think about. So did you? So did you go to college for this?
Lauren: No. So I did not.
Megan: So I love that. Yeah, even more, because we were talking about this as well, that college is not for everybody. Yeah, that hands on experience that you can get at an early age. Right? Even, you know, being a mom. Yeah, very young age and can do that. So talk to us a little about that.
Lauren: Yeah, so um, so of course, when my daughter was born, it changed everything, you know, you’re thinking about college, but, but truth be told her I didn’t really have a true direction. You know, I thought about what love to own in the studio, but I didn’t really have like a true calling of what I thought I was gonna do. And then she came along, and I was like, Well, I guess the Lord knew that. That was how my life was gonna go.
So when I, you know, it was out of necessity I needed to provide for her, you know, I wanted to have a home for her. And I just wanted to prove that I could do it, you know, you know, there’s a lot of, it’s not the ideal situation, you know, but I was, I was bound and determined to prove myself. And so when I got that opportunity for that job, I was like, what this is, it was just huge to me, because I really needed it at the time. But it was also something that I was interested in, knew a little bit about.
And so my boss there, she was tough. She’s a tough lady. But I’m forever thankful to her for that. Because I think that it was her toughness that showed me I could do it. Yeah. I can learn hard things. I can do hard things. And she did not give me any slack. So I love that though. I think that really shows me that. And I do. Yes, yeah, I do use that to draw and learn from her. I also learned a lot from just dance, but the way that the owners ran their business, they were a partnership. They’re still going strong today. So a lot of my business understanding came from them. But yeah, college just wasn’t in the cards for me. And I always thought that I might go back. But once I started down this trajectory, yeah, it just wasn’t really necessary. And so I did simultaneously, while I was working there, I taught dance as well, because it was just part of, you know, what I love to do so. So I still continued with that. But then after a while, and my husband and I got married, we decided that I would stay home with the kids for a little while. So I got to do that. And that was something that I also always wanted to do was be able to be a stay at home mom and I enjoyed my time as a stay at home mom, but I don’t think that I could go back and do it now. Because that is the hardest job on Earth. It’s definitely very, very hard job. So. So when my husband decided, you know, it was try this, of course, with our life savings into it. And I was like, Well, I’m not gonna put our life savings into something that I’m not going to help you with. So I just kind of jumped in headfirst with them. And I didn’t know anything about running a business. You know, I knew some things about building from my past. And so yeah, we just jumped in headfirst. And so college never really came back around, I guess, just by design.
Megan: So there’s so many different certifications, right? Things like that, that are very niche in your area that you need, you know, what talk about some of those.
Lauren: So yeah, I started out getting our homebuilders license, so we could do a little bit bigger jobs. And the way we started out with new construction, because there’s so many builders around here, so much new construction going on. The licensing was not really necessarily an issue at the time, because you were working under somebody else. But you know, as we grew, we want to do bigger jobs. And so, you know, it was up to me to research, you know, how do we get the proper licensing and position ourselves to be able to do that. So it started with the home builders license. So I went took that test and passed it and I was like, okay, I can do this, you know, it is nerve racking, but, you know, got through the first one, and then we’re like, we really need a general contractor’s license to be able to make that next jump. So that was my next big hurdle to get over.
So when I got my general contractor’s license of prep work like for something it is a lot of studying it is an open book test. But as we all know that MCQ test you have to know
Megan: It’s harder.
Lauren:Yeah, yes, you have to know exactly where that one sentence is.
Lauren: You have to answer the question exactly as they’re asking.
Megan: The comprehension aspect of it too, you know, versus critical.
Lauren: Yes. And those tests are normally six to eight hours. Yeah.
Megan: Holy cow.
Lauren: So it’s actually hilarious because you have all these books. So you know, some people bring them in crates, but I loaded them up in a suitcase. Just rolled them in. So the test Proctor, you know, it was like, this is interesting. But um, so, you know, I just roll my suitcase in and take my test. And but it was, it was a very nerve wracking process. And when you know that there’s your business is riding on this, like, yeah, it is up to me to get it right, you know, because my husband was, you know, just busy on the field, and not that I wasn’t busy, but it was something that I felt like I could take on. And so that kind of propelled us into being really pushing that woman out, because he’s like, you know why women need to understand that they can do this, and there’s a space here for women.
Megan: I love that your husband is being like that.
Lauren: He really is. He is very empowering to me. And, you know, whenever I’m feeling discouraged, he’s the one that like, you can do this. There is a space for women here and you need to, you know, buckle up, saddle up. And, and so he, you know, he gives me the courage and the power to do that. So, yeah, so we did the Alabama contractor’s license, got that. And then we expanded into Florida. And Florida is a very hard state to get anything done in.
Megan: Tampa, Lauren and I have talked about, you know, they started an office there.
Lauren: Just recently, yeah, yeah.
Megan: Recently. Yeah. You know, still has that new office smell.
Megan: Yeah, that’s my hometown. Yeah. So I’m like, Oh, my God. Yeah. So why Florida,
Lauren: Florida. So my husband is actually from Florida. He’s from Pensacola. So you know, just the relationships that we have there, it was just a natural progression that go go on in that direction. And then Tampa, we just heard was a really good market, we, you know, try to kind of take the word from our suppliers, manufacturers, you know, and just kind of listen to what’s out there, and what areas are really growing and have a need for it. So Tampa was just like the next natural progression. We had some contacts down there. And so we’re like, well, you know, all we can do is try and it’s gone really well. We were talking about before spring break, that’s where we got to go. And I do really love to go really know about the markets that we’re in and visit them and really try to look at it from the perspective of somebody that lives there, you know, know, the lay of the land, so to speak, and understand what’s in the area. So we pride ourselves in being truly a part of the communities that we have offices in, you know.
Megan: That’s important.
Lauren: It’s very important. And each, each market has so much to offer. It’s a lot of fun.
Megan: Yeah, it does. It does. Yeah. So let’s go back to just hearing a little bit about your story as not only an entrepreneur and kind of joining forces with your husband but starting that business when you guys did. Did your husband have any experience in running a business previously?
Megan: Or sort of talk through some maybe some of the challenges that you guys dealt with when you were getting going, And like, ‘had I known back then’–
Lauren: Right, you know, there’s so many of those. So, it’s funny, so neither one of us have a college education. However, he did go to college for computer, but nothing business. So both of us had to navigate this together. But we both kind of had a vision of what it looked like, to a certain degree of, we wanted to change the paradigm of what Roofing Contractors look like. And so, right after we right around the time we opened, the big tornadoes hit in our area, you know, so you had a lot of roofing companies come in and trying to capitalize on that. And there was a negative connotation associated with that. And we were like, we looked at that situation, we were like, we want to change this, we want this to be a different thing, you know, offer something different to people, because not only are people trusting you with their homes, you know, that they’re trusting you with their livelihoods, which, you know, that is their biggest asset outside of our kids and our family.
Megan: Well, and when, you know, those are not typically topics that a lot of people have knowledge on and right to be able to. So you put a lot of trust in someone like that, that they’re going to do like to be done.
Megan: You know, and then in you hear some of these lawsuits around construction projects that weren’t built to code? And, you know, thankfully, nowhere around here.
Lauren: Yeah, but I mean, it yeah, there’s so many things that can happen. And there are bad contractors out there that do take advantage of people. I think the thing too, about roofing is, is that you need it when you need it. So sometimes you don’t have time to run around and do all this research on different companies because you’ve got to have got to have the roof, you know, you can’t have rain pouring into your house. So both of us kind of navigated it from a perspective of, you know, my experience was just seeing, like I said, how the dance company business owners Beth and Julie ran their business and, and they always ran it from a point of just trying to offer really good product and really good service to people that you know, they were not going to change anything about who they were they were going to stay true to who they were and so that’s that’s how Terry and I kind of approached it. We wanted to stay true to our values, we wanted to offer value to people.
And you know, so it evolved from there as far as you know, at what our model how we modeled ourselves. I always joke that too, like, I didn’t know anything about QuickBooks, and I kind of handle more the accounting and the financial stuff. So here I was, I’ve been a stay at home mom, I did have some construction knowledge. But as far as like starting from the ground up, and really being able to, you know, outside of just like, hey, we had this office space, we have these computers, we have this program, and I don’t know how to use it.
Megan: So you were self taught.
Lauren: I was self taught. Yes. And thank goodness for all the resources that we have here. So somebody and I can’t remember who it was, but somebody was like, you really need to reach out to the Chamber of Commerce. So they have some classes. And I literally took accounting classes and Quickbook classes there at the Huntsville, yes, at the Huntsville. And so I talk a lot, and I’m on the board of the chamber and the Athens Limestone. And so I do I do bring that up a lot. Because these resources that are offered in the community are huge. And without them, we would not be where we are today.
So yeah, I think that, you know, just our business knowledge has come from the motivation of in our business plans that come from the motivation of really wanting to offer this product, this turnkey service to people that’s dependable, that they know when they call us that we’re going to be there, we’re not going to be gone tomorrow. And that we can offer that to our communities. So that’s been really important to us.
Lauren: So that motivates us. Yeah. You know, of course, there are a lot of mistakes made along the way. And you learned so much, right. Right. And it’s the same whether you’re a business owner, you work for somebody, you know, no matter what, there’s mistakes that can go into come across, but the best thing that you can do is just learn from them and move forward. And so that’s always been our goal is just to learn from whatever mistakes and we both say to each other. Anytime something happens, you know, there’s a mistake, or we’re like, oh, man, I wish we would have done this differently. On the other side of it, we’re always getting better and maybe stressful trying to navigate through it. But we’re always so much better on the other side of it. So we value those things, though. Nobody wants to make mistakes, or nobody wants to have challenges. They are valued, because we learned so much from them.
Megan: Absolutely. I completely agree. Yeah. And I think that there’s a lot to be said about what your kids see from that, too. Yes. Well, we talked about this a little bit earlier, but you have five kids or four. Yeah, and one of which Lily grace, the oldest yet is, you know, works with the eyes now. So I’d love to hear from a perspective of being a mom and seeing the experience of watching you and Terry kind of go through this because, like, my kids are the same. They’ve seen the good, the bad. Yeah, yeah. And there’s a lot of, you know, I hear a lot of them around that question of like, how’s your house? The work life balance? Yeah. What is that about? Balance? I think it’s just all in one. Yeah, just kind of deal. So tell a little bit about how your family supports them.
Lauren: Yeah, So um, you know, there were plenty of times that like it was spring break, and we, my kids had to understand that we’re not going to spring break, because I’ve got to work. You know, we’ve got things that need to get done. And so So yeah, Lily Grace joined us. And she, when she came to us, she was like, you know, I’m really not feeling the college scene, like we toured some colleges. And she just really wasn’t feeling it. We always told our kids like, if you have a plan, we will support that. We don’t expect that. That’s like the number one thing is you have to go to college. But if you have a plan, don’t come to us and say we’re not going to go to college, but have no idea what we’re gonna do not gonna stay here. Yeah. Yeah, you’re just gonna like figure it out as you go. That’s different. But so she purchased about that. And she was like, you know, I think I really want to work with y’all and maybe get my license one day. And I was like, I think that’s a fantastic idea. So she’d actually been doing the online school. So she still cheered at her high school, but it worked out really well. Because I was able to go ahead and bring her on in and let her just kind of sit around it and listen to it. So she’d do her schoolwork at work with me. And then then I give her little things here and there. And she decided she really liked it. So. So she’s been with us now for two years. And so yeah, she’s just learning the ropes. And so I’ve just kind of tried to work her through, like all aspects of the business. And I have a syllabus, which she loves. She loves when I bring the syllabus.
Megan: So what is that?
Lauren: I know so what is Yeah, so I actually just drew on it from some of the business books that I have. And then some of the things that like just each department that we have at work, I’ve just kind of made a syllabus for each one self make, like right now she’s been sitting with our human resources manager and kind of learning all the aspects about managing that. She learned how to manage, you know, like orders, purchase orders, entering a bill, you know, just those simple basic business things, but every time I bring the syllabus out she’s like, great. She’s very good sport with it, but
Megan: I love that you document processes. Yeah, you got to train people, bring them on board.
Lauren: Exactly. And it has helped from that aspect to just having that framework to pull from you know, and make it easier for training. So I didn’t know well, wasn’t making the syllabus for her though. It was kind of needing to create a little more framework for training?
Megan: Yeah, I bet that helped you kind of think through ways to craft it. Yeah, for sure. And maybe that doesn’t have the Working Knowledge. Exactly. Like how can we position this in a way that…
Lauren: Yeah. And you know, that’s something that you forget, once you get like, I was very green, when we started this, I didn’t know what I didn’t know, you know, and you often forget that once you kind of get get rolling, and you get in a groove, and you hire new people that, you know, just the, just the vernacular, I guess, you know, all the construction terms, you know, and understanding that, and I have to remember that. And so, when you think about it from perspective of, you know, you’re grooming this person to help kind of bring your business, you kind of think of it from a different way. So it really has helped with kind of going back to the very basics and building that foundation from there.
So, so yeah, she’s joined us, my, my other two sons, they, so have one that’s like, I do not want to enter business I do not. Like that is not for me, like, I see the stress. And you know, the stress that you guys go through, which is a stressful job, it can be very stressful construction is very fast paced, so it can be stressful. So he’s seen them for him. He’s like, my other son is kind of interested, but he’s not sure if construction will be the way he go. But he’s kind of interested in in business. So it’s just interesting to kind of see how they view it differently. And they’ve all kind of had to grow up with us. And at the time, my youngest son was two and we started this. So he’s really kind of grown up through that. And, you know, I would take them to work with me, and they’d have to sit in the office with me and entertain themselves, like at work at times. And, you know, I think that’s really shaped them. But it’s just interesting to see how some, you know, I got one that’s like, Absolutely, yeah. And and then the other day, like, yeah, we want to, you know, we want to do this thing.
Megan: So what a great opportunity for them to get exposure at a young age, just to – just to what is out there? Yeah, you know what I mean, and if you guys weren’t so involved in it and talking about it all the time, you know, that experience will be very different.
Lauren: Right? Oh, right.
Megan: And I love the fact that, you know, like, as you mentioned earlier that Terry’s a big champion for women in this space, too, which is awesome. And that’s great to see.
Lauren: Yeah, he, yeah, he really is. And he’s championed her as well. And you know, when she says she’s like, I think that’s a fantastic idea, you know, and he’s been all on board with it. So I’m really thankful for that, too. Because I think this statistic is like 14% of the construction industry is women. Only 14%. Now, that is a very small number. Yeah. And women do have a lot to offer in this space. I feel like so
Megan: any any reason as to why that is, why do you think that is?
Lauren: Well? Yeah, there are – Well, I will say this, you know, a lot of the times people think, will ask me ‘Oh, so you work for your husband?’ You know, I still to this day, get that? Yeah. You know, we have really made a big push, you know, I wasn’t, I don’t always love to, like, put myself out there. You know what I mean? Like nobody, I don’t always like, love to hear my own voice and things like that. But he’s been the one that’s really pushed me to be like, you’ve got to get out there and say this when I would come on and complain, like, do you know, they said, Do you know, do you work for your husband?
You know, he’d be like, well, the only way to change that is really educate people that we are woman owned. Yeah. And I’m like, You know what, you’re right for me.
Lauren: And I do say, actually, he works for me. But he was that, you know, he really, he really loves that. And I think that we both kind of like the idea of being spearheading something in our industry. And he enjoys that just as much as I do. So we’re able to support each other in that way. So it’s really, it’s really cool. So we’ve kind of drawn on that whole bias as kind of our driving principles of like marketing, and really putting it out there and really creating an awareness.
Lauren: You know, but I do think that it is just an expectation that we as a society, you just viewed instruction kind of more as male dominated. I actually had somebody is a professional, male that was doing some work for us. And he kept saying, Well, I really need to talk to your husband about this. And I finally was like, I’m the one that handles the server business, you’re not going to talk to my husband about it. And he wasn’t really too happy about it. So we quit using that professional for what we needed. And I was just like, you know, you can’t align with this. Not that it’s all or nothing. But if you can’t respect absolutely me and my space, you know, I think that that can be a problem, though, where it’s people sometimes will be like ‘Where’s your husband at? And let’s talk to him about it.’
Most people normally back down pretty quickly when I’m like, well, I’m the pesident and I can answer all the questions that you have. You know, they do tend to back down and respect that. But yeah, I think it is just that bias in the expectation that it has just traditionally been a male dominated industry and women. It is hard for a woman in this industry because of those expectations. But I think just the competence level of women versus men and just the way we approach things, makes it a little bit harder for women to come into it because just the purchase of different it is a very aggressive industry. You know, and women are not traditionally as aggressive In a lot of ways as men, but we are in in other ways.
And so I think that, that’s what my husband’s really seen, he’s like, where you’re aggressive, I kind of pull back and vice versa. So that’s how we really play off of each other. And that’s where I think women really do have a place in this industry. And as far as like nurturing too, there are a lot of safety issues in our industry, there’s a lot of accidents that happen in our industry, there’s been a few this year in this area, and every time I hear one, it just reminds me to go back and make sure that we’re doing everything that we can, but that is where I think women in the nurturing side of us that we really care about the people, we want everybody to be saved and taking well taken care of. That’s a that’s a space, I think, for women that can really help in this industry, you know, really, like not making all about let’s get everything done today or yesterday, you know, obviously, everything needs to be done yesterday. That’s always my job. But But I think, you know, women saying no, let’s slow down and take the time to make sure we do this, right. And I find myself saying that often. Because, you know, sometimes it’s like, let’s make sure we’re settling, and let’s make sure we’re doing all these things. But I’m like, let’s step back for a minute and make sure that our processes are perfect, right, let’s step back for a minute and make sure that our safety is perfect. You know, so that’s where I kind of slow everybody down to a certain level. And I’m like, Are we doing the right thing? Right, you know, to ask him those questions. So that’s where I think women really have a place here and, and are having very important role and just kind of balancing out that your masculinity to really make sure that the people are taking care of.
Megan: Absolutely. It’s an I would imagine that’s something that unfortunately, falls by the wayside because of the demands of the construction industry. Yeah. With shortage of raw materials, yeah, highs and all sorts of stuff. So a lot of that I would imagine those things to sort of, you know, go
Lauren: Yeah, it can at times, you know, and it’s easy in the construction industry to just – like, you say everything happens so quickly, just to try to get through motions to meet that deadline that it is very important to have that time to sit back and wait, our safety protocols, the best that they can be. So yeah, that’s a huge, that’s a huge thing in our industry.
Megan: I can see that. Yeah. So I don’t want to spend too, too much time on this. But I’m just curious, because you guys have been in business for 11 years and a big, there was a moment that happened in that timeframe called the pandemic. Yeah, that just I’m curious how that, how that impacted you all, if you’re still sort of, you know, recovering from some of that what you see from your perspective in this space as far as the impacts and how that’s changed things.
Lauren: So for us, the the positive side of the pandemic for us is that we were in the industries that were allowed to continue, you know, we were still open, we were still playing. Yeah, yeah, we were not canceled, you know, we had to learn how to navigate those things. But for us, you know, it was very interesting, because we actually were the busiest that we had ever been, which is crazy to say, home projects. And yet, that is really what happened is that it wasn’t at home, we were like, Oh, my goodness, I gotta fix this or fix that. So yeah, a lot of remodeling projects, and or they decided I want to build a whole new house, you know what I mean, like, so I really think that helped the building industry. And a lot of ways now, where we were met with challenges, were definitely with materials, labor shortages, navigating those things, because now the demand has increased. But we’re having a hard time with navigating getting all the materials, we need to actually meet that demand. So we had to get pretty resourceful as far as really go into our manufacturers going to our suppliers and saying, like, we need to know how much you’re gonna be able to, to supply us with so that we can plan ahead, because we don’t want, we don’t want to get out there and make promises that we can’t keep. So that was kind of an important thing for us was to really align with our manufacturers and suppliers and make sure that those relationships were strong enough to ensure that we were able to get the materials that we needed. And same thing with labor, you know, made sure that our labor was going to be dependable, you know, that they weren’t going to move off somewhere else, because they think that there’s better opportunities elsewhere. And, and I think that we’re really blessed with where we live to, because, you know, the areas that we’re in, don’t slow down normally. There’s always jobs come in here. So yeah, those people need houses to be a little Yeah, we’re kind of a little bit of a bubble. So it didn’t really change a lot of how we approach things as far as making sure ahead of time that we have what we need to do these jobs. And whereas before, you know, it wasn’t an issue, so but yeah, we were very busy. Very busy, which, which was very interesting. So yeah, you know, when you’re sitting here and you’re watching and stocks drop, and everything seems like it’s falling apart, and there was that day that I was like, I don’t know if we’re gonna make it out of this. But then the phone kept ringing and ringing ringing so I think like you say, everybody was sitting at home and like, we got to fix this or we need to build something new and that’s kind of what happened.
Megan: You guys didn’t have to let anybody go or anything.
Lauren: No, we did not have to and in fact, we ended up having to hire more people, which was a good thing too, because people needed those needed those jobs as well. So, so yeah, we felt like we were really, really lucky in that regard.
Megan: I know, yeah. Well, you know, and it just it almost, I would imagine that to a lot of people, it kind of made them do a little bit of a reset on what they’re doing and why they’re doing it. Right. How can you be apart? You know, if you’re not, how can you be in an industry that’s going to survive? Some of these tumultuous things that frankly, you just can’t really anticipate? You know, I don’t know that anybody anticipated that happening.
Lauren: No, none of us did. Yeah, we certainly did learn a lot from it. We did. Yes, we did.
Megan: So switching gears a little bit. I want to kind of talk to you is about a mom. Yeah. You know, so being a mom and having kids and being a working mom and yeah, of things that you’ve done? How, how do you kind of keep yourself grounded and ensure that your kids are straight and narrow? And honestly, personally owning a business? And you know that that’s really hard? It is really hard? The Balancing Act and making sure you’re present? You’re there yet? You’re still? How do you? How do you kind of draw at all?
Lauren: That’s a great question. So with four kids, ranging all the way from 20 to age six, you know, that can be a challenge, I am lucky in the fact that my 20 year old is very helpful as she can drive, so she does help me out a lot that my husband, I both along with her, we just try, we try to tackle it all three together, now that she’s at that age, and she can help before she was at the age, my husband, I still try to tackle it together. But it can often mean, the good thing about owning your own business is you can kind of make your own hours, but they are driven by your customers as well. But what I’ve been able to find is that I can get a lot done while they’re at school, and still be at the baseball field. And if I’ve got to finish up at night, and you know, have some late nights, sometimes that’s just what it takes. And I’m willing to do that. So the backhand, keep that balance and make sure that they’re for baseball games on there for you to take my youngest acquire, she loves to go to choir at church and in there for her and she also has special needs. So it requires a lot of doctor’s appointments, you know, and taking her therapies and things like that. And so, you know, I may just take my computer with me while she’s at therapy and knock stuff out while I’m sitting in the car. And I think that as moms and entrepreneurs, we just kind of learn to be resourceful like that we just were with what we got, whether our office is our car for the day, or if it’s like, you get email from the phone, you know, or you’re watching a baseball game or Yeah, you know, that’s just kind of how I try to balance it just find, find the times where I can to knock stuff out. And I’m a big believer in time blocking and, you know, trying to batch everything that I can like things together. So that was really helped me with just being efficient as you know, as a mom and as a business woman.
Megan: So I’m curious. Yeah, tell me about your time blocking. Okay, so how do you kind of manage it, like what is your management of your time look like on a weekday,
Lauren: Because I, you know, read so many books about it, but a few things that really, really resonated with me was like having certain days that you do things, you know, so, you know, I’m always trying to look at bills, what do we owe people on Mondays? Or, you know, I’m trying to look at what we need, what is being received on like, Tuesdays or whatever. So, you know, I have certain days that are devoted to certain things and that way, I know those tasks are getting in and every week because, like we say, with, with the building industry, in any any industry, especially for a business owner, you’re going so fast that things can easily fall by the wayside.
So I found that having themed days of certain things that I tackle, you know, every Monday I know I’m going to do this, this and this and every Tuesday same thing, you know, reviewing contracts or looking through you know, what customers do we need to go back and talk to again, make sure we’re getting paid what do I need to do with licenses? Is it time to renew things do we need to add to our licenses so you know, I just have different days that I look at all those things so I came up with a theme days and I can’t remember who it was that what that was from but that was revolutionary for me just to make sure that I was consistently tackling everything that needed to get done yeah. And then also like things together so you know if as long as it’s not pressing, you know, I’ll stick it in a folder for like the next week when I touch on that again.
I’m also a big believer in trying to touch things the minimal amount, you know, that you can so like try to touch things only once or twice, get it knocked out before you instead of just letting it sit there and maybe you pick it up look at it put it down and you know what I mean with it?
Megan: I don’t know.
Lauren: Yeah, like I don’t really think about this right now. But I’m a big believer in trying to touch things the least amount of times that you can to try to get it knocked out so that’s kind of those are a few of my little my little hacks for trying to get things knocked out.
Megan: Okay, any any productivity or time blocking books that you would recommend?
Lauren: Um, let’s see. I think we I think The 80/20 – that was a really good one for me. Also, the the Miracle Morning was a great one to to kind of get your day start because I do think that it’s super important to like, get yourself centered and grounded like At the beginning of the day, so I have a morning ritual and routine that I try to go through just to kind of make sure that my brain is ready for, you know, the day ahead. I think we all need to kind of do that.
Megan: What’s the one thing you do not skip on?
Lauren: I do not. I try to never skip on reading the Bible. So I’ve read through the Bible, this is probably my fifth year to read through it completely. So I just use the Bible app and because me, but I tried to make sure that that’s the one thing that I do every single day. And take my vitamins, because we all need our energy. When you get your energy from the Bible, from your spiritual, physical energy, and, and I love to try to move in the mornings, it doesn’t always happen. But if I can squeeze some yoga in, and I’d love to try to do that, but if I can’t, I try to squeeze it in the afternoon. But I do think movement is super important. Just to get your get your blood flowing and stretching and all that kind of stuff. So yeah, that’s kind of like my morning ritual tried never skipped.
Megan: I love that.
Lauren: Yeah, that.
Megan: Okay, so I’ve got one last question. So when you think about Lily Grace, for example, and you even think about, you know, your your younger kids, knowing now what you know, and kind of going into an industry that you are a minority for sure. Right. And are probably still questioned in your ability. Yeah. Simple fact of the as you’re a woman. Yeah. What are some of the what are some of those pieces of advice? Looking at your kids to say, Yeah, knowing now what I know.
Lauren: The biggest thing I like to say is, don’t take no for an answer. You know what I mean, like figure out, and I don’t mean that, you know, like, plow over people and (laughs). But it’s just that resourcefulness. Like if you if you come to a point where no is said to you, but you really know that this is part of your goal, figure out how to turn it into a yes. What do I need to do to turn this into a yes, study up on that. And I think that that’s important because road blocks can be debilitating to people at times. But I think that it’s, it’s what you can do with those roadblocks to get them out of your way, you know, what, what can I do to wiggle around it or, you know, maybe you do have to blast through it, and, you know, whatever it may be. But that’s always been a big thing for me. And that hard work, you know, hard work always does pay off, nothing’s gonna be handed to you.
Nothing has been handed to me, you know, everything that we have is built on our own sweat equity, you know, so to speak.
So, you know, don’t expect that you’re ever going to be handed anything, but you are going to have to put in that work if you want to have the life that you want to live. And that’s my other thing, too, that I always tell them. I think a lot of emphasis is always put on, like, what do you want to be when you grow up and all these dreams that you have? Because, you know, like I said, being a roofer wasn’t necessarily my dream as a little girl, but but having a certain lifestyle and, and what I wanted to be able to provide for my family was always in the back of my mind. So what profession will help you get to the lifestyle that you want to have? You know, how much do you really want to work? How much do you want to depend on others? Or how much do you want to depend on yourself? And so I think that that’s a really important thing to think about, what kind of life do I want to live versus just what do I want to do? Because, you know, we romanticize these, all these jobs. And then sometimes when you get to it, it’s like, well, this is not as great as I thought it was gonna be. And I think we see a lot of people pivot, you know, because maybe what they thought they wanted to do, really wasn’t what they wanted to do.
So I always tell my kids, like, think about the lifestyle that you want to have, you might want to have a life like the one that we lead, and great, you know, these are the things you can do to get that — you may want to do something different, like my son, that is like ‘no business.’ He’s more wants to be a doctor. So that’s kind of the path that he wants to take, which my sister’s a doctor. So, you know, he has that resource to kind of like, ‘what is your life like?’ and he sees it through her eyes, you know? So I think that that’s very important, you know, what kind of life do you want to have?
Megan: Well, I love that. I love that, that sort of prompt delivered in that way. Yeah, it’s about the lifestyle that you want to live not what label or what job you think you want to do. Because right, having having those values are transferable, regardless of industry that you’re in.
Lauren: Exactly, exactly.
Megan: I mean, if it’s roofing or if it’s baking, or if it’s medical, you know, going into the medical field. I mean, as long as you’re true to your values of what you know, you want in the family that you want to create, you can kind of build your wealth around that a little bit.
Lauren: Yeah. And I think it gives you that flexibility to really find what you love, you know, and enjoy what you do. I love I love getting up and going to work every morning and trying to make a difference, you know, in this industry and trying to try to pave the way for women in this industry. And that’s kind of become you know, my M.O. in life is just to you know, my goal in life and it’s not just a job anymore for me. That is a true purpose. So um, you know, for me, and I think all of us moms, we want our kids to find their true purpose. Yeah. You know, that’s just what I hope for them.
Megan: I love that and that you’re paving the way for women in construction.
Megan: Watch out! Yeah, that’s right. I love it! Well, congratulations to you!
Lauren: Thank you so much.
Megan: I’m excited to see what the next 10 years brings to you guys.
Lauren: I can’t wait to see either.
Megan: So you’ll start with Tampa and in, a couple years you’ll just be scattered throughout southeast.
Lauren: Yes. Right. Yeah, that’s that is actually one of our bigger goals is just to be like one of the biggest roofing and siding suppliers and product suppliers and in the southeast, you know, so hopefully that that’s awesome. You know, hopefully I can come back in a few years and say we’re the biggest one. Yeah, thank you.
Megan: Well, you heard it here first.
Lauren:Yeah, that’s right.
Megan: Thank you so much, Lauren
Lauren: Yeah. Thank you so much for having me here.
Megan. And again, paving the way for women. I love that and Terry as well to support that Yeah. to, to kind of propel that flame on is amazing.
Lauren: Yeah, he’s awesome. Yeah. Thanks for having me.
Megan: Thank you guys for joining us!