Never-ending to-do lists, pointless meetings, co-workers who don’t care, new projects that seem destined for failure, unrelenting politics, lack of promotion or recognition of talent, a poor economy, weak job prospects, unreasonable bosses— and they all lead to fatigue, boredom, a lack of meaning and ultimately burnout. And they give you reasons and justifications for remaining stuck—some completely valid and some just excuses.
If your in this situation then we’re sorry for the pain you are feeling. We don’t have a magic bullet to solve your situation. But we do have Alexis Wood’s story to motivate and to inspire you to take yourself seriously and to live your life the way you want.
Even though Wood holds a Bachelors in criminal justice with a minor in law enforcement AND attended Kaplan University to get her Master’s degree in Psychology — and has a big interest for Psychology, somehow Alexis always felt as she was designed to be her own boss and to run a company on her own terms. The fact that Alexis Wood and her life partner were both working unfulfilling jobs that they truly didn’t enjoy doing, made them start a business together..
Base Painting LLC
Base Painting is a company that is family owned and operated business, that was started by Alexis Wood and her life life partner Eric Mitchell, back in 2014. When they first started their business Wood and her partner didn’t confidently know that it would soon turn into a successful business with a large clientele base.
They sort of thought it would a small time business that they do only part time and majority of the weekends. After applying marketing techniques and really putting business name out to the public, it soon turned into an overwhelming and chaotic entity that required much more of their time.
After using home advisor, and direct mail and email marketing, Base Painting soon became a lot busier than anyone had expected. It required Wood’s business partner and herself to limit their hours and even quit their 9-5 jobs. The couple were both anxious and happy at the same time, due to a spike in their revenue and Base Paiting business schedules.
A few years ago Wood simply had a dream to become a therapist she would have never in a million years imagine that she would be a painter and own her own painting company.
‘’Sometimes when I analyze my current career, is it truly breath taking and often still feels surreal.’’
Can you tell us what inspired you to start Base Painting LLC? What was going through your mind on that day?
What inspired me to start base painting was, the fact that we were both working unfulfilling jobs that we truly didn’t enjoy doing. I personally always felt as though I was designed to be my own boss and to run a company on my own terms. I enjoy being in control of my own destiny and doing something that entitles me to make my own schedule and have the ability to make appropriate changes when plan A is not working out. At previous jobs, I felt as though the rules were set and my opinion or ideas held no weight at all, even it if meant bettering the company or department as a whole. Here at base painting when we believe that a particular tactic or model isn’t successfully working for the company, my partner and I have the ability to change that and try a different avenue. Being able to make changes when I feel that they are beneficial gives me the feeling of freedom and dignity.
The day that we decided to start our own company, it gave me an amazing feeling. We started our painting business in May of 2014, in which it was not called Base Painting back then. We first went with the name E. Mitchell Painting. Business was extremely slow and we were barely even pulling in $200.00 a month. It was maybe about 1 year later when we changed our name to Base Painting, which is named after a in law of ours that past away around that time. Shortly after changing our name, our logo and our business plan, that is when things began to pick up and we were getting calls almost every week for jobs. At that time we were mainly relying on word of mouth and social media to market our business. It helped a lot, but as time went on we began to think of other business strategies that would ultimately bring us to the currently fast pace work environment that we adhere to now.
As a child, did you always dream about doing what you now find yourself doing?
As a child I was always a person who liked to live by my own rules and do things that others particularly didn’t care too much for. I used to do hair on the side after school and on the weekends for extra cash, I believe that I was always the type of person who enjoyed creating different avenues of income for myself. I wouldn’t say I projected that I would be a business owner of a painting company. I did however always have the feeling that I couldn’t be restricted to only working a 9-5 and not being the able to dictate my income. It wasn’t until I met Eric in 2013, that sparked my interest in home improvement. He taught me a lot and I became fascinated with the idea of being able to change the way my home or others homes looked in a matter of hours.
Now we know starting a business is not easy, can you tell us how you created the Base Painting LLC?
I would definitely say that being a business owner is very difficult at times, however it does has its perks and rewards, in which I believe overpowers the stress and confusion at times. We created Base Painting LLC in the comfort of our home. One night we were up late and decided that since we both had the drive and the talent to paint, why not get everything legalized and create the LLC. We then set aside some time and finances to pay for the LLC and to obtained the necessary licenses and appropriate business insurance that was needed to operate the business. We are currently licensed in the Philadelphia and surrounding county areas. After obtaining the paperwork and applying for the essentials, we then began to form a business plan on how we would market our business and how we would target the appropriate customers in our area. We were able to legalized everything for the business in a matter of a week. In which I found impressive. I also tell other aspiring business owners, that if I knew it would have been as simple as it was and inexpensive, I probably would have done it much sooner.
For a person that has never had anything painted, what would you recommend where to start with?
We often come across customers, who are getting their home painted for the first time, who particular those who are new home owners and want to personalize their space. We typically recommend that they start with color sampling which is a small sticker like item that can put on their wall to preview what the actual color would look like once its painted. Its cost effective and temporary. Typically, the wall samples are sold in Lowes or Home Depo and come in every color, that the paint is sold in.
I usually recommend this, because we have experienced a situation in the past, where a customer has picked out a color and was 100% sure about wanting that particular color on her walls, after painting, she didn’t like the color and thought that it was too dark, however she was satisfied with the quality of the paint job, just not the tone of the paint. She had realized that colors often look different on walls, than they do when on paper, so we suggested that she buy a few wall samples and stick them on her wall to see which color would be best and match with her furniture, after that suggestion she was able to pick out a better shade and was ultimately satisfied after we repainted her walls.
How do you keep up with your work as a mom and the founder of Base Painting LLC? How do you manage your workdays?
Keeping with up being a mom and the business, can be a tough task at times, the fact that I have such a great support system which is my family, it makes thing much easier. Eric is huge help, he is also the father of my children. We often flex our schedules and take turns attending to things that directly deals with our kids, such as appointments, homework and house work. There are some days when I am cooking dinner and in between writing contracts and taking calls from customers.
We often try to designate a day where one of us is doing all the estimates and contract writing and the other is solely focused on the task of our children and or household. There are days where I am truly overwhelmed with the work of the business and attending to the needs of my family. There are days I just want to sleep, as human being we all get tired. But I always remind myself that we have 2 children that are looking up to us and relying on us.
My goal is to create the type of opportunities for them, in which I never had. I want them to grow up and have the option of wanting to inherit our business if in fact that they feel the same as I did, which is not wanting to work for another person’s company. I don’t think that being an employee for another company is a negative thing, but I do feel as that that is not for everyone. Our 13 year has already been given the experience of painting, we have allowed him to help us at home when we painted our own home and he truly enjoyed it, hopefully he follows in our footsteps and decide to learn a trade in the field. We never force it on him, but we do in fact have often conversations with him about the benefits of having a trade and being able to make money and provide an awesome service when homeowners or businesses are in need of it.
What investment did you need to start Base Painting LLC?
To get our business started we didn’t particularly need an large investments, such as loans or a large amount of money. We began cut back on unnecessary shopping, in order to save money from our pay checks at the time, and then when we were able to reach our targeted amount that was needed, we executed our goal. I believe that we saved up about $800.00 to pay for the start up expenses and to open our business account. We did invest in a laptop, a printer, some t-shirts and business cards to help with marketing, but that was pretty much it. Eventually we do plan on opening up a store front, that will serve our customers and allow us to market our paint brushes.
What sacrifices have you had to make while building Base Painting LLC?
When becoming a business owner and you began to build your brand, there are many sacrifices that have to be made, some small and some on a larger scale. I like to elaborate and talk about my larger sacrifices, in which they have been loosing sleep, money and time with those you love. I typically don’t take many days off, I always answer my business calls or text, even when I have in bed, we have customers who text at late as 8pm- 9pm about our services and want to schedule appointments with us, I don’t ignore them or reject the call, I simply take it and provide the best customer service possible. I like to send a positive and welcoming feeling to our clientele, letting them know that we are always available and willing to help. When it comes to family events, we often have to miss them, because we have paint jobs or paperwork that is on a strict deadline and needs to be completed by a certain day or time, which can be at times devastating, but I often get the feeling that family friends understand that we are business owners and that our career entails a lot from us, our time, attention and our dedication and as long as they understand that is what matters the most. We do make time when we can for loved ones, but we are not always available because we have a brand that we are continuous building. I often like to look at brands or business, like an additional child, they need on going care and nurturing to be the best that they can.
Tell us about your proudest achievement?
I think my proudest achievement was being able to set a high standard for myself and not settle for anything and what I mean buy that is, often young mothers seem to believe that they cant do it all while being a parent. Mothers that I know personally, have cut their dreams and goals short, just because they felt as though their life was over after having a child(ren). I had my first child at 15 years old and even thought it was a scary experience and I was put in a tough position to grow up fast and before it was time too, I still strived to be the best I could all while being a great mother to my son. I still graduated high school, I went to grad school, I always landed a great paying jobs, I brought my first home before I was 26, and started a business before 30. I like to look at myself as a prime example of beating the odds and changing the statistic of a teen mom. My advice to younger females who have children or who are currently pregnant, is to never give up on your dream, keep pushing and striving for greatness. Your children are depending on you to pave the way for them and they should eb you greatness motivation to exceed and excel as a parent and as a successful adult.
Tell us about the paintbrush line that will support autism awareness?
I am currently working very closely with a manufacture and designer to create my own paint brush line. I cannot reveal the name yet, due to privacy and trademark planning, but I will mention that the brush line will be for commercial painting. I have already designed the logo for the brushes and the logo does in fact, incorporate a puzzle design that symbolizes Autism. I thought that combining my passion with my reality, was a prodigious combination and would ultimately bring a positive vibe to autism awareness movement. Being a parent of a child who suffers from Autism Spectrum Disorder, has open my mind and my heart on various levels. I think that educating the community on Autism and bringing awareness to as many individuals as I can, will make a huge difference in today’s society. My plans for the brush, is to also help support and donate a portion of the sales revenue to a local Autism foundation. Currently we have a campaign that has been ongoing for the Autism Speaks walk in which we have received several donations from friends and family in order to help fund the walk, to date we have raised $250.00 in the last 5-6 months. We also have personally donated some of our revenue from Base Painting to the walk as well. The brush line is expected to drop sometime next year, I do not have an exact date, because there are still something that I am working on to ensure that the brush and its design, meets my standards and expectations, but customers and supporters will definitely be kept up to date on everything in the meantime.
How do you make sure anyone can find Base Painting LLC
We have are currently using multiple avenues of marketing and advertisement, in such a way that almost anyone can find us. We have a Instagram page in which we can be found at Base__Painting, we have a Facebook page Base Painting LLC, our new website is up and running at www.BasePainting.org and we are also on yahoo, 100+ directories, local listings and soon we will be on Google and yp.com.