In 1985, after graduating from college and on my way to law school, I made a detour and joined my stepfather in a small countertop and cabinetmaking business in Brooklyn, New York (est. 1956). I remember the first day of work like it was yesterday. After 4 years of books, finals, tests and professors-the first task assigned to me was to wrap a set of cabinets and countertops that I had built and get them ready to ship. My next assignment –drive the truck into Williamsburg to deliver the tops-then back to the shop that afternoon to sweep up before calling it a day. I remember getting home at 5 and being asleep that night by 6- that one day seemed like more work to me than the entire collective of my college career. In the four years to come, I would learn how to make cabinets, design kitchens, sell renovations, make a payroll, collect receivables and basically get more of an education in business than all my college courses combined (and I attended a top 25 business school!)
But in May of 1989, my life and the lives of my family changed when my stepfather, on the fishing trip of his life, lost his life in a boating accident off the coast of Costa Rica. Over the course of the next three years, my mother (she runs our New York City showroom) and I began the emotional and arduous task of rebuilding our company into viable business. In 1992, we were ready to make the next investment in our business-our first showroom in New York City. A staggeringly large leap of faith given our circumstances, just three years before-but it was successful beyond our wildest expectations. Through our tremendous effort and long hours (as any business owner knows )- we have built The Renovated Home, into one of the premiere design/build firms in New York City.
Even with our years of previous experience in Brooklyn, the outer boroughs and Long Island, our entrance into the Manhattan Marketplace was something completely new to us at the time. What it has taught me is really quite simple: that the clientele were far more demanding, the conditions of working in a Manhattan Co-op far less casual than anything that someone without the Manhattan experience is used to and the ability to commit on time and deliver that product-would be the cornerstone of the building of our business.
30 years and over 1000 projects completed projects (and counting) later, we certainly have developed a reputation of honesty, reliability, expertise in design and planning- and most importantly commitment to our clients' needs. Our business was built on the recommendations of our satisfied clientele and it is to them, that we thank for their help in spreading the word of our efforts and results. What we bring to the marketplace, and what sets us apart from our competitors is our simple formula for a successful project.
Toby and I have been at The Renovated Home every Monday thru Friday (nights and weekends too) since 1987, building our business into the firm it is today by taking a client step-by-step through the entire renovation process and by standing behind our work for as long as the client owns their home.
We live where we work and that takes an extra commitment we never take lightly. Our clients are our neighbors and, in many cases, they become our dear friends.
-Lee J. Stahl