Hardware Retailing

MAY 2018

Hardware Retailing magazine is the pre-eminent how-to management magazine for small business owners and managers in the home improvement retailing industry.

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HARDWARE RETAILING | May 2018 134 On top of reading and watching videos, they learned through trial and error, gaining hands-on experience by tackling home improvement projects. "Before we installed bamboo floors in my house, I had a lot to learn," Starsiak Hawk says. "Together we took on the project, and while we made mistakes, we did it ourselves and learned a lot in the process." Another project they decided to tackle was installing cabinets in a kitchen. Since neither of them had done a project like that before, they researched before and during the project, making a point to double check their work every step of the way. "When we installed kitchen cabinets, we knew they needed to be level, plumb and square," Laine says. "A kitchen installer would usually only take a day to install kitchen cabinets. We wanted to take our time, and kept a close eye on our measurements. Later on, the cabinet installers came with their laser measure and asked us who installed our cabinets. When we told them we did, they let us know it was the best cabinet install job they'd ever seen. That was such a great feeling." In addition to being self-taught rehabbers, the duo says they turn to their local independent hardware store, Fusek's True Value Hardware. "We try to shop and support independent businesses wherever and whenever we can," Starsiak Hawk says. "For many things we need, we'll go to Fusek's. I know when I call them I'll get someone who knows me. When I call a big-box store, I'm often bounced around from person to person." The relationship with the team at their local hardware store gives them access to educated people who can help them work through a problem or remodeling question. "I let them know what I need and they'll find it for me. If I can get there by 4 to 6 p.m., I'll get the happy hour 10 percent discount that customers get on weekdays," Laine says. "If they don't have it but they can order it, they will, which is great. Plus, they're full of really good advice. If I'm working on a project, I never hesitate to tell them what I'm working on." To stay on top of all the projects they have going on, from their hit TV show to the homes they're rehabbing, having a hardware source to help is huge. In season two, episode three of "Good Bones," Laine and Starsiak Hawk purchased this four-bedroom, four-bath, 4,300-square-foot house, which included a third-floor attic with useable space for a large bonus room. On the left is how the property looked before its transformation. " Being in a family business also means taking issues from a normal family dynamic and putting it in a pressure cooker. Instead of going our separate ways, we stay professional and fix issues much faster. " —Karen E Laine, "Good Bones"

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