Shop Small ILM w/ Kates Eames from The Anchor Group Design & Build Episode #3

Thank you for tuning in to Shop Small ILM, where we showcase locally owned businesses from the Cape Fair Region. If you like what you hear, please subscribe. Leave us a rating and share with your friends. All right. Today on Shop Small iILM, we have Kate Eames with the Anchor Group, design and Build.

Kate, welcome to the podcast. Hi, good to be here. Thanks for coming. So we’ll just jump right into it. Tell us a little bit about the Anchor group. Sure. Well, the Anchor group just recently started this past summer in 2022. I have been a residential home builder for quite some time, and it has been eaten at me for a few years now to go out on my own.

Start my own company. So yeah, anchor Group started this past summer and the idea is to do presidential custom builds similar to what I was previously dealing with a previous employer. Right now, just to get out the gate, we’re doing some renovations and some remodel work. Okay. and new construction is coming up springtime of 2023.

Okay. All right. New construction sounds like it’s, it’s your passion, that’s what you really wanna say. Yes. Yeah. So I like anything construction, anything home building is my passion. I grew up watching this old house. Okay. And just was obsessed. I love everything about a home and what is awesome is most people live in houses so everyone can kind of relate or have some type of question about it.

So the more information and knowledge that I could to get on construction or a home building was just fascinating. So it’s always been a passion of mine. So I enjoy the remodels, I enjoy the renovation. It’s challenges, it’s problem solving. , which is all stuff I like. I don’t feel I could be as successful as I, as I would like to be if I did remodels and new construction because I do identify they’re two separate animals.

Yeah. So, New construction and is easier . Yes. So to go down that path is, is nice and it’s very rewarding. So yeah, new construction’s the goal. Okay. Yeah. Renovations, unfortunately, always uncovering what the last person might not have done exactly. Correctly. Yes. That, and it’s always challenging to ask clients for more money.

I mean, , I think in every industry in construction that becomes a challenge when you’ve already discussed price and then now you’re uncovering other things that you might have not forecasted for. So in new construction, I feel it’s a little easier to rip that bandaid off and have that discussion. Cuz typically it’s a change in their scope or the client’s adding something.

So it’s, it’s on them and renovation and remodel work, it’s we just uncovered your house kind of sucks. . Yeah. That’s, that’s never a fun conversation. Definitely not. So like your name says you do design and build. Kind of tell us what that looks like, what that process looks like when somebody comes to you for design and build services.

Sure. So it depends on the project and. in the, the scope of work that might be needed for that client Here in Wilmington, there’s a huge community with a lot of connections, so sometimes I have clients that have already done a lot of that upfront plan and ahead of it, where they already have a residential designer, they already have an interior designer or decorator or whoever they might be working with to use selections.

It’s a hat that I can wear where needed. So for remodel work, renovation work, I have no problems doing that design element. Okay. For residential home construction, I am not a home designer, so I can review plans and do some plan review and tell you what, what’s not gonna work. Yeah. I have a team of people that I would recommend that do residential architecture.

Okay. Work. And then same with the interior design. I feel I have a pretty keen. With my past experience, I can help guide okay. Clients with selections, but I’m not an interior designer, so understood. If I can’t wear that hat or if I don’t feel comfortable providing an opinion on what design element they’re trying to go towards, then I have the right resources to direct them and team to bring in.

And then same with the build. I’m a licensed engineer and a general contractor. . So when it comes to the build process that’s me. A hundred percent. Okay. So I might not be strapping the tool belt on, but I will facilitate that whole process. That’s awesome. I didn’t realize you were an engineer.

Yeah. That’s cool. Yeah. Some people see engineer and they think that I’m gonna do home design, so, but not, I get it. I used to do construction litigation for about 11 years or so and Okay. So I know how not to go to home. Yeah. and also how not to wear that engineer’s hat in the wrong location.

That’s one theme I’m seeing through the conversation so far is, as you know, what you’re good at. Mm-hmm. . And being from the construction industry myself, that’s an underrated quality. People think that they’re good at more things than they are and don’t focus on things, so yeah. Yeah. The fact that you’re focused and you know exactly what you’re good at and where you know where you need to tag in somebody else.

Yeah. A quality of a true profession. Oh, well, thank you, . I mean, I, I do treat instruction as a professional occupation, which as a, it’s as a, which I feel it is, and I wish more people had that same type of outlook or respect towards the industry. Well, I mean, even going to schools, to try to encourage kids to enter into this industry.

You know, they already have a preconceived notion of what construction looks like to them. Yeah. You know, they’ve either potentially have someone in their family that works construction, so they might have a direct correlation to what that might look like for them. , or maybe they’ve only seen a traffic jam in the summertime when they’re trying to get to the beach because d o t construction is holding them up.

Yeah. So they see someone holding a sign, they think that’s construction. Yeah. You know, that type of application or some secondary choice. Yeah. It wasn’t, you know, a passion or their first choice career path and made it successful. So I do, when I, when I talk to these kids, I try to change that image for them.

Yeah. You know, just stand in front of ’em as a female. To go, I’m, I’m representing construction. Yeah. So that should be one change right there that they’re not used to seeing. Definitely. And then I want them to know you can be successful. Yeah. And you can treat us professionally. Yeah. It’s a great first choice.

It doesn’t have to be a second choice. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Being a woman in the trades, is it still, is there still some, just today got asked again, you know, you, the homeowner, so always, I mean, and I’m. it is what it is because there’s younger generations that are gonna see this demographic change. Yeah.

Which I’m here for and, and I support and I’m super excited for the older generation that maybe can’t comprehend, you know? Exactly. And it’s so funny because so many people say, are you the homeowner? When I go, no, I’m, I’m the builder. They instantly look at me up and down as if you know, I’m physically gonna do all this.

Yeah. And I’m thinking, well, if a male just said he was the builder, he’s not physically doing all of it either. I mean, he’s still, he’s doing the exact same role that I’m gonna do and he’s gonna call his subcontractors and have people come in. So Yeah. They always are like, you are gonna build this . Yes.

I’m like, lemme get my tool belt. Yep. I gotta get to work. Which we, we’ve gotta do a better job as an industry. We’re all struggling with labor. We want more people to enter the trade. . And then when people do, we say, oh, you’re, you’re the builder. Mm-hmm. , you know that, that’s gotta change. 48% of the population is a female Yeah.

Entity In the workforce we hire 3%. So 45% is not in, not construction. In construction, yeah. Well, and 3% who’s like boots in the, you know, boots on the ground Yeah. In the field doing that type of demographic. So we have about 10%, so 7%. Yeah. That is, you know, doing. Bookkeeping services or project administrator.

Okay. Type services. Office work. Yeah. So still very low. I mean, if you’re looking at, you know, in total still you got 40% of a population that could be an electrician, hvac. Sheetrock insulation, I mean, you name it. Yeah. And everyone you just named needs people. Yeah. As much as I do get the question, are you the homeowner or the You’re the builder.

You know? And I’ve had more pushback as an engineer than I have as a gc. Really. I would not have expected that. Yeah. Yeah. I was surprised too. I mean, I left engineering. Kind of thick-skinned, ready with my armor to enter into this. Like, I’m gonna have more walls to break down and yeah, this is gonna be even harder to prove myself.

And everyone was just kind, I mean, the initial like, oh, you’re the guard. Okay, whatever. Moving on , you know, it was just, yeah, okay. The initial Band-aid was ripped off and yeah, then everyone was just, okay, well you. Know your stuff. So that would not have crossed my mind that that would be the case. Yeah. It surprised me as well.

But that’s what I think the community doesn’t know that. Like I am so fortunate to have started the anchor group when I did in this community, Wilmington and surrounding areas, they’re ju It’s just, you know, a lot of people come into Wilmington thinking, well, this is where the market is, you know, it’s blowing up here.

you could any, I mean, it’s shooting fish in a barrel, everyone’s gonna get work. Yeah. Which kind of is so, I mean, everyone is gonna get work, look at the first job. Exactly. Yeah. And to have these relationships that people value here so much, the sense of community is so big. Yeah. And people really, they really value that as well.

So I feel really blessed that the anchor group has started and the relationships that I. prior doing my construction work or still so strong, they’re still there and everyone’s so supportive. That’s awesome. What advice do you have for other business owners? Gosh, just keep on doing it. . Just do it. Just figure it out.

Yeah. Know your weaknesses. No. I have been, and, and again, maybe this comes back to. being a female in this industry and having zero ego and just, I just lay it out there. I mean, I don’t, if I don’t know something, my answer is, I don’t know. Let me find out. Yeah. If somebody wanted to get ahold of you and procure your services, what’s the best way to reach you?

it would be a, a phone call, just because I’m gonna, that’s the type of communication that I would prefer to have. Okay. So, I mean, I, I do feel that the, the building process, is such an almost intimate process with the client that I need to make sure that, that that relationship is it matches on both sides.

Absolutely. That it’s a good fit. Yeah. I mean, this is potentially the largest investment you’ll make to date. Yeah. I want you to enjoy it and I want us to, it. We have to have trust. So yeah. How that starts with are you the right fit for me and if I’m the right fit for you. Yeah. , and you’re also the President of pwb.

Can you tell us a little bit [ about that? PWB is professional women in Buildin. Okay. It is a national organization. That is a affiliate with the National Association for Home Builders. Okay. So how that looks on a local level is that we fall under the umbrella of the Home Builders Association. Okay. So we just formed council back in July.

So we’re going on seven months or so. Yeah. And we’re up to 70 members. Wow. So we’re one of the largest PWS in the nation. Really. And we’ve done this within seven months. , I was gonna say, I went to an. Two months ago, and I was, I was surprised at the turnout. So yeah, the largest one. One of the largest ones.

One of the largest, yeah. I don’t think we’re the largest, but Okay. Really close in seven months. In seven. It’s been amazing. But that just speaks volumes to the community that we have here. Yeah. And it speaks volumes to our h, our local H B A. So, our local hba is I think the top five within the top five in the nation.

Size wise. I did not realize that. So yeah, we have a large Home Builders association community already established, and so now to have us close to 70 members, which is just, it’s awesome to think there’s 70 women out there Yeah. In this industry. . If you’re supporting a woman that wants to be already in this industry, she’s already made that choice and she most likely has a passion for it.

Yep. If you’re empowering her, she’s gonna empower you. Yeah. I mean, it benefits everyone. . Yeah. So, and for 2023 we have. A full calendar every single month. We have, if it’s not already tied to an H B A event, we have individual events. Okay. Just for PW B u. Awesome. Well, thanks for coming on today.

Yeah. Thank you. Appreciate it. Thanks for having me. Of course. Thanks for joining us on Shop Small ILM, powered by Salt Air Heating, cooling, and electrical. Don’t forget to leave us a rating and subscribe so you get updated when new episodes are released.