This month I’d like to highlight the guy that makes my job possible, Chad Wek. Chad is the owner of Unique Painting KC. He started out as a Handyman seventeen years ago and has watched his business grow and evolve into a thriving painting business, a business that received the Best Of The Northland honor in 2018. Chad’s dedication to the industry, his willingness to help others, and his reciprocated devotion to his guys has afforded his business the opportunity to be a success. I wanted Chad to be the very first interview I’ve ever done on my blog and this month seemed like a good time to do just that. As a reader, I feel interviews are a great way to get to know people and this guy is worth getting to know. So, with this interview, I wanted to get in Chad’s head a little and find out exactly what led him down this painted path.
I first want to say that I’ve been employed by Chad and Unique Painting for nearly 4 years and I have never worked for a better leader. He doesn’t just tell me how to do things, he shows me, sometimes 15 times, which also speaks to his patience. Sure, we have challenging days, but the good days far outweigh the tough ones. From day one I’ve watched him put his team first in every situation. He expects his crew to work hard, and he works just as hard for us. This may all sound like I’m fishing for a raise, and I might be, but truly, he’s the real deal. Here are a few qualities that back up my thoughts on his leadership:
Chad Appreciates his crew as a whole and as individuals and he lets them know everyday.
Chad is Confident, definitely not afraid of a challenge. His confidence inspires his crew to welcome challenges as well.
Chad is Compassionate. He’s always thinking about the needs of his team.
Chad is Courageous. Sometimes he has to say the things no one wants to hear, he has to confront the difficult issues. Chad does so head on. He makes the hard decisions. He fronts the risk in all situations.
Chad is Diligent. He works his booty off. In order for his other qualities to shine through he has to be willing to give more than everyone else consistently. He does this, every. single. day. He’s committed to his company and passionate about his role.
Chad is also Fair, Flexible, Honest, Impartial, Loyal, and shows Integrity. Without each of these traits, there would be no trust. Without trust, there would be no team.
Chad is Responsive. This guy doesn’t just listen to his team, he values our thoughts and suggestions. Some of my suggestions in particular freak him out a little, and he might not be ready to process what I have to say, but he always circles back around willing to discuss the pros and cons with me once he’s had time to wrap his mind around what I’m saying.
Chad Communicates well. He must instruct, discipline, and motivate his team. In order to do that he has to be able to communicate with this team as a whole and individually. I also think part of what makes him a good communicator are his listening skills.
Now, how ’bout that raise? LOL!
We spend most of our work day in Chad’s van, driving here and there for estimates, shooting our weekly videos, and listening to him think out loud. We have solved all of the world’s problems in that van, for sure. So, today, this interview day, was like every other day. I hopped up in the big, white, Unique Painting work van, the one adorned with the yellow smiley faces, opened my laptop and got down to the business of asking ol’ Chad some questions.
Toska: What made you decide to crash into the painting industry?
Chad: “I felt as though the industry was lacking something…that something was customer service, in the way of responsiveness and communication.”
As a designer and a home owner, I totally get that. I have requested estimates from businesses for various projects. Some of them take the time to come to the job site or my house, but never send a quote. Some of them never return my calls. It’s frustrating, for sure!! One thing we strive to do better than most is communicate with our customers. With each estimate Chad creates, a follow-up phone call is made. This ensures each estimate makes it to the requesting customer.
Toska: Unique Painting, what inspired the name?
Chad: “We always do what we say we’re going to do when we say we’re going to do it. Customer first approach to business. I wanted not to just be unique but demonstrate unique.”
So true, Chad. I’m just going to say it: I love Chad’s response to this question. He doesn’t want to just BE unique but DEMONSTRATE unique…enough said.
Toska: When and why did you feel like adding a Designer to your team would be a good idea?
Chad: “I felt as though it (Design) was a piece missing from my business. It also just kind of happened. I needed help with other things too and they just happened to be things that Toska had a skill set in. It has added to my business significantly by giving my customers something they weren’t receiving three and a half years ago.”
On Larry Bird’s birthday (12/7), in 2015, Chad and I were planning to meet for lunch to discuss some business ideas I had and wanted to run by him. He was a mentor to me and I needed some advice on growing my Interior Design business. He threw the idea of working for Unique Painting on a part-time basis at me and I couldn’t have been more excited. I remember feeling like I hit the “job jackpot”, like my dreams job was just placed in my lap. I accepted immediately and have never once regretted doing so. Design is my passion and I get to live it out everyday in my job. I’m a lucky chick.
Toska: What do you love most about owning this business?
Chad: “The people. Helping clients realize their vision while providing a good end product. The guys. Finding a group of guys that believe in my business as much as I do. They have a willingness to make my business successful so they can be successful.”
We all want Unique Painting to succeed. Unique Painting’s success means success for the entire team.
Toska: What keeps you going, besides Energy Drinks, Iced Tea, and Skoal?
Chad: “It’s something different every day. Each job has its own set of variances”.
I’m going to agree with Chad. I never get bored with my job because we move from job site to job site. Each job site is a blank canvas, if you will. And seeing the transformation that takes place when paint is applied to an ordinary surface is always cool.
Toska: If you could choose any other profession what would it be and why?
Chad: “I really don’t see myself doing anything else.”
I could see Chad being a professional funnel cake and cheese curd traveling judge for State Fair’s all over the U.S.. He may not agree with me, but I know that deep down… ha!
Toska: Define success.
Chad: “Once someone finds their passion they ultimately find their success. What makes me successful is the people I surround myself with.”
Right back at ‘ya! Chad attributes some of his success to a BNI (Business Networking International) group that he has been a member of for over 10 years and is the current President. He also has an active role in the Liberty Area Chamber of Commerce where he serves as Board Chair.
Toska: To date, what professional achievement are you most proud of?
Chad: “That this business was built from nothing 15 years ago and it is where it is today.”
Definitely an achievement to be proud of.
Toska: What’s your greatest passion?
Chad: “Helping others.”
I believe that completely.
If you need help with Color Selections, Design, or Staging, give us a shout (816-500-7759).