30 years ago, March 1984, Joe and Tim Ernst came to the conclusion that they liked great design, they liked working with their hands and with wood, and they had a lot of experience in the building trades. (There’s that national Stanley Tools High School Woodworking Competition, in which the brothers captured second and third place. Yes, national, as in entire country.)
So what else could they do but start their own construction business?
They certainly had the work ethic: Mom and Dad had made it pretty darn clear to their kids that you do it right or you don’t do it at all. Tim had already been in business for himself for a short period right out of high school, making custom-designed furniture.
How hard could it be?
Well, pretty hard, especially starting out without any working capital. So Joe continued to work his sports club job and the two saved and scrimped, scrimped and saved…and lo, in just a year they had incorporated Ernst & Ernst Construction and both were full-time builders. And they haven’t looked back – except to brag very gently about the prize-winning roll-top desk and grandfathers clock.
Joe and Tim Ernst are twins, in case you weren’t aware. They look enough alike to confuse a whole lot of people. And maybe it’s the twinness, but they are single-minded about a few things:
- Quality is important.
- Our clients deserve us to be as committed to their dreams as they are.
- Ask a lot of questions and listen to the answers.
- Design-build works.
- Our specialty contractors are as important as our clients, because we’ll have no clients if we don’t treat our contractors well.
- Follow-through sets us apart from our competition.
- Be kind, be accessible, be honest, be organized, be thorough.
- Exercise creativity.
And that’s what will keep them strong and successful for the next 30 years.