Tony Enea, president of Ruvin Bros. Artisans & Trades

Tony Enea

Ruvin Bros. Artisans & Trades


8601 N. 43rd St. Brown Deer, WI 53209

Industry: Residential and specialized commercial design, build, remodel

Family: Wife, Cookie; dogs Hildegard, Oslo and Wilbur

What was the smartest thing your company did in the past year?

“We’ve expanded our services to offer maintenance and ‘handyman’ services. We listened to customers who didn’t want the hassle of managing multiple tradespeople to repair mostly minor items – and many of our customers had assumed that we wouldn’t be interested in these kinds of smaller projects. To us, it was an easy decision to do these kinds of projects because we could provide a lot of value and maintain and strengthen relationships with our customers.”

What’s new at your company?

“In the design end of our business, we’re transitioning to using three-dimensional design technology that has a lot of benefits for us and our customers. In addition to allowing us to produce drawings more quickly and at greater accuracy, the biggest benefit is allowing customers to really see and understand what their project will look like when completed.”

Do you plan to hire any additional staff or make any significant capital investments in your company in the next year?

“Though we’re optimistic that residential construction will start seeing a bit more growth in the next 12 months, we have really good people now and probably won’t need to add staff.”

What will be your company’s main challenges in the next year?

“Educating prospective customers that residential real estate can still be a good investment, if done properly. Even in today’s market, a well-planned, cost-effective remodel or addition can add significant value to most homes, as well as providing needed functionality.”

What’s the hottest trend in your industry?

“Incorporating glass and metals into designs is becoming more popular. We are also getting more requests for complex finishes, like distressing and antiquing and paint-glazing techniques.”

Do you have a business mantra?

“If you always act in your customer’s best interest, you’ll always have customers.”

From a business standpoint, who do you look up to?

“Enzo Ferrari, because he not only created one of the world’s premier brands from scratch, he also had an unmatched passion for what he did.”

What was the best advice you ever received?

“Expand your thinking by looking at an issue in both extremes. Not only does it help clarify the big picture, it allows you to view an issue from both sides, which usually results in a better decision.”

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