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Meet Christine Ross of Addition Building & Design in Sherman Oaks

Today we’d like to introduce you to Christine Ross.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Christine. So, let’s start at the beginning, and we can move on from there.
I graduated from Cosmetology school where I had the highest score in my class and voted by my classmates “the most likely to be an successful entrepreneur”. I loved makeup. I got a job right away after graduation as an assistant at the top salon in Cleveland, Ohio. I was fired after a year. I learned early on how I would like to treat MY employees when I have a company someday.

I got a job a few weeks later for Estee Lauder as a Business Manager. I was 22 years old with no business experience. I had to succeed. I needed to support myself and prove to my friends at the salon I was to be taken seriously.

Over the next two years, I crushed sales records, grew the top sales team in the district, and had sales increases the NY office had never seen. I built myself a stable life, and my confidence as a businesswoman was born. I realized I was meant for sales. I owe a lot to my boss, Cathy White. She really was the one who pushed me to make my goals no matter what, and I realized what I was capable of.

I was really stressed out from the world of retail. I was the youngest business manager in my territory. I was always treated like a child. I felt I was never taken seriously no matter which goal I surprised. When I worked for Clinique in Los Angeles, I was in the top 6% of the country for Macy’s, and my manager looked at me and said: “ehh, you could do better.” I was always looked over for promotions not because I was lacking in performance but because I wasn’t task orientated.

So I started my own business as a makeup artist. I worked for about eight years working hard building my clientele and taking a lot of art classes. I had a burning desire to be an artist, but the desire for sales wasn’t being satisfied. Something was missing. The excitement of closing the deal wasn’t there.

Finally, after years of begging my Dad to bring me into the family business of construction, he agreed. I had finally proven my self as a successful business owner in his eyes. He needed a salesperson he could trust. Someone who could close the deal and honest and loyal to the company keeps the clients with our company. My dad gave me 2 rules the first day I started: 1. Always be honest with clients 2. Make sure EVERY client knows you want to do business with them.

I felt like I came home.

My first day at the office brought me back to when I was five years old. Sitting with my Dad in our basement eating my cereal while he did the scheduling for that day. When I would go with him on estimates as a child, watching him close the deal at the client’s kitchen table. My desire to close my own deals was back that fire I was missing for so many years came back. My Dad is getting older and has spent 35 years building a successful business mostly on word of mouth.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Growing up in construction has never been easy. There aren’t a lot of women in the industry. In an industry mostly of men it can be intimidating. The construction industry has such a bad rep. I want to change that. There are contractors out there that do great work and for an honest price. It won’t be the lowest price. It will be for a realistic price. I want to educate people around the world about construction and contractor practices. How to find a contractor like me. Someone who cares about them and their home,

I really am focused on creating an honest and transparent experience for my clients. My dad, Mike decided to take a Design/Build approach with our business. We are involved from conceptual all the way through the end of construction. We found that anyone who wanted to do work on their home were doing things the “old school” way. Homeowners would first hire an architect then bid out the project to three contractors. Sometimes, the homeowner would find out – after the plans were completed, the price to build was out of their budget. This should never happen to a homeowner. The Design & Build approach provides the client a cost and design at the beginning of the plan process. We bring our team of architect, structural engineer, designer and the BUILDER (Us) to the client to save them time creating one point of contact throughout the entire process – My dad or I.

When you hire Addition Building & Design, we listen, are very responsive and care about the process being stress free and FUN!. Typically when a client decides to build or remodel,  the top 3 priorities are
1. Cost

2. Specifications

3. Time

We make sure clients have a realistic goals by offering expert advice based on 3 decades of experience with the process.

My dad has set a great example from childhood how to treat the clients. We are always honest. We are always transparent. If there is a change, we actually show the clients the bids we get from our craftsmen before adding on our fees. In addition, there is no question we get them the most talented craftsmen at the best prices. We take the time to keep up with the latest building codes, attend design events, seminars and subscribe to at least 12 Builder publications a month to make sure we are up on the latest and greatest construction ideas throughout the world!

This can be very satisfying business – but one of the most difficult businesses in the world where things do not always work out despite the BEST planning and a great staff. We roll with the punches and SOLVE PROBLEMS – FAST. From day 1 when someone new joins our team, we tell them this is a hard business. We have to have each other’s backs at all times. No one comes between us. I’m from the midwest, and I have strong family values. I like to treat my clients like family. I protect them and make sure they get the best quality work at all times.

Please tell us about Addition Building & Design.
We are a Design & Build firm providing “One Stop Shopping” – 3D Architectural / Structural Renderings, Interior Design Services, Landscape/Hardscape Designs, Plans and Permits for New Construction and Remodeling Projects—expertise in the hillside and difficult lot.

Our team will focus our effort around (3) key areas during new construction or remodeling your existing home:
-Functional layout
-Lower energy usage

We have a Project Management APP – which our customers absolutely love – which separates us from the other contractors in Los Angeles. Daily, our Project Managers download pictures and notes for our clients to review — wherever they may be at the time – on vacation in Europe.

We wouldn’t feel right building you a project that we know is going to cost you a lot of money over the long term. We are a quality builder and a firm believer of planning, organization and a skilled workforce. We have added another feature to all our new construction projects recently.

In addition to the free installation of the water purification system in our new kitchens, we are installing an electric car charger in the garage and solar panel lines to the roof for future use at no charge. This is all part of our goal as your builder to lower the energy usage as well as purifying the air and water inside our new homes & remodels.

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
If I had to start over, I would have gone to college for architecture. Study space a little more intensely. I begin school at San Bernardino college next spring, and I will work on getting my architecture certificate.I want to be the BEST  builder—not just locally in Los Angeles -but globally  –  my Dad has always taught me to strive to be the best by setting goals every year.

Education is important no matter how old you are. There is always something new to learn. To create beautiful spaces and be able to communicate with designers and architects to my best ability to create the best possible product.

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Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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