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LOCAL STORIES

November 27, 2023 at 2:19:37 PM

From Poverty to a Top Producer

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After being labeled permanently disabled, she was blessed with a miracle

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November 27, 2023 at 2:19:37 PM

Ignite Business Insider shares the stories of businesses that are making an impact in their local markets. We highlight their stories in order to inspire entrepreneurial growth and to let readers learn more about businesses across the world that are growing and scaling.

Featuring

Gabi Sperry,CKD,CAPS

Residential Designer and Top Producer

Sperry Homes, LLC

Thank you for taking the time to sit with us and share your story. Can you share a little bit about you and your company?

As a Residential Designer and Owner of Sperry Homes, LLC, I have been creating functional, beautiful, and accessible spaces for homeowners for over 25 years. I am a Certified Kitchen Designer (CKD) with the National Kitchen and Bath Association and a Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS) with the National Association of Home Builders. I am passionate about helping clients achieve their dream homes and enhance their quality of life. I offer virtual or in-person consultations, create functional design solutions and incorporate the complete package details for my clients.

I also partner with DFW Improved, a leading Design-Build Firm in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. I manage all aspects of residential remodeling projects, from sales and design to drafting and coordination. I have a proven track record of delivering high-quality results, exceeding customer expectations, winning awards and recognition for my work. I have expertise in Kitchen and Bath Design, Custom Cabinetry, Additions, Complete Home Remodels, Space-Planning, and Outdoor Living. I enjoy working with a talented and collaborative team that shares my vision of transforming homes and improving lives.

A question so many people are interested in, is how you got started. Can you share a little bit about what you were doing before this, and what that moment was like for you when you decided to start this new journey?

Originally, I wanted to be an Architect, so I went to night school for two years during high school to study Architecture and Interior Design. The week I graduated high school I started college, and I was blessed with my first Freelance Design client in 1998. I acquired my Associates of Arts degree in Interior Design then veered towards Kitchen and Bath Design specifically. During College I worked two jobs as a restaurant server and did Freelance Design work with my company Sperry Homes, LLC. Over the years I partnered with different Construction Companies as I gained valuable experience ranging from Custom Cabinetry Ordering Director to Branch Manager including training and managing over 60 employees. In 2017, I partnered with DFW Improved where I was blessed in breaking the company record in sales, surpassed my personal record, became the Top Producer, became a Trainer for new Sales Consultants who joined my Sales Team and was also offered an opportunity to expand my services out of state.

Let's take a little bit of a detour, and rewind the clock a little bit. What did you want to be as a kid? And how did that influence the person you are today?

I was born in poverty in a humble shack in Guatemala. When we immigrated to California to escape poverty, my first memory was of my family and I walking down an alley looking for a mattress to sleep on, hoping someone had thrown one away. As we struggled through life, I would rearrange the little furniture we had and had always been drawn to construction sites whenever we walked by one. As a kid, I simply wanted to hone in on my passion to help provide for my family. It was about survival. I was also bullied a lot of growing up so that just simply motivated me into setting a goal that the best pay back to my tormentors would be to become more successful than they would be.

Have you fully let go of that childhood dream? And where do you see yourself going in the next ten years?

I am blessed to say I am living out my childhood dream and I realize that not many people can say that. In the next 10 years I see myself surpassing the goal that I set every single year. I also see myself finally designing and building my dream home from the ground up for my Ohana.

Now, I have found that with successful people, there is always someone pivotal as either a mentor, parent, teacher, or someone that you look to for advise, that helped set you on this path. Could you share who that person was? And what impact that had on the person you are today?

I have had a couple different mentors over the years but even they did not fully believe I would be successful and purposefully held me back from achieving my goals. Honestly, that hurt so I just took that anger and turned it into determination to prove them wrong. My parents are the only people who truly believed in me and sacrificed so much to give my brothers, sister and I a better chance at life. Ultimately it wasn't until I found Jesus in 2014 where things started to improve however I was in a horrible car accident shortly after. I cherish my career now more than ever because it was taken away for over 2 years after my accident. I developed a long list of 18 different debilitating symptoms and was labeled as “permanently disabled” by all of the Doctors. They told me that I would never be able to work again and I prayed every day for another chance. God answered my prayer with beautiful miracles and healed me completely, so I give all praise and glory to Jesus Christ alone.

What was one take away that you learned from that person? And how did it translate into your business today?

Being born again allowed me to forgive everyone that that hurt me in my past. In my career that translated into being very honest and transparent with my clients.

When we work with businesses, we focus a lot on their "Why?". What is your "Why"? What is the driver behind your company, and why you and your team wake up each day and give it your all?

My ‘why’ is my Ohana which includes my husband Kevin, my sons Kevin Jr and Rozzi as well as my daughter Kara. They are the reason I sacrifice sleep to work extra hours each and every day. After losing our daughter, we appreciate each other so much more. I want to make them proud, I don’t want them to worry about anything else besides pursuing their passions. I also am motivated by ensuring that my husband can remain a Stay at Home Papa where his strengths lie, he takes care of our sons and everything else so that I can focus on my career.

Let's dive deeper into your products and services. You already gave an overview, but how do your products or services help your customers? And what makes them different from your competitors?

My top notch services include In-Home or Virtual Consultations, where I dive into the details of what my clients needs and wants are for their home. I approach my design services in a unique manner where I ensure that their investment will be maximized and guide them into what their best next steps should be, while also creating design solutions, detailed scope of work, investment parameters and preparation for construction. I create my designs and complete set of plans using AutoCAD, if architectural plans or structural engineering is required then I partner with skilled professionals who work off of my plans to create the complete package. I partner with an Interior Specialist for materials and finish selections and lead the Pre-Construction Meeting with the assigned Project Manager. During construction I visit the jobsite constantly and follow up daily or weekly with the Project Manager.

Let's unpack that even further. Let's pick one aspect of your business. What makes it so unique? And how does it change you or your customer's experience?

From my experience in this industry, my approach is unique in the sense that I am very involved in every aspect of the process for my clients. I don’t just simply hand my client off and never talk to them again. I take every detail very personally to ensure what I had envisioned and what I sold to my client is followed through above and beyond. During the Design Phase I also like to give my clients plenty of options so that we can go through a nice process by elimination, making sure every possible solution and scenario is discussed so that they feel comfortable with their final decisions. During the material and selection process, I like to make sure they are comfortable and give them my opinion as well to relieve some of the stress in making selections. My heavy involvement with every detail, especially behind the scenes with the assigned Project Manager, definitely improves my clients overall experience and that makes all of the extra effort worth it.

Let's dive into your customer's journey a little bit. Can you share with us, how do your customers discover you and your brand? What are their next steps? And what is the experience you would like to see your customers go on, when working with you and your brand?

My clients mainly discover me on social media where they can follow my portfolio, remodeling tips, current projects and construction experiences. I am also proud of the vast number of referrals that I receive from previous clients. My clients are encouraged to message me directly on social media or to reach out to me directly at gabi@dfwimproved.com to schedule their complimentary in person or virtual consultations, that would be the best first step. I would love for them to experience getting to know who I am and what I have to offer to get them comfortable with going through the presentation phase with me, where we can dive into the exciting potential that their home has to offer.

Let's rave about your customers for a minute. Can you share a story about one of your clients or customers, that either touched your heart, or made an impact with you and your team?

I have so many to choose from, but if I were to pick one, I would choose clients who had been dreaming of their remodel for many years. She had a lot of thoughts and questions which were great, so we went through many scenarios for their remodel. She hesitated on which options to move forward with but ultimately decided to remodel their complete home including the outdoor living areas. This particular client touched my heart because this was their forever home, and she was emotional about all of the decisions. Their complete home remodel ended up costing more than the value of her home was at the time, so it was special knowing that this was truly their dream forever home that they ended up being so thrilled about. They are the sweetest couple, and I am so grateful for clients who appreciate the extra love and care that I put into what I do. This experience reaffirmed that I should never change how approach things.

Everyone likes an inside scoop. What detail or secret about either you, or your company, is something most people might not know? 

A secret about me is that I pray with gratitude before I walk into every home, and still get excited about every consultation as though it was my very first client. I hope that I never lose that feeling, it truly does not feel like a “job” to me, I absolutely love what I do, and I like to think that shines through my customer service. Every now and then there are clients that I meet that do not appreciate what I have to offer or choose to go with the “cheaper guy”, that is just part of the business which is totally fine. What they do not know is that every “no” that I get, motivates me tremendously to achieve my next “yes” with more determination than before.

Final thoughts. What feeling or benefits would you like your customers or clients to take away when working with you and your team?

I would like my clients to take away happiness that they chose the right team for their investment and that if they ever have future project in mind that we would be the first person they would call. I also want to ensure that when they get asked about their experience, that their response is filled with positivity and praise.

Last question. How can people find out more about you and your company?

Thank you so much for sitting with us and sharing your story.

Please feel free to reach out to me directly at 310-433-7310 or gabi@dfwimproved.com, or follow me on social media. Thank you.

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