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Meet Sarah Bilbro of Artisan Remodeling & Design in Fort Collins

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sarah Bilbro.

Sarah, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Back in early 2011 Paul and I were talking about his job at the time and how he was feeling unfulfilled. He wanted something more. I was a stay-at-home mom at the time and loved it, but I was also looking for something that would allow me to step out of the mom role for just a little while each day. Cause as all stay-at-home moms know…finding that balance is so important! So, I suggested we start our own business. Paul thought I was completely insane. But I persisted because here’s the thing–Paul and I have a way of balancing each other out. He’s the logical, mathematically minded left-brainer, and I am the complete opposite: the right-brained creative. He knew how to build like nobody I’d ever known, and I knew my way around design and communications. I figured we’d make a good team. So I persisted, and eventually he agreed. The very next day we got to work building the website and getting our name out there. Within a week, we had our first job, and we’re beyond grateful to report that there has been a steady stream of work ever since.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
You know, it really has been a smooth road overall. I’d say our two biggest issues have revolved around unforeseen delays, such as inclement weather or shipping delays, and finding a solid team. With the unforeseen delays, they fortunately are few and far between. But, because we are such sticklers about making and sticking to a tight schedule, these delays definitely cause some stress. But, we always find our way to the other side and are continuously learning and growing from each challenge. We’ve learned that as long as lines of communication are open and strong, clients are very understanding of the things that are outside of our control.

As for finding the perfect team…this part was tricky just cause our standards are quite high. I mean, these are the people who will be entering our client’s homes, so they undoubtedly need to be the best of the best. When it comes to subcontractors, we only hire those with squeaky clean reputations, and they obviously must be licensed and insured. For employees, we go the additional step of running a background check. And of course, everybody needs to be highly skilled and most importantly…just good, trustworthy people in general. So, it’s taken a while, but we now have our dream team and we couldn’t be happier. The positive feedback we get from clients is constant and makes us beam like proud parents each and every time.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Artisan Remodeling & Design story. Tell us more about the business.
We are a remodeling and design company that specializes in kitchens, bathrooms, and basements. When we started Artisan, one of the scariest parts was opening a new business in an industry that does not exactly have the best reputation. We’ve all heard the horror stories of the contractor that left a client high and dry with a demolished house and an empty wallet. So, we knew that people were not going to trust us right away. We had to earn their trust. So we immediately signed up with the BBB and Angie’s List and got to work building up our reputation as we built our client’s new kitchens and bathrooms. And eventually, we became known as the design/build firm that actually responds to questions quickly. The ones that stick to the schedule and the budget they promise. The ones that care. Because we truly DO care. We want nothing more than for our clients to be happy.

And so far, we can say we have over 200 happy clients. We’re pretty proud of that. We’re also proud of the fact that we’re a small, family run business. This allows for a more intimate, personal experience for our clients, and we have every intention of keeping it this way. Paul and I have agreed that we will never grow to the point where the client experience is affected. We also need to mention our workmanship. Like I said earlier, we have finally created the perfect dream team of artisans and their skills are pretty miraculous. And, the last thing that sets us apart–we are there for the entire process, from design to completion. This results in a much more enjoyable, much less stressful experience for our clients–so important!

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I think we’ve been blessed with extraordinarily good luck throughout this whole journey. We’ve never gone without work, although it does get a little nerve wracking at times during the slow season. But it has happened several times that work will be dwindling–we might have about a week or two left before we’re dry–and then we’ll get a huge, multi-month project to carry us through until the busy season. I totally feel that the Universe has our back. I also feel that when something is meant to work out, it just does. We’ve never felt as if we’re swimming upstream. It has always been a comfortable, easy flow. To me, that proves that starting Artisan Remodeling & Design was meant to be. Good thing Paul and his left-brained self decided to throw logic out the window and give it a go.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
All photos of our work were taken by Dan Lopez with Arris Photography.

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