“Green Industry Stories” is our series featuring the work and stories of green industry insiders. Learn more about your potential backyard collaborators while getting tips and advice to grow your own business.
Paul Brown’s journey to fence began in the classroom. He was teaching woodworking to special education students in Sudbury and one of their projects was crafting cedar wood furniture. When a neighbor asked Paul if he could repair their wood fence, he was happy to put his skills to work. It wasn’t long before he transitioned from his teaching job to start Sudbury Cedar, a company that combined his love of making furniture and his budding skills as a fence installer.
While the business continues to carry the same name, it is now a full service fence company that builds with many different materials. Paul calls his journey ‘A happy accident,’ and is proud to have grown the company from just he and his wife to two to three fence crews at the height of the season. He credits AVO with helping him to get where he is today: “The staff there taught me everything I know about fencing. I showed up and I was just getting started. They gave me a tremendous opportunity and continue to provide the highest quality materials and consistent, quick turn-around time.”
Sudbury Cedar Fence launched its full website in 2008 at the height of the recession. Looking back Paul says it was the smartest thing they could have done. At a time when many in the industry were lacking for jobs, he continued to get a steady flow of customers that carried him through those lean years. Today the site features information about materials and styles of fencing as well as extensive photo galleries showing off Sudbury Cedar’s work.
Paul says he will often take a longer route to or from a job to check up on (and admire) the work his crews have done. “Plumbers don’t get to drive by and see their hard work on display every day. It feels good to see our name on fences that I know will look good and last a long time,” he says. Many customers come to him after they’ve already tried the DIY approach and found the trouble just wasn’t worth it. “You learn a lot of little tricks over the years — and it’s never as easy as it looks. Experience can be worth its weight in gold when you get a nice professional job done.”
Sudbury Cedar Fence has been in business since 1982, and Paul now works alongside his son. He’s happy to report that the company will stay in the family and continue its strong tradition of excellent service. He knows that his son will be able to take advantage of the great partnership he’s had with AVO for more than 35 years. As a fence installer he knows he can depend on AVO for high quality materials and personalized, prompt service.
Paul’s advice for anyone looking to break into the fencing business? “Show up when you say you will and return every call!”
More than your local fence company. AVO Fence & Supply knows there is always more to learn when it comes to the latest tips,technology and professionalism in the fencing industry. We’re taking that expertise and sharing it here, to help you grow your fencing business. Start planning your next fencing project today with AVO Fence & Supply.