LOS ANGELES—5:00 am phone calls with the field. 8:00 am construction site meeting. 10:00 am meeting with the city. 12:00 lunch with a vendor. 1:00 meeting with homeowner in Bighorn. 3:00 pm meeting with architect and engineer. 5:00 pm charity board meeting. 7:00 pm cocktails at Fashion Week. 9:00 pm after party. Typical day in the life of a female contractor.
When you talk to Charissa Farley, President of Farley Interlocking Paving, it's easy to foget we are in the middle of the worst recession since the great depression which has hit the local construction industry full force. She's too busy creating new producing lines to innovate in her industry, expanding her region from the desert to the coast including opening a new showroom on Santa Monica Boulevard in West Los Angeles and Newport Beach, finding new niches to sell to and traveling throughouth the country honing her skills in green developments like permeable pavements for storm water management. And that all happens between cocktail parties, industry mixers, charity fundraisers, and every single fashion week event. "You have to stay present. Your customers need to be reminded they need your services. You have to show up."
"I have already weathered the 1991 recession - lying down and dying just isn't an option and it doesn't do an good to strees too much about it. You have to stay healthy, you have to sleep, and the ultimate goal is to have sum fun while you're at it. My joke used to be that I love this job so much I'd do it for free. So now I have my chance," she laughs. Well, not enterely, as the company has manged to stay profitable, something that is no small feat in an environment where many have not survived. Maybe that's the lesson to be learned, sometimes not being an industry stereotype can be a survival tool if being different equates to thinking differently enough to innovate and constantly adapt to the changing times.
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