Running a family business with my brother has been, and still is, a terrific experience. We enjoy a great rapport while working together and we feel a sense of personal pride in the success of the company that we’ve built.
Our story began in California, where we grew up. At the time, a member of our family was sick, so my brother and I found ourselves moving around constantly, living in other people’s homes every other week. They say it takes a village to raise a child, we realized that first hand.
Once I got older, I took a job in a full-service home improvement company where I spent nine years. I was mentored by the two partners, both terrific guys, whom I still keep in touch with today. Then I decided to go strike out on my own and start a business, which my brother joined a few years later. Being ten years older than my brother, I was happy to mentor him. I taught him about replacement windows, but he already knew the value and significance of family. We both knew the team of Kelemer and Kelemer would work out.
From the beginning we also knew that we would run our business so that our employees and our customers would always feel as if they were being taken good care of, just as you take care of your family. We wanted them to appreciate the circle of safety and security that a family brings. If you think about the days long ago, a tribe would sit in a circle with their backs to the center of the tribe. This was a way of demonstrating a sense of trust to one another. Since the back is the most vulnerable part of the body, you need to trust people most when you cannot see them. In fact, this is where the expression “I’ve got your back” comes from.
Today, we want our clients to have that same trust in us. With that in mind, we have built direct relationships with our clients, not through sales people but first hand and in person. Instead of selling products and telling people we’ll get the job done, we explain what we’re doing and why. We also listen closely to the needs of our customers.
I’ve found over the years that the best thing about a family business is that you can’t fire your family. We’re there to help one another and be happy for each other when something goes well in business or in life. There’s also that same sense of absolute care we have for the people who work for us. Sure some people will pass through on their way to something else, and some may be inappropriate for this business, but those that do well and want to be part of our family have a place for life.
In case you’re wondering, some of our children have helped us out, but they have their own ambitions and passions and we support them in their endeavors. However, another wonderful thing about a family business is that family members are welcome to join you if that’s what they what to do.
If you’re in the market for replacement windows, and you’re in the Baltimore, Washington area, we’d be happy to have our family to meet your family.
Contact us, the Kelemer Brothers, at (410) 299-0038