||Regina Garay and Jason Rosales
||Garay Artisans, Inc.
|No. of Employees:
||Depends on the commission
|No. of years in the painting industry:
What kinds of project have you been working on in the past few months? Tell us about them.
REGINA: We’ve been doing a lot of commercial work. We just finished working on the new Grand Bohemian Hotel in Asheville, NC. The designers outdid themselves – if you get a chance, please go! We did everything from the antique mirrors to the aged gold leaf. The Ballroom received a beautiful distressed European finish. It took seven of us almost a full month in that area!
JASON: We’ve also been travelling. Our next project is a restaurant in Tallahassee and then we are back in Orlando to do additional faux work in the airport. Working in airports is always fun – since we usually work the overnight shift, you witness some very interesting people!
Why did you choose to become a painting contractor?
REGINA: A long time ago, I became roommates with a film industry scenic artist. She introduced me to this career – and I’m eternally grateful since this is what I was born to do. I was starting to get busy and asked my brother to please help me out with just a few jobs. The rest is history!
What was your first painting job or contract?
JASON: One I’ll never forget! You see, we offer interior base painting along with specialty finishes. On the first paint commission, I referred our cousin, a decorator, to help our clients with their color choices. While doing prepwork, I noticed that they were extremely animated during their color chat. Little did I know she would be handing me a list of 31 colors – for the interior! 90% of them were DEEP base colors with names such as Cozumel and Atomic Tangerine! The nursery was painted something that could have been called Radioactive Apple. I remember hiding from intrigued neighbors while painting the garage interior a deep schoolbus yellow. Believe it or not, the clients were THRILLED with their home. We affectionately call that commission the “Baskin-Robbins 31 flavors” home.
What tools/products do you insist you and/or the company use?
JASON: Sherwin-Williams ProMar 200; Vanex Breathrough Paints; Modern Masters Extender; Adicolor Glacis; Ronan topcoats; Zinsser Shellac; Wooster SuperFab roller covers, green handle rollers and paint poles… I could go on and on.
Garay Artisans does commercial and residential projects. How does working in each of these segments of the industry differ? What do you like about each and what don’t you like?
REGINA: I think the main difference is the timing. For commercial projects such as hotels, we start planning them about a year in advance. Once our site time comes up, we must keep on schedule and be able to quickly resolve any issues – there’s opening dates to honor. If it’s an established business, we usually work the overnight shift to help keep the company operational. The finishes also have more leeway to be bolder – we’re always striving for our client’s customers to remember their business and feel that they would enjoy visiting again. The only thing I don’t like is when it ends… we’ve worked so hard in the trenches with the other trades and then – poof! – we’re done and on to the next project.
JASON: With residential projects, we keep in mind that this is someone’s home. It needs to be enjoyable, peaceful and beautiful. It’s usually not a structured environment and we have the chance to work closely with the homeowners. I like the more relaxed atmosphere but I also think commercial work is enjoyable, too.
What’s the strangest project that you’ve been asked to do?
REGINA: A designer we work with called us with an emergency. She was designing an upscale bar slated to have a splashy New Year’s Eve opening. Three big sheets of steel for the wall had been mistakenly cut into small panels and dinged badly – on December 29! With no time to reorder, the solution was to make them appear intentionally distressed (thankfully, it was the “dungeon lounge” area). Our mission? Make the now 36 steel panels look rusted, waterlogged and hundreds of years old – in one day. Plus, it was a bar – it had to be super durable! We were crazy to take it on (think multiple fans and hair dryers set up to speed up the drying) but we delivered them on the 31st into the waiting arms of the installer. And the just-hours-away New Year’s Eve bash? Went off without a hitch!
If you could go back to the beginning of your career, what would you do differently?
JASON: I think my sister should say that she needed to listen to me more!
REGINA: I’m having a good laugh at that one, Jason! My choice would be taking more business courses – such as management and accounting. It would have been nice to not have to learn most things the hard way!