Slade: I’ve been been in the building industry for 27 years. Started building homes right through the states in New South Wales, North Queensland. I’ve built in the Northern territory before we settled back home, in the Wide Bay area where we continued our own business from there.
Aletha: Slade and I met when we were…I was 17-years-old. I went straight to Sydney to complete a business degree. Slade came with me and we traveled around Australia with him working in construction in Melbourne, Sydney, Cairns and Darwin. So what happened was, is that we had started our family in 2009. We moved back to Childers and Slade got his builder’s license and we then started working together then.
Slade: Started off just doing renovations and decks and stuff like that. Worked out. It was sort of tough trying to keep the jobs going. So we took on a franchise for sheds and homes.
Aletha: Slade’s father was also a builder. He’s a second generation builder. I’d gone back to uni and was completing my bachelor in building design. And we were kind of looking for ways that we could change what we were doing because we were still young. And we were thinking, “Is this it? Is there something more?” We couldn’t seem to get past those 10 homes a year.
We’d actually been looking for new designs of our own new home, and we came across Stroud Homes and we’ve been following them for a little while when we realized that they were actually franchising, and we rang them up. And we actually drove down to Jimboomba the next day, and we met with them and decided that this is something that we wanted to pursue.
We’d actually been a part of a franchise before. So we weren’t scared of what a franchise was offering. We knew that they was offering us processes and procedures that we knew that we could put these in place, but at what cost and at what time value we were losing with a young family. Stroud gave us that step and that position that we could really strike hard and move quickly, which is what’s happened.
We chose Stroud because we love the design. We love the feeling of the homes. We loved the stonework, and we just simply loved the choice. We never investigated other building franchises. When we met James Stroud, there was a level of honesty there. James is very open and honest about how he runs his business. And we really appreciated that. And we thought it was something that was in correlation of how we also work.
Slade: Since we’ve started Stroud my life has changed through I was always on the tools beforehand, and we’re trying to work our way of getting off the tools. And when we took the franchise on, the workload and the procedures and everything just made it easy for me to get off the tools for our work to pick up so I could work on the business rather than in the business.
Aletha: What we found was is we’ve gone from building 10 small homes a year, which each had their difficulties, to being on track of building 50 homes a year. Now whilst we have a lot of the same stresses and disadvantages that we had before, the difference between the two is that we have staff members that we can lean on. It has given us more opportunities and more flexibility with our young family of four small children. And it also gave us opportunities. We really wanted to make a difference in the community. I openly tell people I’m extremely feminist. I love my women. I love my education. I love seeing that evolve in the building industry.