by Nar Bustamante, CR
I began working as an apprentice for my two uncles, who were contractors building new homes, during the summer that I was fourteen. After graduating high school, I went to school for architecture, but decided I was better suited for hands-on work. Working for a builder in San Francisco, CA, further honed my skills; I knew every tool, every phase, and every building situation by the time I was eighteen, soon after, becoming the lead foreman on robust projects.
When I was twenty, I lived in Rome teaching a family English while learning a lot about old architecture that influenced many new ideas. Later, I returned to the United States and built green, alternative, high-end homes in Santa Fe, NM. After that, I made my final move to Sacramento, CA. I didn’t know anyone, so I went to work for a home builder. The intention was to work for him for about three years, but after eight months, I realized I needed to start my own business and Nar Fine Carpentry was born.
The name for my company, Nar Fine Carpentry, expressed what I wanted people to know about my business. I went to high-end cabinetry dealers and began installing cabinets for them. Over time, I became known as the go-to-installer for cabinets. In the beginning, it was just me—a one-man show. By 2001, I began remodeling kitchens and was very successful. At that point, I began hiring and building a company.
I opened my first showroom in 2008 against everyone’s advice, due to the recession. We didn’t go for cheap when we opened our showroom; we got our prices, kept busy, and started hiring employees. Word got out that I was a creative, high-end designer and contractor thriving in a down economy. That was all it took to jumpstart Nar Fine Carpentry and was the beginning of my success. Before we were out of recession, we had opened a second showroom with premium Poggenpohl cabinetry. Currently, we’ve grown to eight employees with about 25 to 35 jobs coming in or going out. I’m still very close with my business. I influence every design and I visit all my job sites; even though I have my foreman, I make sure he understands what we’re trying to accomplish. We are well known in Sacramento and our name hits the table for every homeowner considering a high-end project.
What catapulted my business was realizing that you can’t do everything yourself. I hire people that have the potential to be better than I am. I believe in developing employees and expanding their dreams. Believing in people is a strong dynamic of growth, and I invest in my own people—and the client.
I instantly believe when I meet someone that they are already my client, whether they’ve signed with me or not. I treat them as part of the family the second they walk in the door and make them feel like they’ve come to the right place. We educate our clients upfront about costs. Once they are comfortable, we move to the creative design phase.
I love it when I acquire clients that truly understand our vision and give us a license for creativity. We’re able to create projects that are unimaginable.
Remodeling is a rocky road business. It’s the relationships with people that build a successful business. Over time, my business motto has changed to keep expanding my horizons and exploring the possibilities. I find my greatest comfort is in discomfort. When I feel comfortable, I feel the need to rock the boat. You need to be passionate about what you do and never taste the money. Be yourself, develop who you want to be and success will follow.
We do projects that raise the value of people’s homes, their quality of life and provide them with a daily, joyful experience. This is what I value; this is why I am here.— Nar Bustamante, CR
Nar Fine Carpentry is a an award winning design/build remodeling company that empowers the homeowner with successful projects, located in Carmichael, CA. Learn more at narfinecarpentry.com.