The entrepreneurial journey of G&G Roofing’s vice president, Kristy Smith, is a unique one. In 2002, she began doing roofing work with her husband, and company president, Ray, as a weekend pastime. Through opportunity, market knowledge and a strong dedication to clients, that weekend job grew into a company that now serves the region’s residential, commercial and industrial new construction roofing, replacement roofing and restoration needs. G&G’s work can be seen throughout Brevard, from a metal roof in Suntree, to a roof over the new Mike Erdman dealership in Cocoa.
Smith will still roof from time to time. She has also performed many office administration duties and still goes out into the field to learn and pass her knowledge along to the rest of the staff. Though her weekend job has grown into a full-time business, her passion and love for the work still rings true today.
RR: How did the company get started?
KS: Believe it or not, it was actually just a hobby at first. We incorporated back in 2007, but we both had other full-time jobs, and it was something my husband Ray and I did together on the weekends. Through word of mouth, the business took off. I worked at Kennedy Space Center before being laid off in 2010, at which point I decided to focus solely on roofing. I’ve been here ever since.
RR: What are some of the rewards and challenges involved in running a family business?
KS: Well, we did separate ourselves at work; I work upstairs, and he works downstairs [laughs]. Sometimes it’s hard to separate business from your personal life, especially since we’re here all the time and then we go home together, but it’s actually good because we both know exactly what’s going on at work. If there’s a problem with a job and one of us is not around, it’s something the other person can handle. It actually works out really well. Believe it or not, we don’t butt heads, so working together has been really nice.
“We take pride in everything we do, and if there’s something that isn’t right, we’ll go back immediately and fix it. Outstanding customer service and high quality of work are the two most important things any company can provide.” – Kristy Smith
RR: How have you seen the roofing industry change in Brevard County over time?
KS: When we first started, I didn’t think there were that many roofers. Today there are a number of roofing companies out there. I’ve noticed a lot of growth in Brevard County, both residential and commercial. When we first started we did mostly residential, and now we do equal amounts of both. You’re not going to compete with everybody, but you have to find your niche and be good at what you do; that’s why our reputation is critical to our success.
Additionally, things like hurricanes will increase activity exponentially. After Hurricane Matthew, it was unreal. We didn’t have phones or Internet for a week, so I was answering all calls on my cell phone. I was probably getting three or four calls a minute. We’re still booking out through February just getting caught up doing estimates from the storm’s damage.
RR: In what ways does having in-house metal roofing fabrication help your business?
KS: It makes a big difference. We have guys here full time and that’s all they do. They’ll make all of our downspouts and ridge vents, so instead of having to order from someone if we’re short, we can make it, run it out and put it on. We actually have other roofing companies that bring us metal and have us do the fabrication for them. Last year, we bought a machine that rolls and makes our panels on site for our metal roofs. We did this because one day we were putting a metal roof on, and we ended up being two panels short. The panels are custom cut to fit the home, and the manufacturer was out of that coil and couldn’t get it to me for four weeks. This house sat for four weeks missing two panels, and that’s unacceptable. So I bought this machine and have my own coils and can go out and roll any panel I want. I’ll never be short again.
RR: What are some of the things you felt have contributed to G&G’s success?
KS: Our staff is definitely one of the most important reasons for our success. Most of the people who work here have been here since the beginning. They’re part of our G&G family, as we like to call it, and without them we wouldn’t have the great reputation we have. They put in the time and effort, and they want to ensure everything is done right because it reflects on them and it reflects on us. We take pride in everything we do, and if there’s something that isn’t right, we’ll go back immediately and fix it. Outstanding customer service and high quality of work are the two most important things any company can provide, and we make sure we deliver on both counts.