Elaine Blundon, the sole owner and employee of Renaissance Painting, started her own business about four years ago and has been weathering the bad economy, real estate crisis and people’s homes and small businesses ever since. She does commercial and residential, working by appointment.

What do you do?

“I am a residential limited contractor. What that means (is) I’m licensed for residential, for homes and also for small commercial, small commercial being one story. I did Lyle’s Pet Center; that was my first job as a licensed. I do both (interior and exterior). I like being outside a lot. From the practical standpoint, I prefer interior, because work is not contingent on the weather.”

How did you get started doing this?

“I was working at a very nifty little pet store here in town. A painting contractor was a patron there, and they offered me a job. I took her up on that and found that A, I liked it; B, I had a little bit of a knack for it, and I sure learned a lot. Maybe about four years after that, I was laid off, and I managed to get my own license. It was an opportunity where I could grow financially and gain a viable job skill, plus I get to deal with people, and the homeowners are the best part about it.”

What is the volume of your business?

“There’s no way to tell how many you’re going to be doing in a week or a month. You might be really full for a couple of weeks and then slow for the next couple of weeks. It’s quiet the two weeks before Christmas. People are focused in on getting ready for the holidays. Spring and summer are the busiest, say March through September. The middle of October is the traditional time of year – of course this is contingent on the weather – when exterior season ends, and interior season commences fully.”

How does the economy affect your business?

“The minute I licensed up, the economy had its downturn. It’s been a tough go for all contractors. The trades just went absolutely into the tank, so I’ve taken on other jobs in addition to painting to stay afloat. I think the ticket to my survival is that it’s just me. I don’t have any employees, so I can adjust my rate accordingly, because I didn’t have any staff to support. And it keeps my overhead low enough to where I can survive.”

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