Monday, October 31, 2011

My Journey to Maine

I struggled with what to write for my first blog so I decided to write about my own journey to Maine.  I love this state and awhile back my family decided to stay here and raise our family.  To be honest we thought about moving south to “better” year round weather but decided we would miss the four seasons.  Not to mention how beautiful it is and how safe it is for our two beautiful little girls.

Now onto how I got here… I was born and raised in Buffalo, NY and moved here when I was 21 and 17 years later I am still here.  My father found his way up here in the 80’s after he lived in Boston for awhile.  He fell in love with the Bangor/Orono. He was in the real estate business and when the market dried up in the 80’s he had some rough times.  That didn’t stop us from enjoying Maine with fishing and camping.  He started doing handyman work and ended up doing very well.  When I would visit I loved helping him do odd jobs and even some big projects.

My brother decided to move up and go to college in Orono so when I would visit it was even more fun J.  I could probably write a whole blog about some of the experiences back then.  Back in Buffalo I was playing guitar in a band and having a blast.  Things were so simple then.  My brother got us a couple of gigs in Orono and since we were young and stupid we thought it would be fun to drive 12 or 14 hours in the middle of winter to play some gigs.  The second time we made the trip, we all looked at each other and said “why don’t we move up here.”  Of course being young and stupid we all said “yeah why not.”  Six months later we were on our way to live in Portland, Maine.

Me and five other guys moved up here and lived in an apartment on Munjoy Hill in Portland.  For a couple years I would drive up to Orono on Monday to work with my father and drive back on Thursday.  We did a lot of windows, roofing, siding, painting, carpentry you name it we did it.  I learned a lot about old Maine houses during that time.  After doing that for awhile it got a little old driving that far for work so I found a framing job in the Portland area.  The most notable project we did was building the recreational center on Chebeague Island.

After finding myself framing in the winter I decided to learn how to build websites and landed a job at AAA managing the website for Northern New England.  While I was working there my father started a printing company doing mugs, t-shirts and other gift items.  The business did fairly well and was growing.  Then a very unfortunate thing happened.  When he was at his favorite camping site on the coast he had a fall and hit his head.  After being in the hospital for three or four days he passed away.  It was a very hard time for me, I went from everything in life being great to losing a mentor, a best friend and a father that loved me very much.  It is truly amazing that when you loose a person like that how you start to evaluate your life and work on making changes.  I really “grew up” after he passed, I felt like I needed to make something of myself.

About a year after my father passed I got a call from his business partner.  He presented a business idea to me that sounded really good and off we went.  TR Distributors was born.  The company sold equipment, supplies and imprintables to printing companies all over the country.  I definitely get my entrepreneurial spirit from my father and I was very proud of what I was doing.  The company consistently grew for about 7 years before we sold it to a company in Minnesota.  After working with the company that bought us for a few months I decided to get back into the remodeling industry.

For that last few years I have been selling a number of remodeling projects from Owens Corning basements to windows, roofing and siding.  When I came back to this industry the memories of working with my father made me realize this is what I really love to do.  Everyone needs a place to call home and making that place the best it can be is very rewarding.

The next step in my plan is getting my real estate license.  I will be starting classes to achieve that goal this Wednesday.  Once I have my license I will be able to sell quality home improvement projects and help people buy or sell a home.  I am really excited to take this next step.  This blog will be a great tool to help you make wise decisions about your home in Maine.

Thanks for listening to my story.  Future posts will be very informative so I hope you come back often and tell your friends.

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Thanks and Happy Halloween,

Doug Schauf