Contract for a kitchen remodel with Mary and Bob Button and it's likely, mid-project, you'll be invited to their house for dinner. "We're connecting on a different level than most businesses," says Mary.
Former Neil Kelly Co. employees, the Buttons befriend clients and care for them in ways large companies often can't. They treat their 10 captured subcontractors in the same way."What we do is bring all parts and pieces together, just like a symphony," Mary says, explaining the company name.
Mary runs the business from home while her husband does some carpentry and oversees subs -- some of whom they've been working with since 1983. Bob mills trim and cabinets in his backyard workshop. Typical jobs for the company are $50,000 kitchens in older neighborhoods.
Past president of the Oregon Remodelers Association, Mary was instrumental in helping change NARI National's bylaws, which ended the association's infighting.
The Buttons rely entirely on referrals, and on the grass roots marketing power of their annual "Harvestfest," where Mary, from Kansas, Bob, from Oklahoma, and 60 past clients shuck home-grown corn, barbecue chicken, and dance. "Our business is really about people caring about people," Mary says.