Before he became known for his jaw-dropping craftsmanship, Chris Wright was a Fortune 500 manager, martial arts teacher, and jack-of-all construction trades. “Then I got exposed to these old houses, and I fell in love with them,” he says. Around the same time, he formed WrightWorks (first project: a handrail) and met a designer with whom he has since collaborated on hundreds of projects, many of them in Indianapolis’ historic Meridian-Kessler neighborhood.

“He’s one of the most talented designers I’ve ever seen,” Wright says. He credits the designer with introducing him to a strong referral network that supports his meticulous attention to detail and has landed many of their projects in magazines and home tours.

Like all business owners, Wright has learned difficult lessons. “I very nearly went bankrupt on my first whole-house project,” he says, citing a lethal combination of difficult people and poor estimating. Today, he drives by that project nearly every day as a reminder of those lessons as he continues to refine his company’s culture, talent, and financials.


  • Company manual with job descriptions. 
  • Highly detailed performance reviews. 
  • Videos (on YouTube and of WrightWorks project progressions. 
  • PDFs of client testimonials on website. 
  • Donates time and materials to a decorator’s show house — benefit for a children’s hospital and health care program. 
  • Moderator on two online construction forums. 
  • President of local National Association of the Remodeling Industry chapter.

Notable quote: “My three gauges for success: Did you build something that is beautiful and will last? Did you make any money? Would that person hire you again and refer you to someone else?”

- Leah Thayer