Congratulations to Brian Nadeau with Artisan Custom Closets (Atlanta, GA & Nashville, TN) on becoming the first ACSP Registered Installer! We were curious – who is Brian and what makes him tick?? What motivated him to take the test on the first day it was available? He took a few minutes out of his day to enlighten us.

How long in the industry?

24 years, started in 1997.  Brian has been with Artisan Custom Closets for 12 years.  He followed Lisa Carlquist (owner of Artisan) from their previous employer.  He says that she was the best designer and he wanted to continue their working relationship.

Typical day?

Brian gets in the shop between 6-6:20am to load up his van.  He double/triple checks to make sure all of his materials are loaded and good to go.  He’s usually scheduled to be at the customer’s home between 8-9am.  He doesn’t like to be late.  He may do one or two jobs per day, for example a larger size install and maybe a service call, or two smaller installs.  His day ends around 4-5pm, but he always makes sure his customer is totally satisfied before he leaves the job site.  He demonstrates how the system works, the benefits (adjustability) and answers any questions that arise.

Why become a registered installer?

Brian was motivated by the designers he works with and by other industries such as HVAC.  He’s always wanted to become registered and when the ACSP began to offer the test this year, he took it the first day!  There were more construction questions than he expected, but overall a good mix of both construction and installation.  He says someone not in the industry definitely wouldn’t be able to pass.  The bottom line for him was that it makes his company look good and reassures the customers that he’s a professional.

What makes a good installer?

#1 in Brian’s opinion is being a good problem solver and thinking on your feet.  Being detail oriented is also very important!  He doesn’t want to tell Lisa he’s got to go back to a job because he forgot something.  He says a good installer has to think on the fly and be good at customer service too.  Before he walks into a customer’s home, he’s got a plan in mind of how the install’s going to go.  This comes with experience, it’s not about speed, it’s about quality and service.  His mantra: People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.

What does your closet at home look like?

Pretty well organized, but he’s an organized person in general.  He’s got basic systems installed in all of his closets and even turned one into a pantry.

What’s been a difficult install?

A memorable experience was one of his first installs back in ’98.  The female client was in tears, devastated by all the holes in her system (32mm).  He got her calmed down eventually, but now he has the knowledge to tell her this is for the adjustability of her system and that they can order plugs to cover the holes.

Best install experience?

Two Thanksgiving’s ago, he went on an extremely large job over 120k.  Multiple large rooms, including craft, laundry and closets.  They finished on time and the superintendent called Lisa about how professional he and his team were.  To this day, they’ve had no go-backs and on a job of this size, that’s a real accomplishment.

Advice to a new installer?

Talk to the other installers at your company, just because one person trains you to do it one way doesn’t mean there aren’t different ways of doing something.  Always be learning.  Be proud of what you do, work like you were working in your own home (clean & neat) and do your best!

Parting thoughts:

No matter the size of the job, $1,000 or $100,000, treat everyone the same, their project pays your bills.  Every job has your company’s name on it and needs to be done right. 

Congratulations Brian, keep up the great work!