Constructing A Family Affair
Topped out in one field and on the road too much in another, the Dunn family switched gears and is investing deep in family and community.
Note: This article is part of a series highlighting Catholic families in various stages of building a business. It is designed to inspire all families to start the wheels turning and be creative when it comes to finding a way to provide for themselves outside of traditional means. For more family based business content, follow Euphrosyne Corner on Instagram.
Brian Dunn was supporting his family as a grocery store floor manager, but out of advancement opportunities. He joined a construction company working as a sales rep, but the long hours and extensive travel was taking too much time away from his family. This Catholic dad takes the full scope of his responsibilities seriously- including being present for his wife and kids. To solve the problem, he and a friend started Invictus Roofing & Construction in the Kansas City area. They work hard to ensure that all of the guys that work for them are able to make the same commitment to family that they value for themselves.
While roofing and construction are the main areas of focus right now, they dream more towards the custom woodworking aspect, something Brian has a particular talent for. He has been selling handcrafted cutting boards and more at local markets for a few years and hopes to focus more on that aspect in the future. Being in business as a family has also inspired their kids! Their 12 year old son, Ben, has started his own cotton candy business. He sets up at the local farmer’s market and last week did an event at a local parish festival. He even hires his aunt and uncle or siblings to work at the market with him. Mom is in charge of social media for Ben and she says she can’t ever do enough for this entrepreneurial heart! (Mom also wants me to assure you that her kids’ teeth are not rotting from cotton candy…)
Colleen admits that the first year was a huge sink with start up costs. Looking forward, however, they have their first commercial project slated for 2023 and are looking forward to continuing to support employees in a family friendly work environment. They recently purchased a historic building to renovate as off-base housing for nearby Fort Leavenworth. In addition to apartments, the building will also house their construction office, a woodworking shop/sales space, and possibly even a bakery as a commercial kitchen is already in the building. Colleen’s advice to other families? Make sure you’re on board as spouses even if that means waiting. Keep talking about it before you think you are ready.
This is a story I really wanted to include in the Catholic Families in Business series. The Dunn Family did all of this with a house full of kids and they scraped together different earning opportunities, always building towards the next thing. They have things they would like to be doing more of, but know that they need to focus on what is providing for their needs right now. Their primary business is not something they can take to the web and broadcast loudly- they rely on the local community for most of their business. If you are in the Kansas City area, be sure to check them out for your roofing and construction needs!