By BECKY BEAVER
MARIETTA, Ga. — In the last four years, Marietta-based and family-owned company, OxBuilt Construction, has seen a large amount of growth and has no intentions of slowing down.
OxBuilt Construction doubled its profits in 2016 and already has more than $2 million worth of work scheduled for 2017.
“We have no intentions of selling the business, but if we did we wouldn’t take less than $1 million at this point,” said Richard Barrett, president of OxBuilt Construction. “Our business is still growing in the Southeast.”
OxBuilt Construction has been thriving in the metro Atlanta apartment market.
“We have done some jobs for hotels and other businesses, but the majority of our contracts are for the building or renovation of apartment complexes,” office manager Nichole Barrett said.
In the past two years, OxBuilt Construction has been tackling more and more projects outside of Georgia. They have built and renovated buildings in Texas, Tennessee, Alabama, South Carolina, Mississippi and Florida.
A second office recently opened in Jacksonville, Florida, to help manage the demand of hotel restoration and apartment complex contracts the company has received.
Expansion was not always on the mind of 27-year-old CEO R.J. Barrett. Prior to forming OxBuilt Construction in 2012, Barrett was a foreman for another construction company until the day they, abruptly, went out of business.
“I was tired of working for other people,” R.J. Barrett said. “I wanted to be my own boss. I saved as much money as I could after losing my job and just started making plans.”
Barrett, initially, partnered with his family on his new business venture instead of seeking outside investors. Both Barrett and his father, Richard Barrett, used their prior knowledge and construction experience to launch the business.
“We went to a lot of trade shows to network and took on smaller projects just to get income flowing in,” R.J. Barrett said. “We invested most of our profits back into the business.”
OxBuilt Construction Looks Toward Future
As OxBuilt Construction’s presence increases throughout the Southeast, so do their aspirations.
“My hope for OxBuilt Construction is that the company will eventually grow to the point that regular people will start to notice us and recognize our brand as they sit in traffic and see our job sites,” Nichole Barrett said.
Nichole Barrett at Marietta office (Photo by Becky Beaver)
Nichole Barrett and other members of the sales team make regular appearances in the community by setting up information booths at festivals and handing out information on the business along with stress balls shaped like oxen. The company also invested in an ox mascot suit worn by various employees out in public.
OxBuilt Construction said they are interested in more expansion, but only time will tell how much the company will evolve.
“We’ve considered moving into neighborhood development and we’re looking into more government contracts to work on official buildings and schools,” Nichole Barrett said. “We’re not ruling anything out for 2017.”
Working Together Strengthens Family Ties
By BECKY BEAVER
MARIETTA, Ga. – OxBuilt Construction has built countless homes for families, but their office, located in Marietta, has become much like a home to CEO R. J. Barrett and his family.
OxBuilt Construction currently has 11 employees, two of whom are directly related to Barrett himself. While Barrett serves as CEO and owner, his younger sister, Nichole Barrett, is the office manager and his father, Richard Barrett, is the president of his company. Along with OxBuilt’s permanent staff, Barrett also frequently hires extended family members as subcontractors for various construction projects.
The original OxBuilt Construction office is located in Marietta where the Barrett family have been long time residents. Fittingly, the office where Barrett and his family work used to be an old home, now re-purposed into an office space.
“It’s nice to come to work and see your family,” said Barrett. “Many people only get to see their families for a few hours after work, and even less if you don’t all live in the same house. Here at OxBuilt, we make decisions about business every day that have benefited my family greatly.”
While many families shy away from going into business with one another, the Barretts said they have no hesitation on their decision to work together.
”We have a really good work environment here,” said Nichole Barrett. “We all have similar personalities and get along well. At the end of the day, we don’t talk about work after hours unless it’s something really important, or one of us has a really funny story about something that happened.”