It’s long been a stigma in this industry that it’s a man's world. Kelly Anderson has felt the impact of that mentality since she started her business, Anderson Striping, in 1988. “When we entered into the industry, women were very few and far between and most not taken seriously in the construction world,” Anderson says.
With just a house sprayer, Anderson began work in the Fresno/Visalia, CA area hoping hard work would change that. Now, Anderson Striping serves four states (California, Oregon, Nevada and Washington) with customers ranging from commercial corporate to municipalities and even military installations. Anderson says the company is constantly growing and looking for new opportunities.
Although Anderson Striping is thriving today, it was a long road to get there. “We found that the biggest road block to sustainable growth was not always price or quality, but the “good old boys'” attitude that women in construction where not as qualified, knowledgeable, or as hard working as their male counterparts,” Anderson says.
Knowing her customers and understanding their need for communication and documentation s one way Anderson stood out from her competition. “We specialize in electronic services for our customers with invoicing, proposals, digital pictures, plot maps and work completion customer sign off reports. Our system empowers our customers to make a decision from their desks.”
Anderson says the ability to track all construction projects and warranty issues with an electronic tracking system is an advantage to her as an owner, providing future budgeting information.
“We are always committed to excellence and doing the right thing for every customer, every time,” she says. “Once our customers get to know us they quickly realize we are their solution – and being a woman owner is an extra added bonus.”
However, Anderson says she knows women still have miles to go in the industry to be seen as equals to men. “Even now when we show up to job walk it is basically 20 men and maybe one or two women,” she says. Anderson has made it her goal to help change that.
“We believe that being a woman owner is an advantage and we are proud of our growth and commitment to excellence,” she says. “We are certified members of WBENC, as well the NAWIC and we work closely with local colleges to help develop projects and future employees. We promote our women in our organization to be strong, smart construction voices and to own their voice and skills, always being prepared to learn, grow and surprise yourself and your customer.”
Education is Key
Along with empowering women in the industry, Anderson works diligently to enlighten customers about getting the best job for the price they pay. “In our industry, most people don’t necessarily know what they need to do to care for their parking lots,” she says. "They tend to try and go with the lowest bidder. We would like them to know spending more on the initial upkeep will save down the road.”
Anderson also educates her customers about new codes for striping and ADA compliance. “This will always be a struggle due to people not realizing what they need until it’s too late. We try to educate whenever we can,” she adds.
“Our trained site inspectors take our customer from the beginning of the walk thru of their project to determine maintenance, compliance or safety concerns, all the way to the site inspector signing off after execution.
"We work with our customer. We offer programs that pull all permits, coordinate with owners, property managements, city municipalities and construction partners to take the job from inception to the finale.”
With the next generation of Anderson Striping also woman-owned, Anderson hopes to expand services and grow their customer base.
“Anderson is steadily growing and expanding, and we are striving to continue this amazing journey our team has been on!”