Ron and Judy Brown have been together 40 years, working with each other for much of that time. When they moved to Maui 32 years ago, though, they got into the hospitality business. Judy eventually became a general manager with Aston Hotels. Ron, who'd left a real estate business behind in Oregon, found his niche in condo management beginning with Destination Resorts.
Seven years ago, combining their expertise and enthusiasm enviable to people half their age, the couple paired up again professionally and started the successful Wailea Interiors & Remodeling (WI&R).
It happened quite naturally. Ron got into remodeling when he was leaving his management work. A rental owner client he had worked with for years asked him if he could remodel his condo, and that led into WI&R. As a contractor, Ron could easily provide what was needed, as he had developed relationships with trades-people here for 30 years. With Judy's artistic eye and management skills applied to the interior design-side, their business took off,
Ron and Judy Brown assist condo owners with high quality renovation projects at affordable prices.
A part of the secret of WI&R's success is that they have managed to keep their profit margin low. This makes them very competitive.
"Our prices and quality cannot be beat," explained Ron. "We work on a low profit margin, but do volume."
Their commitment to maintain quality workmanship and client relationships make them standouts on an island with numerous businesses providing similar services. Though they aim for account volume, the work they do is licensed, bonded and insured, and their workers are covered for worker's compensation.
Their motto: "Wailea quality at Kihei prices."
Their client base is comprised mainly of condominium/timeshare owners and some private homeowners. Most of their business is with rental condos, including about 100 units at Maui Hill Resort over a period of about four years. WI&R has refurbished over 160 units throughout Kihei and Wailea, including Wailea Ekahi, Elua, Ekolu, Grand Champions, Maui Kama'ole, Kama'ole Sands, Kihei Akahi, Pacific Shores and others.
"There are 9,000 condos in Kihei and most need to be remodeled," said Ron.
"They were built from about 1974 to the mid-1980s," Judy explained. "At Pacific Shores, they had tiny little rooms. We opened them up. The change was so dramatic. We managed to get a dining room out of the space and put a washer and dryer in a closet, rather than one corner of the kitchen. It turned out really nicely done and the owners were very happy."
In the last five years alone, the pair has served the needs of over 150 clients--all satisfied customers. Not only have many written referral letters, but they have also invited Ron and Judy to bring their prospective clients into their spaces to demonstrate what can be done with them.
Taking into account a client's ideas, Judy and Ron are often given free reign to remodel a unit.
A bonus for the couple is that they often become friends with their clients and readily help them when they arrive on Maui. They are humble about the good will that they have created.
"We're still kind of in the management business," said Judy.
"We've done little things for the owners and also for management companies, and they recommend us to others," Ron added.
They pride themselves on their ability to work with all people--from corporate heads to couples who own timeshare units with five other people.
"We love what we're doing and the gratification of transforming something unattractive into something beautiful," Ron said.
He smiled as he quoted another of WI&R mottos: "One call does it all!"